Tag Archives: art

5 Months Later….

I can’t think of a good title right now.

I know some people suggest making the title after you do the writing. But I feel like the title is the easy part: I come up with something catchy and it gets the ball rolling. The title drives the writing.

Well, how’s this: It’s been 5 months since I’ve written, and there’s a ton of great stuff I didn’t write about. And that bugs me to no end. Why blog if you aren’t going to blog the good stuff?  But recent events have breathed new life into my belly fire. This will be a short post, I’m just going to breeze through all the stuff I didn’t write about.

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I finally sold a painting a few paintings. Two for under $200, but the big one  (top) netted me $1800, my biggest sale ever.

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The Rockhoppers had their first official beer mile. I love to drink but I was not going to participate until the last minute I caved. It was tough since I had a tallboy right before the race. I was still working on my first beer when the fast guys came in from their first lap. Beer miles sound like a good idea when you’re talking about it, but actually doing it is way hard. For me anyway. Those other guys were professional.

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My mom, my sister, and I drove to Florida to visit my other sister and her husband. Not a lot of sightseeing, but I got in a few runs with one 20 miler in some terrible heat. However, they were all on paved roads. :(

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I started doing Bikram yoga. A friend took me to check it out and WOW! Did I feel great afterwards. For me, it is actually a very tough workout. It has really helped my running. I look forward to getting back into it.

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Me and one of the other Rockhoppers put on a photo show. We busted our ass building these frames which were way overkill (too heavy). But things turned out well enough. We sold a few pieces. Though I’m surprised we didn’t sell more considering our prices were pretty reasonable. (Or so we thought.) Regardless, we didn’t expect sales, and it was still fun. We also had a photo booth of sorts set up in the hosts’ bedroom. That was really fun, although I still have not seen the pictures…

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I went and read a story at my friend’s grade school. I still can’t recall what grade they are, but they were the sweetest bunch of kids. After that, I went with them on a field trip to the Witte Museum. I’ll be visiting them again shortly to bring them some presents.

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Perhaps one of the biggest deals: I ran my first 100 Miler, the Cactus Rose. I ended up running about 85 miles with Don, another Rockhopper with whom I trained with. It was unplanned that we would run together, and very lucky for both of us as neither of us had a pacer. We tied for 6th place. (We ran it in together.) We were hoping to get in under 24 hours, but that wasn’t in the cards. Still very pleased with the effort. My right knee was f*cked for the next few days.

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I celebrated an early birthday. They threw a surprise party because I was going to be in Thailand for my actual birthday.

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I went to Thailand with my mom again. We stayed and visited family for 7 weeks. It was really awesome. Really awesome. I met a ton more people, and did some fun cultural stuff.  That will be a few posts coming up.

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I made some spray paint stencils while I was there. I am planning on using spray as my medium for awhile as it can do some beautiful things.

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I joined Facebook? What? Wait, that is another post unto itself.

 

 

Price List

Hello Rockhoppers,

This is weird, but welcome to my blog. I couldn’t figure how to fit all the images in a single email (or document), so I decided to put it here.

I wanted to thank everyone for their kinds words about my work. And thanks to Stefan for allowing me to hang my stuff up in his home, and extra thanks to Elizabeth for coming up with the idea. It was great to show people my work instead of it just sitting in a pile.
I build, stretch, and frame all my canvases. Acrylic on canvas unless noted. Sizes rounded to nearest inch.

its problems

de -its problems                              about 14 x 14                                         $ 180
*wooden panel

An attempt to replicate the line quality of predigital television when viewed up close. It was difficult and not as successful as I would have liked.
OUTPUT

OUTPUT                                              25 x 25                                                     $ 190

Based on a child’s scribbles in a coloring book. Choosing a non-human subject as a change of pace.

lie down down you

lie down down; you                          21 x 27                         $ 425  / $ 750 pair

Do you remember?

Do you remember?                         21 x 30                            $ 425  / $ 750 pair

Weaver series
Old photographs offer a peek into the past and show how life was lived in simpler times. As such, they make for great source material.

At a Goodwill store where they sell things by the pound, I found a huge cache of photos of a single family spanning the early 40’s to late 90’s.

Whether there are no more relatives to inherit the photographs, or no one wants them, I find it sad that a whole lifetime of memories would be thrown away. So I “adopted” the family.

Over the images of the Weavers, I added text based on the heritage of my actual parents: the neon yellow text in Do you remember? is Thai, and the white text in lie down down; you is Portuguese. While not that “deep,” this is a turning point of sorts. These are not just graphic images,  these pieces have some personal meaning.

 

DSC_0562, 30 x30

 

DSC_0627                                           30 x 30                                                       $ 285
*wooden panel on silkscreen frame

Five kids from my Mom’s village in Thailand. The girl in front is a relative. This was a foray back into colors after doing so many monochromes. It was also an attempt to use a new medium of paint – acrylic semi transparent stains that are intended for decks/ porches etc. On canvas, they function like a glaze. Working with 4 stains and a few other regular paint colors, I was able to achieve some nice color effects.

 

Juk 2

Juk II                                      23 x 32                                      $ 300
framed with scavenged wood

A more finished piece using the same semi transparent stains and limited paint colors. Same kid from DSC_0627 (far right).

 

Final Coat, 45 x 61

Final Coat                                                45 x 61                                                $ 1800
frame is heavy

Based on an image taken from a 50’s DIY book. Second time I painted this image, but this time larger and with slavish attention. Attempt to create a full range of value using only one color (and white). Sort of a gimmicky touch, but the surface of the table that she has painted has a opalescent glaze that makes it stand out when seen in person.

 

Eve Drone

Data Entry Girl                22 x 35                 $ 300

Instead of trying to create the illusion of depth, an attempt to simplify and flatten the form using a limited palette of muted colors. In terms of subject, style, and color harmony, a successful piece.

Catherine

Catherine                             25 x 37                                 $ 425

Based on a photo I took, one of the few paintings with a person I actually know. Tried to capture the essence of the blueish purplish color of the hoodie. Couldn’t devote the same energy to the trees, left them terrible.

 

Some Shit

bitchin’                                       23 x 23                                               $ 175

Based on vintage year book photos using colors that mimic the look 3-D images.

Two parties expressed interest in this piece. Parties can arm wrestle for it, I can auction it, or duplicate the painting and sell it for the same price. I am open to suggestions.

 

Lazy Dog

THE LAZY DOG                                         32 x 32                                           $ 300
*wooden panel, framed with scavenged wood

Based on a vintage yearbook photo, chosen for the ridiculous hairstyle. Monochromatic with a focus on using value to create depth.

 

David Robinson

David Robinson                                 25 x 25                             $ 325/ pair $ 600

Ronald Robison

Ronald Robison                                 25 x 25                            $ 325/ pair $ 600

(AKA Stud and Dud)

Based on yet more vintage yearbook photos. This reminded me of my friend and myself; we were alphabetic neighbors in school and as a result, became friends. He was the “stud” and I the “dud.” I wondered if the these two had become friends as well.
“Stud and Dud” references an episode of the Simpsons, which my friend and I were huge fans of.

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College                                                     23 x 31                                                 $ 200
*wooden panel, framed with scavenged wood

One of the 50’s DIY series. Monochromatic with an attempt to create as little value as possible.

 

Untitled
Chairfixer                                                  24 x 29                                                 $ 325
framed with scavenged wood

One of the 50’s DIY series. The execution of the figure was less labored than usual, and looks more fluid as a result.
Text obscures figure to the appropriate degree.

 

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uggest                                            about 23 x 32                                                $ 285

Based on vintage image from a knitting catalog.

 

TROUBLE OR MALFUNCTION

TROUBLE OR MALFUNCTION                        50 x 26                             $ 600

Originally intended to be just a landscape, perceived problems with accuracy lead to overlaying other imagery. Background image is a based on a photo I took in Portland.

 

under the circumstances / Diptych

under the circumstances                                  74 x 25                               $ 1500
diptych joined by piano hinge

Ultramarathon of figure painting, based on an image culled from the internet. Limited palette of five or six colors.

A few other pieces that were not shown.

Juk 1, 24 x 14
Juk I                    14 x 24            $ 100
A “throwaway” piece done between more “serious” works.

 

70's Family

That 70’s Family                              24 x 37                             $ 200

Based on a found photograph. Love the hair!

 

success with roses
Tamara                                                21 x 34                                                    $  250
framed with scrap wood

Based on a photograph I took of an old friend.

 

du pain

Du Pain                                                   44 x 25                                               $ 280

Avoiding realistic figures, based on kids drawing. Trying to loosen up and do something different.

 

Final Spin

Final Spin                                            50 x 26                                                     $  450

Part of the Weaver series. Based on a photo when Pat Sajak and Vanna White visited the old folks home Mrs Weaver was staying at.

 

Art Four

ART FOUR                                            26 x 32                                                $ 200
Unique frame style, it’s octagonal

Collage style with main image based on photo of a friend.

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Whew! That’s it. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for checking out my work again. If you are interested in a piece or have questions, please email me at shutupbecky@gmail.com.  I’m flexible and we can work something out. I’d love to get more of my work out into the world.

Another Flower Gallery

Ran for three and a half hours on 50/50 trail and pavement. Recent rains have got the wildflowers all up in a tizzy! I’m trying to document as many different types of flowers as possible. These were all shot today on the same run. Nuts, right? There were so many flowers, it was ruining my running rhythm; I’d stop every few feet to take another picture.

Focusing on iPhone is a b!tch. It’s so hard to tell in the bright  sunlight. Getting it to focus on the right thing is especially tricky.  I preset the AF/AE lock and then try to frame the image, but often can’t find the right focal range. More practice, I guess!

The run was tough. When I started, there was some awesome cloud cover. Sadly, it burned off quickly and the humidity set in .

I ran in my Hoka Stinsons for the first time. As much as I want to like them, not the best initial impression. Definitely issues on uneven trail surfaces. Unfortunate, as the reason for buying them was to save my tootsies from the rocks at Bandera.  Need more miles before rendering a final verdict, although I’m paranoid this will mean that I won’t be able to return them.

Also using Tailwind for the third time. Lemon something or other flavor. I’m not sold on the efficacy just yet. I bonked pretty good today. I left the house with only 400 calories, about half of what I should have had for a (planned) 15 mile run. After I consumed my bottle of Tailwind and two gels, I stopped at a gas station and bought a Gatorade and a Reeses peanut butter cup. I never do that. The Reese’s was righteous, and it helped a bit, but I was still dragging.

The weird thing is how tired I felt after only 10 miles or so. I thought to myself, “You think you’re tired now?? Wait till you’ve been up for 20 hours and you’re at mile 80. How the hell are you going to manage that?” Either I exhausted my glycogen yesterday, I didn’t consume enough calories during the week, or something, but this shouldn’t have been as hard as it was. Which reminds me, I want to start my running diary. That sounds so…

For the day, did a lot of walking and finished with 14, a mile short of goal.

Things Change…

Depending on where you live, you might notice the trees turning colors. The trees around here are definitely changing. Not anything super spectacular, but low key Texas style. Maybe that’s what is inspiring me to make a change. Or maybe it’s just because I’m tired of hearing that question, “Do you have a website?”

You may or may not know that I am an artist- I make paintings. I’ve been half-assing it for a long time. I’ve also been unemployed for a while now and it’s really getting me down. But I don’t want to work a stupid job – I want to do something I actually enjoy doing. However, finding a job where I just paint and build stuff all day is probably not going to happen. At least not easily, and not without some blood, sweat, and many many beers.

So where am I going with this? Well, I am going to try and full-ass it as an artist. I want to put my work out there, and that requires a website. And while it would be great if I could make money talking about my running, I know that if I focus on presenting my art, I can sell it. So I am going to be shifting the focus of this blog. It’s not going to be just about running, rather it’s going to be about…. uh… stuff? Yeah, that’s pretty vague, I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but I will.

However, I have decided to ditch the Shortcuthills moniker and promote myself as Shutupbecky. I love the name- it’s loads snappier and makes people get weird, or laugh or both. I have had the name as an email since 2000, so I feel like the name is a part of me. It’s my alter ego, pen name, stage name, code name, however you want to call it. So yeah, Shutupbecky!

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I’ll leave you with a few pieces I did last week.

A quickish "sketch: painting
A quickish “sketch: painting. (The stuff on the sides isn’t part of it.)
Kids in my Mom's hometown village in Thailand.
Kids in my Mom’s hometown village in Thailand.
Juk. Same kid, same image as the first painting.
Juk. Same kid, same image as the first painting.

I need to start taking better photos-  which is to say NOT USE A PHONE…

My Legs Still Work!!

I tried running the day after the race, but that was just not happening. My quads felt like limp celery and my mystery foot pain had returned with a vengeance. I couldn’t manage even one mile. Which is hilarious because on my calendar I thought I’d knock out a seven miler easily.

I did bike around town that day, and that was fine. I went and spent a good part of the day at the Art Institute. They had built a whole new wing for the contemporary art since I’d last been there. Sadly, I felt like it was the same paintings they had before, just housed in a new place. Still it was cool to see real artwork in person again.

Tuesday was a travel day and I was still holding handrails to descend a flight of stairs.

Finally, today my legs felt better. I could walk like a normal person. I went out for a run and manged to nab a seven miler easily. I felt like I was trucking and that was nice. But I could tell that my muscles were still damaged and would need some serious repair. My goal right now is to eat as much good food as possible to get my body ready for the 26th.

It may not have been the smartest thing to do scheduling two races so close together. But I’m already signed up. Now the only thing to do is to do it!

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The light to dark rules! Though a good bit of detail is lost in the photo…
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Love the greyness and the small dot of orange.
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The detail on this piece is ridiculous, every dimple, hair and vein stands out, it makes the woman appear so repulsive. It’s a great painting.
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Love the hair!
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This guy is a big deal. Paints/draws like a four year old – Love it!
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One of my favorite paintings by one of my favorite artists.

Lighthouse 20M Results Bad and Good

Perhaps it’s time to schedule an eye exam.

Two ten-mile loops. Easy peasy, right? Actually, it was super easy.

While it had rained the night before and the threat of mud was high, there was very little mud to speak of. The most mud we encountered was on the walk to the start. The course had a few tiny hills, but it was mostly flat and super runnable. Had I known how fast the course was, I definitely would have signed up for the 50K.

One of the worst parts of the day was when the 50K’ers took off. There was a huge crowd of people, then BANG! They take off and there’s like four other people left. It totally felt like the party just left me behind. And I would have to wait a whole freaking hour for my start.

More people eventually showed up and it seemed like we had our own little party ready to roll. The gun went off and the fun began. I wasn’t really trying, but I got ahead of the crowd pretty quick. However there were two guys ahead of me that were hauling. I tried to keep them in my sights. But the gap widened at mile 2.5 when I had to stop to take a sh*t. After that, I never saw the dudes again.

I cruised along, feeling good and strong. Even though I forgot my handheld in the car, it wasn’t a big deal since there were 4 aid stations per loop. I was totally fine without it and actually glad that I wasn’t carrying water.

For a several miles, it was like I was the only runner. The two dudes in front were just gone, and there didn’t seem to be anyone behind me. Finally, at about mile 5, a guy catches up to me. I  slowed down because I was confused. The fence line I was following ran perpendicular right into another fence. I was like, “What the?!” But then I saw there was an ever so slight trail following this new fence line. And then a hundred feet later, the trail disappears behind some trees. Again I was unsure if I was still on trail. I expressed my doubts to the other guy, he seemed unconcerned. Eventually we saw a big sign with a big arrow, which was perfect.

Trail anxieties relieved, I started talking with the guy. Mike from Boston, just moved to Austin, doing the 10 Miler. It was nice talking to someone after running alone for what seemed like forever. Mike probably felt the same way. We ran for several miles, talking about -what else-  running. About mile 8, he said he was taking off for the finish. I was sad to see him go because it was nice having company, and even nicer having another pair of eyes finding the trail.

When I got back to the start, I saw Mike. I asked how far out the two guys were. Turns out, one was a 10 miler, so there was only one guy ahead of me, although I had no idea how far ahead. But with 10 miles, there was still a chance. Mike had finished second in his race.

The second loop went by quickly. I started passing the slower 50K’ers. I was hustling along. One thing that struck me: I don’t push myself hard enough. Or more accurately, I’m not sure what I am actually capable of. I filed that away for a later training date. I’m nearing the finish and still feel like I have plenty of gas in the tank. Although I’m worried because I seemed to have missed that one section with the fence line business… Or did I just not pay attention?

My Garmin has my finish at 2:30:32. And only 19.52 miles. Oh $%^#!! I did miss part of the course. I tell the three people working the race. They seemed unconcerned and/or unsure what to do. I look at the tiny map on my Garmin and I can plainly see, yep, I missed that right turn. (Later, on Map My Run, I saw that I fudged up not once, but twice, and unintentionally cut off a half mile. A HALF MILE.) I told the lady who handling passing out the medals that I should be disqualified. While it would have been nice to place, it was a 20 mile race, not 19.52.

The more unsettling thing of all this was not having my name listed on the web page official results. No DQ, or even an asterisk. Nope, I was not part of that race. Oh well.

The next two days I redirected that bummer energy onto canvas. Finished two paintings in two days. Maybe I’ll sign up for a 5K and get lost…

bitchin'
bitchin’
THE QUICK BROWN
THE QUICK BROWN

Another Painting “Well—”

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15″ x 21″. The girl is painted with an asphalt based roofing adhesive.

I had used a material like this before, and really liked how dark it seemed. It was a bit hard to work with, as it wasn’t thinning very well. It took awhile to figure out how to make it work. It was fun trying something new, I will def be using the material again.

Don’t think it is as successful as the previous painting. I put in the text before finishing the face appropriately, and don’t want to go back in to rework it. But it’s nice to bang out another little piece, especially a semi-experimental one.

The frame is scrap molding that I had just the right amount of. It’s all rough looking, I’m not sure if that roughness should be fixed or not. Likely it will not be. :)

 

It’s Go Time!

Last month I read The Longest Race by Ed Ayres.

The Longest Race, kind of a boring book
The Longest Race, kind of a boring book

It sounded like an interesting read. It’s about Ayres’ running the JFK 50 miler. He runs the race, and as he talks about how the race is progressing, he segues into related ideas and thoughts from other aspects of his life. About stuff. And then he comes back to the running.

I felt like more of the book was his thoughts on the human condition than the actual running of the race, and that kind of bugged me. Or bored me, rather. It was mildly interesting, but definitely not a page turner. But there were two things that I found noteworthy.

The first was about the virtue of letting the land go fallow which was somehow related to some aspect of running. (Or at least I think that’s what I remember. I can’t find the quote. It might not even be from that book. But I’m pretty sure.) Regardless of the details, when I read that, I realized that if you’re struggling to keep up with something, if possible, just drop it for awhile. Put it on the back burner, let things stew and percolate. I did that with my art and when I resumed making art, it was actually fun to paint again. If running is becoming a chore for you, take a week off.

This blog is another example. I started all hot and heavy at the beginning, and then ran out of steam. I started out at a ridiculous pace I couldn’t sustain. Classic rookie mistake! But after this post, the blog will be allowed to go fallow, because I’m going to Thailand for two months and I won’t have internet. I’ll be able to think about where I want to go with this and how to get there. I want to keep up with this blog as well as I keep up with my running.

While I’m in Thailand, I plan to continue running, God willing. I’ll have to be up at the crack of dawn to avoid the scorching sun, but that’s just how it is. I also plan to do the 100 Push Ups Program, http://www.hundredpushups.com/index.html, and possibly the squat or situp program. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, but for sure, I should be able to handle running and pushups.I had better do some running since 90% of what I’m bringing with me is running stuff! Check it out.

This is everything I'm bringing with me.
This is everything I’m bringing with me.

This is everything I am bringing with me, most of which is running stuff.

  • 2 short sleeve shirt, 2 tank tops
  • 1 swim trunks
  • 3 pair shorts
  • sandals
  • Cascadias
  • 2 running tank tops
  • 3 pairs running shorts
  • 4 pairs running socks
  • old Minimus – Close to being retired.
  • belt – To be worn on the plane.
  • prescription glasses, running sunglasses, fashion sunglasses
  • 1 box contacts – 45 day supply. Wear glasses on non-running days.
  • toiletries
  • 3 running magazines
  • Thai Made Easy book / Charlie Brown book (gift)
  • jeans and boxers – To be worn on the plane.
  • hat and headlamp
  • Garmin – To be worn on the plane. / charger
  • iPod shuffle / headphones
  • The Stick
  • Camelback
  • passport / cash / credit cards
  • flashlight – Probably don’t need this.
  • iPod touch – For use as a camera on runs.
  • 2 16-Gig data sticks -To back up photos.
  • shirt and hoodie – To be worn on the plane.
  • camera bag / camera / extra lens
  • laptop / drawing pens / pencils

That sure seems like a lot! But I managed to fit almost everything in my backpack. I couldn’t fit the Thai Made Easy book, so I’ll have to hand carry that. Which isn’t too big of a deal.

This is everything smallified.
This is everything smallified.

The other thing I gleaned from Ayres’ book:

“Reaching the highest possible performance as a runner is a year-long, even lifetime, venture. By the time you get to the starting line, 95 percent of what you’ll accomplish in the race has already been done.”

That’s a great realization. All the time and preparation before the race may well determine how well your race goes. You put in your miles and then all you have to do is run your race. I can attest to this after putting in three solid months of training for Bandera (my first 50K). I was super tired afterwards, but I felt I ran a good race. And it explains why I was so nervous about doing Nueces (my first 50 miler) on only 5 weeks of training. I was super-duper tired and thought I was going to die afterwards, and I felt I could have run a better race, if I’d had more time to prepare.

Ayres’ quote really makes me think about is how important weekly training is. Every mile you run is money in the bank, so to speak. And it adds up. The Chicago marathon is six months away. I want to run a 3:10. For the next two months I can put miles in the bank toward that goal, or I can slack off, waste an opportunity, and have to play catch-up when I return.

Do you have an upcoming race that you need to prepare for? Are you putting in the miles or putting off the miles? Do you wanna pay now or pay later? What’s it going to be?

See you in two months!!

Neglecting Your Blog

Neglecting your blog isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if it means you’re doing stuff – good / fun stuff. I’ve been out in the garage pretty much all week working on art. I don’t have any pretty pictures to post, so you’ll have to suffer plain text.

I don’t know what the deal is, but my art mojo is in full swing. I’m 99% finished painting Lady Painter, or officially, The Final Finish. Because of some technical difficulties, it was a bear putting together.  But I found a way, (there’s always a way!) and finish framed it and it looks great. I stained the frame, but it needs just a bit of gold trim. God, I love gold paint. It’s wired and ready to hang, which I’m slightly nervous about because the outer frame was really beefy and so this sucker is the heaviest painting I’ve ever made. But I’m sure it will be just fine.

I’m almost finished with another throwaway! I had a canvas that I did a long time ago that I was never terribly fond of. I was going to paint over it, but painted over just part of it, and decided to keep it. I layered some stuff on it and it looks totally dope. (Actually, it just looks like a magazine cover layout, which is sort of depressing.) It needs one more element and it’ll be ready for framing.The best part is I have some painted finish frames from a project that I had to redo that have been languishing in the wood pile that will work brilliantly for this piece. Putting this crummy old canvas and these unused frame parts to use makes me happy!

I cut out the text for the Bambi piece that I thought would solve the issue, but it didn’t. I came up with another idea to make it work, but will test that tomorrow.

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A-Punk by Vampire Weekend

Since we have been blessed with this extra hour of daylight now that Spring has arrived, it’s really hard not running. I mean, it’s freaking gorgeous right now! I really have to take advantage of this weather because before I know it, it’ll be so freaking hot… I don’t even want to think about it.

I got out there and ran the greenway. As much as I’m not a fan of pounding the pavement, today was pleasant. There were a ton of other people out running and biking. Which if I could digress and get up on my soapbox:

Let me first just say that as much as I love bicycling, I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a “biker.” I’ve done plenty of riding in Chicago and Portland, and some here in Texas, but I don’t see myself as a biker. I (think I) get what it’s about.

I cannot understand the bicyclist that insist on speeding by on the path. To me, it seems like cyclists don’t care about anyone else because they’re too focused on going fast. Which is similar to the way motorists treat bicyclists on the road! But here the cyclist is the jerk! ARGH!

Bicyclists, don’t ride like a motorist! Yes, it’s fun to go fast, but it doesn’t always have to be a race. Slow down when you’re passing people. Please and thank you!

Omigod and the running! Let’s get back to the good stuff. I ran my butt off today. I was a little surprised, since I hadn’t eaten much during the day. After I have my coffee, I’m usually good for a few hours. So my energy was a bit flagging, especially after working in the garage all day. But my stomach was empty, so I didn’t have to deal with the bloat.

03/12/13 Run
03/12/13 Run

The first mile was tough. My ankles were pretty stiff, but by mile three I was rolling well. I don’t know how accurate the Garmin is without using a footpod, but my third mile was the fastest at 6:24. That makes me happy because I think that bodes well for the Culinaria 5K. I think shorter distances are hard because you push yourself so much harder. I remember the last time I ran this race, I thought I was going to have a heart attack! Two more weeks til’ 3.1 miles of push!

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Other awesomeness: My mom and I are going to Thailand for two months! Her mother is 90 something, and this might be the last time she can see her mother. It’ll be cool to go back again and see our relatives. And bonus is that we’ll be there for Song Kran, which is the Thai water festival. I was there for it last year, it was really fun. The video clip is from Pattaya, which is a touristy party city. We’ll be in Khao Sun Kwang, which is way more low-key.

It’s going to be tough to keep on track with any sort of running schedule, but I have more motivation this time to stick with it (Chicago). It’s just going to be a lot of early morning runs to beat the sun.

Do you have any suggestions how to stay focused and not totally slag off whilst on holiday? Oh and did you want me to send you a postcard? ; )