I had a rather fantastic Christmas family vacation up in the Canadian Rockies at a nice little place called Chateau Lake Louise. If you ever have the chance to go (at least in winter), I highly recommend it! It's been rather a long time since I've been around that much snow at Christmas time (don't get that kind of stuff in Texas), I'd never been to Canada (another cool factor)...and I've never been skiing either, so it was great to finally do so. Snowed a bit every night and some nice little flurries now and again during the day, but we also had some nice clear days, too. The weather was pretty fantabulous, I think. A lovely international crowd from guests to staff, too. Plus so many fun things to do without having to leave for nearby Banff or Calgary: snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides, singing Christmas Carols, attending an outdoor Nativity pageant (I stayed inside where it was warm and watched from the windows, heh), catching snowflakes on my tongue, breathing in that fresh mountain air, ice hockey, spending quality time with the family, spa massages, checking out the breakfast/dinner buffets and eating at excellent restaurants, checking out the cute Aussie and Canadian men (ha), walks along the frozen lake to see the glacier (before it all melts due to global warming)...plus alot of other activities that were available that I simply had no time for -- hey, this was a vacation after all! Took entirely too many photos but got a few good ones for my photo album as well as reference for potential Christmas design projects. The above photo is me sitting on one of the lakeside benches facing Lake Louise -- it just happens to be rather buried by about 3 feet of snow. As I understand, last year they finished the season with about 16 feet. D'oh! So here are few of my photos:
However, my time away on vacation (before, after and during) rather limited my computer work (like, not at all other than "the job"), so I chose not to stress about developing the CA Queen Medusa challenge in time for today's deadline. It looks like there are some interesting submissions coming in from all skill levels, too! Did manage to do a wee bit of sketching (see below) when it first started, but I don't want to rush the project, particularly since it's now for my own satisfaction and not for a client (i.e. no money). On a positive note, since it fits in well with my art theme of "Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends" for my portfolio update, I'll still work on it and finish it. And post my the progress here and in my CA sketchbook for instructive feedback, of course.
This next one is most likely the layout I'll develop -- the Young Queen transforming into the Medusa (Crete and Minoan costume influences) and stepping into her new reign as Character Concept Artist Muse with her Gorgon sisters guarding her back:
In other randomness, my poor tv finally died this past December....I knew it was about to go since it had been limping along earlier this summer with some odd color squiggles and occasional green screen oddities -- I bought it brand new in 1997 (?) after my college b/w tv croaked (yes, I didn't realize that Scully had red hair back then), so it's given me a pretty good long life I suppose. Funny, it just happened to die at a pivotal "fires from hell" scene while I was watching the 2nd Hellboy animation DVD, "Blood and Iron".... Hmm. Anyways, I've been shopping around for a new tv both online and in stores to see what I like, will most likely be getting an LCD that will somehow both fit in my tight budget (which has already had a shock when I saw how much the flat panels cost just for a screen size close to my old tv) and on my current tv stand/entertainment center. Interestingly enough, I've found that without the tv and not watching various shows as part of my daily or weekend schedule I seem to have more time in a day to do other things (reading, drawing, etc)...and that time isn't moving quite so rapidly somehow...or I'm getting stuff accomplished more quickly. Which is making my tv shopping drag on, too, since I'm not rushing to get a new one. Except that I'm wanting to desperately watch LOST when that starts up again, so I think that's probably my new tv purchase deadline, heh.
I'm also taking time this weekend to finalize my New Year's Resolutions list -- doing so seems to help me focus my efforts and work on key strategies (in other words, what is my method of attack to achieve my goal) when I actually write them down as opposed to just thinking about The Goals (creative and otherwise) in general. Yup, didn't meet my goals for 2007. In any case, here's an idea of what I'll be working on in the next year...in no particular order...er, the much more detailed adn final goals and strategies list (ForMyEyesOnly) will be posted on my home studio bulletin board.... :)
- submit story proposals
- maintain the sketchbook(s)
- update the portfolio(s)
- tighten storyboard roughs
- new freelance submissions
- attend workshops (to learn, practice, network, and challenge myself, not teach)
- maintain a regular exercise routine
- practice the piano and flute
- volunteer with the local humane society
- consider possibilities (creative and otherwise -- ha)
Well, we'll see how it all goes this year!
"Happy New Year...Time for a new start, time to chase the monsters back with sound and fury."
- Marjorie M. Liu, Holidays Are Hell