Capo Testa Sardinia- the next painting

Had a clear weekend so gessoed up a canvas and did my second painting in the Sardinia series. Capo Testa is  a wonderful area on the north-west coast of Sardinia. There’s a maze of walking tracks amongst the huge boulders and so many  wildflowers it’s like a series of rock gardens. There’s the mild scent of curry wafting over the cape from the yellow curry plants and the stunning blue of the Mediterranean in the background. Hope I managed to capture just a little of this amazing place which I hope to get back to some day.

Acrylic painting Capo Testa Sardinia
Capo Testa Sardinia. Acrylic painting
Sardinia Capo Testo 3
Capo Testa Sardinia Acrylic Painitng
Sardinia Capo Testo 4
Capo Testa – wildflowers
Sardinia Capo Testo 2
Capo Testa Sardinia
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On retirement and the Soweto Gospel Choir

Last week I took the plunge and told my boss I’m going to retire at the end of this year. I was planning to hang on a bit longer but something happened. I took my Mum to see the Soweto Gospel Choir perform and as the lights dimmed and these smiling, singing, dancing, joyous people began to perform I started to cry. Tears slowly rolled down my face in the dark as they sang their hearts out in time with the  rythmic percussion,  their very individual voices  somehow blended into a wonderful, harmonious whole. They sang with gusto, their smiles lit up the stage and I kept crying. Somewhere around the end of the second song I asked myself why I was crying. As the third started I had the answer. I wanted to be truly happy like these singers. I wanted to leave behind the petty politics, the continual stress, the daily grind of the workplace and give myself over to a different life, a life that will give me less money to spend on things I don’t really need and more time to spend on people I love and creative projects that make me happy.

 

I would like to take every donwnhearted, sad and weight conscious girl in the universe to this concert so they could see an outstanding example of a very large, very happy woman who has the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, dancing up a storm, singing with passion and joy and obviously loving and being loved by the diverse men and women she shared the stage with. Every member of this choir has a unique voice, body shape, smile, and personality. They have BIG voices and really different singing styles yet they are able to happily and successfully bring those voices together to make joyful, uplifting and harmonious music. I left this concert wanting to dance, to sing , to paint, to read, to swim , to go for walks with my husband, to visit my sister, to help someone who needs my time now, to be cheerful, to count the minutes less, to eat better, to write more, to buy less, to live a new life!

So a big thank you to the Soweto Gospel Choir for a joyous musical feast that sparked a life changing decision.

Sardinian coast painting.

I had a painting day today and broke out the acrylics for a change. I’ve been doing a lot of pastels lately and although I love them sometimes I crave the luxury of slathering on thick wodges of paint and building up some texture.

sardinia. Acrylic painting
Sardinian coast. Acrylic painting on canvas

I had a lot of fun with the foreground using some modelling paste mixed with the paint to give volume and texture to all that vegetation. The Queen Anne’s Lace was all over the island with flower heads the size of dinner plates in some places! I took a bit of liberty with some of the flowers so I could harmonise the painting but there were a lot of coastal blooms all around Sardinia.

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I like how the red underpainting shows through in places giving the painting a bit of zing.

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Another joy of acrylics on canvas is that I can continue the painting around the sides , put in a couple of d rings, wire it up and straight onto the wall. No tedious mat cutting and then having to put the pastel in and out of the frame half a dozen times because I keep seeing a speck of dust that’s fallen on the mat – it always happens no mater how careful I am!

This one’s for an upcoming exhibition and I’m thinking it might not come home. All in all a satisfying days work.

Video Editing Trials

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front the last 2 weeks as all my energy has been diverted to video editing. When I first decided to try out a You Tube channel I had no experience with video editing so I downloaded a trial version of Premier Pro which I then taught myself using the great tutorials on You Tube. It took a while but I got the hang of it All I wanted was a bit of basic cutting and joining and then a title and an end  with maybe a voice over now and then. So all was well – I had a month free trial, there were lots of tutorials and I powered through the videos and before I knew it I had uploaded 10 videos and had my own blossoming channel.

You can already see where I’m heading- yes – the 30 day trial ran out and I was so delighted with the ease of use I decided to buy it. Of course I can’t buy it but instead have to take a $20 a month subscription. Since I’m only doing basic editing I don’t need all the fancy stuff and couldn’t care less about all the promised upgrades I don’t want to pay $20 a month. What to do?

Next I decided to try the ancient version of Roxio Videowave  The Writer uses. It was terrible – really laggy and awful so no sooner was it installed than it was uninstalled!

My third attempt was to source a free video editor – Hitfilms Express. I downloaded it and discovered that there wasn’t nearly as good a range of tutorials out there but it did have some similarities with the Premiere Pro so I persisted- for a while…. It just was so hard to work anything out I finally had a brainwave. I’d just download the poor cousin of PP, Premiere Elements, for another 30 day trial and churn out another 10 videos which would keep me going for another month or two with You Tube uploads. I could then look around for the perfect software with my little buffer of edited videos.

Thought I’d cracked it until I started the first edit and saw the watermark banner right across the middle of the video! Apparantly it can only be removed when you buy the software. Anyway I kept on to see if I liked the software- it’s OK and at $130’ish a lot better buy than the subscription- but it’s a bit clunkier and misses some of the zoom features I liked in PP.

As usual I procrastinated so while I was at work The Writer decided to buy the newest version of Roxio so I may give that a go if I can load it on my laptop as well as his PC.  In the meantime I’ve gone back to Hitfilms and edited a video managing to work out the zoom, speed and titles . When I went to record the voice over I realised there is no function for that so had to find an audio editor. I downloaded  Audacity, recorded the voice over , imported into  the Hitfilms video and it all worked!

So after all that time I have one 5 minute video instead of 10!  I learned a lot and can now use the Hitfilms so maybe I won’t buy anything and just keep bumbling along. The good news is that while I’ve been messing around my You Tube channel has been gaining subscribers so I now have the amazing total of 218 – not quite viral yet but I can see it happening any day now!

RDO report- bags of fun!

I love my rostered day off (RDO)! Every second Tuesday I get a day off work that is just for me. I can do whatever I like with it and I try and pack a lot into those 9 hours. Here’s what I did today:

  • cleaned the washing machine before I did the washing because I truely thought the clothes would come out dirtier than they went in
  • took the car to Artery for some supplies that just won’t fit on the scooter
  • dropped in to see my brother and check out some fantastic plan drawers he has that I’ve been coveting – think they’ll be mine soon!!
  • exchanged the router that died for a new one that no doubt will die within the next 12 months
  • and made three bags using some really beautiful upholstery fabric featuring
  • shot some photos and added the bags to my Etsy shop

 

It’s been a good day!