All the Things (as usual)

It’s been too long. Things shuddered to an oozing slow and then rubberbanded back into warp before I even thought about it. I have officially finished my first season at the Stage. My contract will renew in a couple months, but life did not proceed as I thought it would. I was supposed to have May to myself to travel and then I would toddle off to my summer job content with my adventures. Well, I am looking at some very different adventures.
First, my initial trip to see some fair faces in Maryland was kyboshed by incredible car trouble. Thankfully, the trouble happened before I started my journey, but by the time the issue was fixed, by time to go to MD was nixed. Needless to say I was pretty bummed. However, that time was not idly spent. A fine friend of mine turned me on to a climbing gym in the area. I used to climb all the time in my senior year of college and I have sorely missed the exercise. I nudged Handsome to go and (as I suspected he would) he fell in love with the activity. So, since I had some extra days on my hands we went climbing together. If you would allow some gushing then I simply I must do so about rock climbing. It is an activity that challenges every physical and mental capacity one can think to challenge. Tis a playful puzzle that demands you grit your teeth and fight for its solution. The fact that Handsome enjoys it as much as I do makes the climbing all the sweeter.
After the car got fixed, I was planning on continuing my travel plans and in a sense I have. I am writing from the fair Cape May, where my father and I have opened up the mobile home for the season. Even though I am going to be in Jersey for a few days, I am not heading onward but rather back to Syracuse. I managed to get some overhire work that I am genuinely excited to start. The gig is only for a couple of weeks, but I get to help paint big pretty backdrops! Drop painting is a skill that I have wanted to build up and this theatre has a reputation for quality work. I get to help them meet their deadline and I get an excellent work experience from them. Plus, can’t hurt to make some income in the only month where I didn’t have a job lined up. Although I am giving up a portion of my travel, I can still go see the Raven and hopefully the Sexy Librarian before I toddle off to West VA for my original summer job. Here”s to the usual (and mostly futile) hope that I can post soon…before I have another forever post like this one at least 😉

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Outakes (Occasional dragons)

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Sometimes you get to do cool things. Much of my work has been a slew of realistic gray things that look right for the show, but they aren’t necessarily fun to paint. However, sometimes you get a dragon and you like it so much you decide to do a slightly smaller one for yourself as well. Not all shows can be superawesomefabulous, but it’s the few challenges that keep me around.

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So here’s to the dragons in the midst of the gray. Find them and accomplish them with abandon.

Summer Job and a Successful Irish Stout

I am looking forward to the summer. Why? I am looking forward to the summer because I have a way to occupy it that is within my field and financially responsible. Indeed, dear reader, I got a job as a scenic artist at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Ultimately, the job description is very similar to the one that I do the rest of the year, but summer stock has a way of amping up the intensity on even the most mundane of tasks. Usually, one is building and painting full scale productions in a very short time period (a week is a luxury) and those shows are put into rotation (usually called Rep) over the course of a few weeks. Imagine doing what you normally do over a single week and then take that and accomplish the same amount in less than half the time. Yeah, the hours can get pretty wild. Luckily, this place sounds like they actually care about a person’s time and health. So, while I fully expect plenty of long days (and nights) filled with intensely creative cyclones, I also anticipate having a massive amount of fun being in a new environment. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I seriously love my job, but I am almost glad that I have three months away. Sure, it would be nice to not have to go on the hunt for a job in the summer. However, that means that I have to keep my portfolio up to date, I get to work in different places as well as with different people, and I don’t get bored during my hiatus from the Stage. Plus, I get a sweet little cushion between my summer job starting and Stage season ending so I get an actual break before all the madness. I have many a scheme for that month that make me rather giddy indeed.

Also, on a totally unrelated note, I have discovered a new craft. Well, craft brewing to be exact. Ladies and Gentlemen, this blogger has officially brewed her first batch of beer! Handsome got into brewing last year and when we moved here I made it clear that I would love to learn. Thus, a few months back, we got our kit and equipment and we now have our first beer fully carbonated and delicious while our second has just been bottled. First beer is an Irish Stout that came out rather fantastic. I know to some it probably tastes something like petroleum, but as someone who loves a good stout, I am deeply in love with ours. I practically glow with pleasure when I taste the thing that I and my gorgeous partner put together…and it doesn’t scream “DISGUSTING” or “AMATEUR”! I won’t go into too much detail because I realize brewing is one of those things that is far more rewarding to drink than to wax poetic about, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoy the process. Even if it means we now have way more beer than we ever thought of drinking comfortably.

Busy, busy, busy

I wondered if being settled into an area would make life boring, but the exact opposite is proving true. This month is insanely packed with socializing and adventures. Last weekend, Handsome and I were hosts to my friend Herculine and her boyfriend (who also happens to be one of my college friends) Smiler. Though only a brief time, we made the most of its every second. We brought them to market and then we went on a hike at Buttermilk Falls, which is a most glorious climb. Handsome and the Smiler went ahead while Herculine and I made our way slowly, encountering faeries and many a deep energy in the water-rushing canyon. Sitting on the edge of the water at one point, I was again struck with awe at the depth of nature’s power and how that power is deep song that the Lord sings into my veins with abandon. I felt simultaneously still and running with all my strength so that I might fly. I was with a friend who I muchly love, in the midst of gorgeous rock-water wood, and I could Hear the Song so close to my ribs I could ache. We wound our way through, enjoying all that was around us, discussing faeries in hushed tones and touching all that we could get our hands; be it rock, water, tree or mud, we felt and drifted.  Walking down, we had to stretch our legs out long and stiffly like fancy gentleman, and holding a single hand aloft as though we were carrying parasols of fancier ladies. Twas the only way one could go down the steep stairs with any measure of grace don’t ya know 😉 That evening, we all made cookies and drank until we were pleasantly giggling into our cookie ice-cream sundaes.

The next day dawned absolutely gorgeous. I chose to go to church while Handsome took our guests to Green Lake Park. I am glad that I went because I am enamored of the sermons and the energy of the place. Though it is a tiny little church with narry another person my age, I find a deep peace when I am there. Plus, as I said, the sermons are instructive, simply delivered, and beautifully crafted. In my faith, I find that I am drawn to places that are more concerned with the intricacies of the God that we serve rather than evangelistic tactics. As far as I am concerned, if I am taking time to go to church, then I don’t want to spend that time listening to why I need to keep taking that time out. I have already made that decision, thus I would rather learn more about how to deepen my relationship with God. Unsolicited tangent, but tis just my personal feeling on the matter. I arrived home before the rest of my party and I took the time to enjoy the sun and the glorious weather. Later that day, Herculine, Smiler, and I went to see a show at the Stage. This is the first show of the season and Herculine’s cousin is in the cast. I was familiar with the script and I was curious to see the show (plus, it is the first show in which I had direct painterly involvement here). Although the piece was three hours long, I was delighted to discover that the actors are brilliant. They did not miss a beat and they managed to keep the energy of the dialogue constant. The set and technical effects were wonderful, and the costumes were absolutely drool-worthy. It is rare to see a production so cohesive and I feel humbled that I had a hand in realizing that cohesion.

As for what is to come, right now I am in the midst of visiting my dear sibling. She has possession of the rest of my artwork, and I had to deliver her an original work from my own hand. Thus, here I am, alone for the moment while she works. The view out her window is dappled with autumn, sun, and tree branches. I must admit, it’s nice to have a day fully to myself. Next week, Handsome’s mother comes to visit, then the next week brings WonderWoman and a trip into the City to see Sleep No More. Busy? Just how I like it :).

Cats and Fresh Paint

I am shocked that it has been a month already since moving here. Life continues to be grand, although the spout of random humidity coupled with the heat have served me a dose of crankiness to be sure. Many a lovely thing has occurred. The job continues to go well (and by well I mean so totally perfect for me that I am humbled). Beyond work being a joy, a new joy has come into my current living space. Yes, ladies and gentlefigs, I finally have my cat with me. Kiki is a 9 year old of mixed breeding and she is truly a most excellent feline. Though she is an older cat, she still has the look and disposition of a kitten. She chose me as her human a long time ago and it has torn at my heart to not have her around constantly the last few years. Now, I am finally in a situation where I could be a responsible owner who could take care of her properly. I was scared that she would make the car ride hell, but she was actually rather mild. Then, I worried that she would be super-squirrelly because of being in a totally new place, but (again) my fears were mislaid. She has settled in beautifully. She has taken to being stupidly cute at every opportunity. My favorite new ritual involves waking up to my alarm, turning on my side, and within moments she is on the bed curled perfectly into my side for ten minutes of snuggling (as well as relating all of her nighttime adventures.) For those who don’t get the whole adorable-fuzzy thing, I apologize for not giving you a disclaimer before the entry.

 

Another lovely thing is that my room has been painted!!! I am not going to put up pictures just yet, because I am waiting until I get my shelving and artwork all squared away. Suffice it to say, my room upon arrival was reminiscent of a clinical situation, or perhaps the inside of a less than interesting booger. My room now is the most cheerful shades of creamy yellow (colors are called Spun Honey and Butterscotch Cream). I chose to make three of the four walls one color (Honey) and then go with an oh-so-slightly deeper shade for the fourth wall (Butterscotch). I originally thought of a bolder accent wall, but I felt more drawn to subtle depth in the midst of the cheer rather than a shout of color. Twas a good thing too, considering Handsome and I ran out of that deeper color and I had to go in and blend it with the main color around the edges. Huzzah for being a painter! Handsome truly was a trooper and we were able to complete the room in one evening. I cannot begin to tell you how much better it is to sit inside such a sunny hovel. I also sometimes feel like I am inside a stick of butter, but that only serves to make me smile wider considering how much I enjoy that particular food item. We are hoping to complete the living room soon and I promise yummy pictures on that front. Hopefully I will write again soon fair readers.

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My first week

As of Sunday, I have officially been here for a week. Thus, today was the beginning of my second week of working at the Camp. Right now I am painting for the Shakespeare Festival, specifically for the play Hamlet. Though I am tempted to post pictures of the progress, I feel honor bound not to post any pictures until the show itself has opened. Suffice it to say that the entirety of my work thus far has been painting a checkerboard marble floor. Tis quite good looking if I do say so myself. The only thing that challenges me at this point is the sheer enormity of the work. For the shows that  happen during the summer camp, I will be blessed with an assistant as well as some students who will be on hand. However, for this production I am completely on my own when it comes to the paintwork. My coworkers have been super awesome about lending a hand when they can, but they have their own tasks and the actual marbling is a treatment that I created; thus, it is important that I do that work so there is consistency throughout the set. The set needs to start going into the space on Wednesday, so I am feeling a little pressed for time, but I am confident that I will accomplish the task at hand (albeit with a little frantic paint slinging). Today the actors arrived and I had a lovely time chatting with them over dinner. I am still loving this place. The work that I am doing is engaging me as well as challenging me to be confident in the talents I have been blessed with cultivating. The people I work with are easy to get along with and they have the added advantage of being great in the workplace. (*Sometimes people can be easy-going until you discover that working with them is less than lovely. My coworkers are thus far not falling into that category). I work six days a week and with my one day off I am determined to explore this fascinating region. I asked my colleagues about what I should do with my time here and I must admit that my hand cramped with writing everything that was suggested. A portion will definitely wait until Handsome arrives, but I am most excited to do other things on the list in my own capacity. Yesterday was my first day off and I used it to go to Interlochen State Park (within walking distance). Although the park was mainly a campground, I did have a lovely time as is evidenced by the Outakes that I am about to create.

More Hooray!!

When last I wrote, it was a post about a new job. Well, I am afraid you are going to suffer a repeat of the same jubilation my fair reader. While the job out in Michigan is a fabulous gig for the summer, this blogger also has the distinct pleasure announcing a more permanent position that will be starting almost the moment she returns from her summer fun. I have accepted a position as the assistant scenic charge artist for an excellent theatre company in upstate New York. Henceforth, I will refer to that place of employment simply as The Stage. In the last post, I spoke of the duties of being a charge artist. As an assistant in a more permanent shop, it is basically my duty to keep the painting on schedule regardless of whether the charge artist can be present or not. My supervisor, the scenic charge artist, has to keep up a constant flow of meetings and scheduling along with overseeing the painting. Thus, it is my job to basically be there as her eyes when she is out of the shop for meetings or whatnot.

I wish I could fully express how unbelievably excited I am about this position. When I interviewed with the fabulous woman who is to be my direct supervisor (a proper pseudonym shall be assigned as soon as I meet her in person), I had a really good vibe about the position as well as my interviewer. Apparently my intuition was good, because she offered me the position on the spot.  I must admit that my heart almost burst out of my ribs with elation. This position is contracted, renewable, and is exactly what I was looking to do at this point in my career. This position means that I can move to a whole new area that looks like it will be an excellent match for myself (and someone who may hypothetically be joining me). Much as I am grateful for my living here, I am more than ready to fly onward. I see this job as an opportunity to park myself for a bit, and explore my craft in a more professional setting. I am beyond grateful to the Lord for giving me the patience and courage to seek out work that will provide me fulfillment and joy. This summer is going to be a whirlwind of awesome, and I am itching to dance in the gale.