Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Cranberry Juice = Love or 10 Songs of Significance

I have the sweetest husband on the planet. And I know there are some sweet ones out there! But today, mine is the sweetest. Last night I briefly mentioned that I thought I might be getting another UTI. It was just a passing comment. This morning when I open the refrigerator, I see that after Kyle got off work this morning at 7:30 or 8 am, he went to the store and bought me 100% Cranberry Juice, no sugar added. That's a Kyle thing, though, to do things for me without drawing attention to them. I had to choke back some happy tears. Oh, by the way, this is probably only romantic if you've ever had a UTI before.

So, in honor of Kyle, here are ten songs that have been significant in our relationship for one reason or another. I'm sure Kyle's list will be different so I'll see if he'll post his own, soon.

1. Cupid's Chokehold/Breakfast in America by Gym Class Heroes

"I know I'm young but if I had to choose her or the sun, I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun."

2. Swing Life Away by Rise Against

"We get by just fine here on minimum wage. If love is a labor, I'll slave till the end. Won't cross these streets until you hold my hand."

3. The Closest Thing to Crazy by Katie Melua

"Feeling 22, acting 17, this is the nearest thing to crazy I have ever known, I was never crazy on my own, and now I know that there's a link between the two...being close to craziness and being close to you."

4. Don't Leave Home by Dido

"If you're cold, I'll keep you warm. And if you're lost, just hold on cause I will be your safety. Oh, don't leave home."

5. Redundant by Green Day

"No, I cannot speak. I've lost my voice. I'm speechless and redundant cause I love you's not enough. I'm lost for words."

6. I Want to Know Your Plans by Say Anything

"You're what keeps me believing the world's not gone dead, strength in my bones put the words in my head, when they pour out to paper, it's all for you, cause that's what you do..."

7. We Are Man and Wife by Michelle Featherstone

"All the things you are to me, darling you have set me free...all the joy and all this love...and now together there's enough to fill this world..."

8. I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Deathcab for Cutie

"No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white, just our hands clasped so tight, waiting for the hint of a spark."

9. In the Arms of Love by Andy Williams

"I'd never let you go...the day has died away. Let's find a hideaway..."

10. Red Sweater by Aquabats

"You're my girl. I'm your man. I don't care if we live in a garbage can. I'm your man. You're my gal. I'm so glad that we are pals..."

So your turn! What are some songs that define your relationships or shape your idea of love? Would love to hear from you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Lump in the Throat: Carol Ann Duffy

"Some keep them in shoeboxes away from the light,

sore memories blinking as the lid lifts,

their own recklessnesses written all over them. My own...

Private jokes, no longer comprehended, pull their punchlines,

fall flat in the gaps between endearments. What

are you wearing?

Don't ever change.

They start with Darling; end in recriminations,

absence, sense of loss. Even now, the first's bud flowers

into trembling, the fingers trace each line and see

The future then. Always...Nobody burns them,

the Darling letters, stiff in their cardboard coffins.

Babykins...We all had strange names

which make us blush, as though we'd murdered

someone under an alias, long ago. I'll die

without you. Die. Once in a while, alone,

we take them out to read again, the heart thudding

like a spade on buried bones."

-Carol Ann Duffy, "The Darling Letters"

This one aches to read. But I know exactly what she means...

Day 11ish - Almost done

It's kind of hard to believe how quickly it's taken shape now that we've been painting for a few days but we have a complete picture now! There are some shading details and extra stuff to put in so it's not finished but all the basic color and shapes are there.

Next task: Detail work and love poems.


Day 10 (or 11-13): Mad Progress

It's been a few days since our last post but that doesn't mean we haven't been working! It's actually starting to look like a PAINTING!

Kyle and I did some little bits of color here and there throughout the week but tonight we put down the dropcloth in the living room and painted to an episode of Psych.

It's been a fun experiment learning to water down the acrylic to give the sky a more natural fade from day to night. Right now, it's looking like a night scene but the big white globe will be painted yellow tomorrow.

Next task: More painting and some planning on little detail work (we've cut the crazy sky stuff for the most part but we're leaving in the hidden love poems).

Alright, what does everyone think?? Let us know! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments - they make us smile.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 9 - Painting a picture for you

Alright, everybody! Painting has officially begun!!! Check out the clouds! So excited about this part! The drawing/sketching is mostly done, although Kyle still hasn't decided on a mast and sails.

Materials: make-up brushes (they have very fine, firm texture and can get detail work), acrylic paint, black for outlining, smudging, and shading.

Next task: Finish clouds, start wave shading and once again debate place of abstract objects in sky.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 8

(Kyle) So this is my first blog without the writing skills of Elizabeth, but any way there isn't to much different from yesterday. We have added more waves and the clouds are starting to take shape for the most part I would say that we are ready to paint! I am excited to keep going on this project I have had far to much fun thus far and I also look forward to what you all think. Keep your thoughts and any suggestions coming we both enjoy them very much!

Day 7 - A sketchy part of town

Kyle has pretty much finished the boat and top waves. We have to fill in the rest of the waves and the elements in the sky, as well as complete the mast and sails. Everything has been done in pencil. Once he's finished sketching completely, we will start painting!
Next task: To fill in ocean and sky details!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Lump in the Throat: Dylan Thomas

Robert Frost wrote that, "A poem begins with a lump in the throat." New segment to appear on blog featuring a different love poem each time.

We begin with one of my favorite poets ever, the tragic, the gloomy, the great Mr. Dylan Thomas. Take it away, Dyl.

"A stranger has come

To share my room in the house not right in the head,

A girl mad as birds

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.

Strait in the mazed bed

She deludes the heaven-proof clouds house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,

At large as the dead,

Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

She has come possessed

Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,

Possessed by the skies

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust

Yet raves at her will

On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last

I may without fail

Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

-Dylan Thomas, "Love in the Asylum"

For this and other great Dylan poems, check out !


Tonight there's no update in terms of painting. Kyle and I were at a young married's dinner with some couples from our church.
But I am posting some images of clouds that we're using as models. Kyle did work on sketching some clouds and rain earlier. We will be doing some basic outline tracing on the actual canvas tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 5 - Artistic Differences or What's a compromise without a shouting match to get things going?

So remember when I said this blog might end up being a metaphor for marriage? Moi = righter than rain. I've compiled the skeleton of the argument for your reading pleasure (or maybe just to make you feel better about the last stupid fight YOU had with someone you love more than life).

In summation: Kyle is a fan of representational art (ie. art that looks like the object it's supposed to). So when Elizabeth says she thinks the sky should be made out of strawberries and she wants to write poems on the ocean waves and wouldn't it be lovely if there was a green sea monster in the distance, Kyle scratches his full head of dark wavy Irish hair and blinking green eyes at her and says, most politely, "I think that would look stupid." So then Elizabeth takes a deep breath, trying not to roll her eyes at the complete idiocy of a man who couldn't possibly understand the DEPTHS of her artistic genius and says, sniff, sad look down, "Oh...Oh, well...that's okay. We don't have to do that. We'll just," sigh, brave look, "do whatever you want." Then there was some general accusatory grumbling about manipulation and some exasperated, "Why do we always have to do things YOUR way?" sorts of moments and maybe something was said about dividing assets and sleeping on the couch...and somehow, it ended with, "Let's just leave the sky part for last since we agree on the ocean and the ship" and "Okay." That's some fine conflict resolution right there!

So tonight we did some practice painting on a little extra primed canvas we'd saved from the scraps. But mostly, we just tried to remember why we thought it was important to do an art project together in the first place. Oh, yeah. Because we love each other. No, really. We do. Pay no attention to the strangling sounds. Kyle's just choking back tears. RIGHT, honey? See you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 4 (Part Two)

Kyle showed me how to do the gridding myself so I went ahead and did that. The three sections of the painting are Day: 10", Sunset: 10", and Night:12".

You can't see the lines so great in the photos because they're in pencil but trust us, they're there.
Next task: Etching in the sky area.

Day 4 (Part One)

Kyle worked on this in the waiting room at the doctor's office this morning (good news, he does NOT have athritis!).

This is a preliminary design sketch for the painting. The boat will be bigger in relationship to the length of the ocean but I love the overall look of it. The waves look great and I love how the boat seems to be going up on a crest. The sky and sea details are not there, yet, but they will be soon!

I want to work a sea monster somewhere into the painting. We'll see if Kyle vetoes that.
Next task tonight: Gridding

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Color Me Kindly: RED

Part of this project is to find things that are a certain color. It'll make sense when you see the painting develop. Here's how YOU can help:

The color is red. Comment and suggest objects or ideas that are red.

Include pictures or links, if you want. Elaborate, if you want. When you think of the color RED, what immediately comes to mind for you? Is it an emotion? An object? Is there something that is always red? Something that is never red? Something that you wish was red?

Day 3 - Canvas Stretching or Fun With A Staple Gun

So here we are, day three and everything! Got off to a late start since
we ended up at the vet earlier and Kyle had a raging migraine this evening. But all's well that ends.
Supplies today: Staple gun from Wal*Mart, $14.99. Staples, $3.00. Canvas stretchers from Blick, $9.59. Madigan's x-rays, $134. A messy night with my family, priceless.
So basically, we stretched the canvas over the frame (formed by four interlocking strips of wood)
and stapled it down. I spent the first half of the night paranoid that I was accidentally going to staple husband fingers or puppy paws but that staple gun ended up being the most fun part.

Kyle was very pessimistic about how our first stretched canvas would turn out but was pleasantly surprised. The dimensions have gone from 36" X 36" unstretched to 32" X 32".
What do you think?

Next stop: Gridding! Kyle will be marking out the grid on the canvas itself and we'll be choosing our final design based on all the practice sketches (which I will post tomorrow).

Monday, October 11, 2010


So the image of the ship that we're planning to paint is going to be traveling through the water from left to right. We're looking through images of old wooden ships to find the most important features, as well as structure, material, coloring, and position. Here are some of my favorite examples so far.
The first image is of particular note: A Ship in Need in a Raging Storm, Willem van de Velde II, 1707.

Day 2 (Part One) - Priming or Madigan Tries to Help

So I'm at school all day today, reading Aristotle and generally all grad-studentish so Kyle did this next part of the project on his own.

He managed to get the whole canvas masked before Madigan, our Pomeranian, decided she wanted to be more involved. Once we start painting in earnest, this could get interesting!

Kyle has now masked and primed the whole canvas and is working on some basic pencil sketches for the lay-out.

Keep the comments coming, guys! We appreciate the encouragement!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 1 - Blank Canvas

Okay, so we bought our first materials! Medium-weight canvas, white acrylic for the base coat, and black for detail work, and sponge brushes. Big shout-out to Blick Art Supplies for their 10% student discount! Here's the link if you'd like to visit them online: (I know it doesn't sound like a site you should be visiting!)

First task: To cover the office floor with dropcloth and mask the edge of the canvas.

Wish us luck!

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