When you’re learning a foreign language. There’s difficulty in finding the right content to learn from. If it’s too hard and you’re looking up things too often. You can’t really absorb the content. The just-right and too-easy cases both have a common problem of: you start reading and realize you’re not interested in the content. I feel like this hits me for painting. I see so many talented artists online1 and I get excited and motivated to try and paint the types of things they’re painting. They are many levels above me in ways that are never obvious to me right away. Finding good reference material is a good way to start trying to bridge that gap. Still lifes and such as the starting point. I’ve been having fun to trying and capture my own references while out on a walk, but I struggle to goldilocks a reference that will match with my skill level. There’s a lot I am interested in painting, but I am just not there yet.

For now, just the top of a flower bush.

I’ve been going through the Lord of the Rings books. They’re magical books that fast track my sleep schedule. I remember attempting to read them in middle school. I had a movie edition tome that had all three books in one textbook sized book. I carried that around for a semester and I probably got through the first half of fellowship and stopped. I love its world, but the writing doesn’t propel me through the book. It’s weird working through books that are such a slog, and then you pick up another book that grabs you by the collar and pulls you right to the end of itself. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang and Hitchhikers Guide were two books that I quickly finished while in the middle of the Tolkein trilogy. I still feel like I am figuring out what my actual taste is in books. I want to become a better writer, and still discovering what grabs me when I read. I haven’t done any analysis on other peoples writings to figure out what propels me personally. Eventually I want to have a good understanding of what are the things that keep me going when I read a story, and how to write my own stories like that. And for stories like Lord of the Rings, figure out what does not work for me.

After rescheduling twice, we got our wedding photos taken at the park in our area. Our usual picnic spot. First rescheduling was due to finally(?) catching covid2. And second time for weather. The rainy season has been coming up here. We were worried it would rain the schedule back into the heat of summer. On the day of the photoshoot, it was cloudy right up to when we left to go to the photo studio to get ready for the shoot. Then luckily, we got some sun just in time. We would’ve switched to the studio if we had to push it back again, but happy we could take photos at a place that is more meaningful for us. It was a lot of exhausting fun. It was heating up quite quickly during the shoot. We were smiling and laughing throughout the shoot, but by the end my face started to hurt to the point that I couldn’t tell if I had a good smile or not. Nope. Found out once we got back to the studio. The struggle was quite visible on my face at the end. But it was still a lot of fun. We got to preview the photos. We’re waiting for the edits now.

  1. The start of my trouble. Comparing myself to people who are spending way more time in art than me. Hard to escape this. ↩︎

  2. Which was a bummer, that would’ve been peak cherry blossoms. But maybe the park would’ve been too crowded. ↩︎