Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

National Park Adventure Part 1

Over the past couple months I've managed to have two great encounters with park locations.  Here's a quick write up of the first adventure!

So back on Labor day weekend I was itching to do something as my husband and I visited my family in Richmond, Virginia.  No one was feeling like going too far, so I took Bryan and my dad out to the Maggie L. Walker historic site for a tour.  My mom and I had visited a couple years ago and were highly impressed.  My husband and dad agreed with this opinion once they saw the importance this site has.

Maggie L. Walker was the first female, African American bank founder, and the bank was the longest continuously running African American operated bank in the US, 1903-2009.  Plus she did amazing things in her community through the Order of St. Luke and her connections with other prominent individuals during her lifetime.  The site includes her home as well as several nearby buildings, and her house is a gem among them.  She presented a completely modern, elegant face to the world through her home, which had electricity, indoor plumbing, and eventually an elevator, all before 1930!  It's heartbreaking that Walker isn't better known to the world considering this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all she did during her lifetime.

This picture is from the NPS site

There's a fantastic virtual tour you can see here at the NPS website, but I recommend a visit in person if you're able!

Next up, I cover some some stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway I've never visited here in North Carolina.  Plus a blog about some interests that lie closer to home, and updates on art.  Til next time!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Gold and Grey

September has been a gold and grey kind of month.  Lots of lovely memories and good times with family, but stormy and rough around the edges.  For most of the month it still felt like summer here in Raleigh, with hot weather and the trademark humidity that goes with it.  Slowly over the last week rainy weather has given way to slightly cooler temperatures and the leaves are starting to show their first hints of gold and blush red.  A few nights ago I even had to break out the comforter, though I'm not needing it every night yet.

Meanwhile I've got so much from summer that I've been meaning to write about...and depression has been encroaching heavily.  Some may have been caused by an imbalance in some of my medications, but a good chunk has been from financial, other health, and job related stresses too.  I've been looking for a job off and on since January, with very mixed results.  I can't even comment on all of it yet, but prayers and such are always welcome since despite the normalcy most of us show the world, there's some turbulence hiding below the surface.  Though over the past few weeks I've had a very interesting painting commission fall into my lap, so I'm happy to be tackling that and sharing photos as I complete it.  One of my birthday gifts is also rather exciting....I've got a subscription to Pigment + Palette, a monthly art supply box which gets delivered to me the first week of each month and contains fantastic products from a wide variety of media.  Here's a shot of September's box contents:

A set of Bruynzeel-Sakura pencils in 2H, HB, 2B, and 7B
Lumi Inkodye in Magenta (plus a month of free dye technique classes online)
A trusty Excel #1 light duty knife (oh, the memories of using these from CCAD!)
A lovely red Fabriano EcoQua journal with dotted (almost like graph paper) that's great for sketches on the go
Plus an artist postcard from the featured artist of the month

The dye is what has me most excited, it's sunlight activated and can be used on cloth or paper.  So I could use a photographic transparency to print with or use with objects or cut paper designs similar to making a Photogram.  The options are open enough that I'm having trouble deciding.  And magenta is such a bold color that it demands just the right subject matter.

Other than all this I have another post written up on part one of a summer trip we took, which I need to add the photographs too, so October at least may get more than one solid post despite the lack of them September has had.  And I've had more adventures since, which will make for even more posts in the future.  Goodness I do have some work ahead of me!

Til next time -