Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Half-Price Chocolate Day

It's the day after Valentine's day, and that means major sales on chocolate! Not that I'm buying any, but I AM going to go hunt stuffed animals with my son later this afternoon (it's likely HE will be the one scoping out the chocolate.)

My husband and I went to Walmart on Sunday, and I have to say that I have never, in all my life, seen that much stuff in one place for Valentine's Day. Maybe it's a bigger deal here in North Carolina than in Vermont?

They had these red bins of stuffed animals as far as the eye could see. I'm not kidding, they were set up two-deep in front of every register like you see in the photo I snapped, but also down every larger walkway, and in the back of the store. Never have I wanted to take a running leap more than I did when I first caught sight of all these giant red bins. Forget ball-pits, I want a pit of stuffed animals!

That wasn't even the tip of the iceberg though! There were so many aisles full of candy and decorations and crafts... good grief! Balloons everywhere! Pink baked stuff on every corner. Flowers shoved into huge shelves that bracketed the doors... Actually, that is something I'm going back to see if I can snag a few of. I don't like getting flowers, unless they're potted. I always feel bad when the cut ones die, because they were so expensive. If they're gonna die, let it be me that accidentally killed them instead of paying an arm and a leg for ones guaranteed to die in a vase.

Now, you might be thinking I'm a grown woman with stuffed animals all over her house after my obvious fixation on them in the store, but that's actually not true. I was that kid who collected (far too many) stuffed animals, but I did eventually get rid of them as an adult. Probably because I had children, and I got to live vicariously through their stuffed animal collections. Now, both of my kids don't really have many anymore, but they still like getting one at Christmas.

I have a few small stuffies, all given to me by my children throughout the years sitting in my studio, and a new one this Valentine's day from my husband (a small purple unicorn. He also gave me a Reese's heart, but I haven't gotten into it. I really am trying to lose weight! I just visit it, and tell it I love it, but I leave it in its box. I can't even smell it like that. I know. I have issues.) Likely, I'll go and just stand there in Walmart and imagine how great it would be to buy a giant bear for 65% off, but not actually do it. A sort of vicarious discount experience. I'll probably do the same with the chocolate.

In order to stay out of the chocolates, I decided my fast painting for Valentine's day would actually BE chocolates. That might sound like I was torturing myself, but it was kinda neat. It turns out chocolates are a lot more complicated than you would think. Instead of spending only 20 minutes on it like I am supposed to, I went the better part of an hour. I was frustrated it wasn't moving faster and I was determined to finish it. I do like the results though:

Chocolates, 4x6 acrylic on loose canvas
A lot of people have complimented it and say it looks like a photo. This is flattering, but also interesting to me. The reason being is that I think I have finally learned, I mean really let it click for once, that even when you don't paint it perfectly that the viewer's brain will correct or even fill in the details to make it look the way it's "supposed" to in real life. As long as you're not too far off, the viewer's brain will do the rest.

If you get close up to this painting, there are mistakes. There are areas where it's so very clearly painted, and maybe even wrong. I've been working with my nose so close to the canvas and being mad I can't get it perfect on all my bigger paintings, but the truth is... it doesn't need to be. This might help me speed up my bigger painting projects and hopefully improve them overall. All a part of my growth. Working on it!

I also finished a little daily 20-minute last week, the last of my Betta's for that week:
4.5x6, oil on loose canvas
I'm working on some larger paintings at the moment, but the in-progress shots would be a mess to show! But at least I'm working! It's forward progress for where I want to go with my studio, I just need to create enough space between assignments and deadlines to start changing things for myself and growing. It's hard to push back, but I'm trying.

A lot of it is my own fault, too though. Tripping all over myself, boxing myself in. It's that way in all areas of my life that have problems, I think. Whether it's my studio, or my weight, or what have you... why am I always in my own way? Oh well, a thought for another day.

For now, paint, and later... hunting unicorns!


  1. So I pop in to see you after a long absence and I get chocolate and mammograms. Quite a unique combination. Thankfully, the mammogram is over for an entire year. Wouldn't it be nice if there was no chocolate to tempt us for a year? Always have and always will love your painting. One of these day, I gotta get another one.

  2. I have never seen so many stuffed animals! Wow! I hope if they all don't sell, they donate them! I can see why you love your stuffies :) Who doesn't! They are so cute! I have been craving a chocolate bar for a couple of weeks now! But, I have been a good girl! Proud of you too! Your chocolate painting does look like a photo! You did an amazing job, even though you say you didn't! I love your blue fish too! I think we are all in our way! We just have to keep going!!!!

  3. Your paintings always amaze me, I too thought the chocolates were a photo. I suppose if I got up close to the original art I might find those little flaws that you spoke of but we all know that art is not supposed to be scrutinized closely.

    I wonder if your Wal-Mart store accidently placed a double or quadruple order of stuffed animals ? Wonder if they managed to sell them all ?


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