Evolution of a portrait

20170617_003517I’ve never painted a portrait. It’s a lot different than doing a landscape. Though I’m far from a master, I’m slowly gaining some proficiency. I’m trying to learn techniques and finding my own style.

Not long ago, I decided to try painting a portrait. Though the final result isn’t too bad, I can’t say the same for the first attempt. It was bad. Very bad. Embarrassingly bad. I had no intention of sharing it, but this is me we’re talking about. Of course I had to share.

I took a few more pictures along the way, wanting to document for myself what I was doing, trying to discover just what the hell I was doing. You can laugh at my first attempt, or be horrified, or both.  Enjoy!

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Moving

I think the time has come to move on with my life. Things came to a stand still about five years ago, and I’ve been adrift ever since. I became complacent with my situation, neither enjoying it, but not doing anything to remedy it. I kind of gave up.

I’ve been feeling this coming on for a while now, that the time had come to continue on my journey. It’s not a big step really, but moving out on my own will be a change. I haven’t been on my own since before I got married. Honestly, she moved in before we were married. That’s a long time. I’m ready to have my own place.

Technically, I had my own place after we split up. I say technically since I was paying rent at an apartment I never stayed in. I spent all my time with some girl I was seeing. But after that, I stayed with a friend before moving in with family. I got a lot done. I finished college, found a job, made some awesome friends, but I stayed here, with my family, more out of a need to be near them. Emotionally and psychologically, I needed my family.

I’m blessed I had them when I needed them the most.

But I’m stronger now. To be honest, I came to a decision over two years ago to accept certain aspects of my personality. Since then, I found the peace that had been missing in my life. I found that I was stronger because of it. I found that I could be happy. I discovered that my friends would not abandon me for it. In fact, most have embraced me unconditionally.

Because of it, I have a need for some freedoms that I can’t have living with my parents. Some of that is due to my ego. It’s embarrassing to be 40 and living with mommy and daddy. When I moved in, there were financial concerns. I was unemployed and could not find a job anywhere. After finding one, it took some time to rebuild. When I had the means to leave,  remained behind. I had become complacent.

But complacency has put me ill at ease. I’m not comfortable here, or rather I feel as though I have overstayed my welcome. I feel the pull of life calling me, telling me that there are new adventures waiting for me out in the world, new stories to be discovered.

There’s also part of me that needs some privacy. Here in this house, I don’t have the privacy to just sit down and write. There’s too much going on, too many distractions. I lose myself in what’s going out with everyone’s lives that I don’t have a moment to withdraw completely into my own little world, to flesh out new tales to tell.

So I’m looking for my own place. Part of it is because I’m ready to move out. There’s also the practical part of me that’s tired of commuting an hour each way, five days a week. It’s beginning to wear on me. That’s almost 500 hours a year driving back and forth, or about twenty days out of every year wasted in that car.

It’s time to move on. I’m a little nervous about it, which is a little crazy. I’ve been on my own. I left for college when I was 18. Moved to the Dallas area when I was 24. I know how to be on my own, but there’s a small part of me that is worried about venturing out again. It won’t stop me, I’m sure. In fact, it’s why I’m doing it, to conquer the small battles so as to put myself out there for bigger fights.

Mostly, however, I just want some peace and quiet, and a small corner to call my own.

Still at it

I’m nearing the end of Jasmine, and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I have had to delete a whole chapter, and a few scenes were eliminated or rewritten entirely, but on the whole, it’s been a fairly quick rewrite.

I have asked a friend of mine to read it for me and give me her input. I have to know if the story works, and if there’s anything that needs to be tweaked, rewritten, or deleted. I want to know if the characters are believable. I need to know if it’s a good book or not. I don’t want to waste time on a dud.

If I hear good news, I’ll move on to looking for someone to proofread the book. My real issue will be cost. I’m just a poor boy, after all, but I don’t want someone cheap who doesn’t do a good job. I need someone with reasonable rates, preferably with some experience and recommendations.

Then I’ll need someone to do the covers for me. I have absolutely no experience in making covers. What’s more, I have no artistic abilities. I’ll have to find someone at some point. I guess I can ask around. I’m sure someone can point me in the right direction.

Until then, however, I’ll tinker with Jasmine, maybe eventually settle on a permanent name for it. It was Unseen Obsession at one point, but I hated that name. Maybe someone can help me with that, too.