2020. It was a year.

What a stupid, stressful, annoying year it has been for everyone. My life didn’t change substantially in terms of what I did with my days, other than only shopping once a week, obsessing over the announcements from the state health department, keeping track of where I was and when, creating the habit of hand-sanitiser every time I went out, and rationing toilet paper like everyone on earth. Seriously wtf? Amid all the stress, worry, death and sickness and political farce there have been a few moments of light. We did have to cancel our trip to The Netherlands this year – we were planning to go to the World Model Expo which has been moved to 2022 – which was a bummer. We haven’t seen our family there since 2017 and we were all really looking forward to it. As it is, I won’t be going anywhere until I have been vaccinated, as I know how these things affect me, and I know this thing has the potential to be life-threatening for me. So yeah, there’s that. Hopefully we will be able to go in 2021, or 22. We will see.

In August, we acquired a new kitten as consolation for having to cancel our trip. I wanted to anyway, but we didn’t want to get a kitten and then immediately leave him with a house sitter, so we were putting it off but then when the trip was cancelled we thought WHY NOT!? And so I present to you Mars, God of War, notorious poop criminal, paper eater, ankle biter, smoocher extraordinaire and the best decision we made all year! He is a Maine Coon, and even though he isn’t even 8 months old, he is rapidly approaching 6kg. Gon’ be a big boi!

He’s actually pretty peaceful unless he is in a feisty mood, but my goodness, what a brilliant decision that was. He’s a lovely little ball of funny energy and he’s drop dead gorgeous to boot! He gets along famously with our boys, and the old ladies tolerate him. We absolutely adore him. His favourite place is on my chest, with his head shoved up under my chin, drooling and purring like a jet engine! I have gotten pretty good at working with one hand and holding him with the other 🙂 He’s a total cutie!

I’ve been suffering some serious artist block during the latter half of this year. I have barely had any energy for work, let alone for painting. I haven’t done any serious painting in almost 6 months which is starting to make me feel pretty sad. I need to get back into it. I am going away for a few days over Xmas and plan to take my gear with me and work on a challenge that my discord channel has set for December.

Our painters guild discord channel has been one of the highlights of 2020. We set it up a few months ago, and have a lovely core group of active participants and discussions ranging from rats, cats (ok that’s mostly me) food, 3d printing and non mini related art along with the usual discussions around paint, miniatures, brushes and the merits/drawbacks of brush-licking! Every month in our challenge channel, we pick a winner from the previous month’s entries and then set a new challenge.

So far we have done an analogous colour scheme challenge:

…a black and white challenge:

…a limited palette challenge:

…and this month is a gamut mask challenge which is a limited palette based on a mask set over the colour wheel. It’s currently all reds and purples! I think these challenges are great for creating better painters! They make you think outside the box and really understand how to mix your paint rather than just grabbing the colour you want off the shelf. I am enjoying them despite my malaise.

I think I finally have a good workflow for photography and photo editing. I purchased a decent photography lightbox early in 2020 and have been tinkering with camera settings and have settled on a pretty good process, as you can see from the pics above. I think I will work on a blog post about it!

And on that note I am off to edit some more photos and maybe do a little tidying in my painting studio to get my mojo back. Peace! ♥

Author: Seona

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