Monday, April 25, 2011

More Work in Progress

First, the watercolor of the camelia and the vase is coming along slowly, but surely.  There's some work on the highlights and shadows to be done and then the stamens in the center of the camelia need finishing.  I'm learning about patience and, after putting some heavy paint on the petals, was reminded that transparent glazes can be much more effective.  I guess it's also a style thing...sometimes softer is better and sometimes you might as well be outspoken and blunt.

We are doing some work at a cabin that we inherited from my husband's parents.  We are making slow but sure progress on that, as well.  After a few hours of doing battle with scotch broom which is threatening to take over our creek bank, I took a walk up to a derelict footbridge and did a little sketch.

Footbridge at Bear Pen Creek

The Creative Every Day prompt for April is small, and I'm feeling really small.  I'm struggling with the balance between spending time on art, trying to get some basic skills down, and really wanting to draw or paint almost all the time, AND feeling an increasing awareness of wanting to do more to make the world a more peaceful place.  I am so lucky to have the life that I have and so aware that so many others don't have anywhere near the same resources.

So, the taxes got in on time.  Fortunately for me, my role in the tax preparation is a supporting one...all I have to do is supply my husband with my statements and some additional facts about charitable contributions and mileage and so on.  This year we took an additional step and sent our legislators a letter saying that we, as citizens, are paying our taxes, but are doing it under protest.  Writing most of the letter wasn't so hard because we got a template from a Quaker friend who is coordinating the effort to get 200 Quakers and others to pay under protest.  What was hard was offering a specific alternative to the more than 50% of our federal taxes that support the United States military.  In an era when social services and education are being cut, why is it that the pentagon got an increase? This is wrong and totally backwards in terms of priorities.  I can't say what the right thing is to do about Libya, but I do know that the United States has a history of picking and choosing which dictators to support and which ones to tumble.  I say, let's invest in education, health care, and services that allow people to live with dignity and efficacy.  Let's fund a Department of Peace.  There are so many grass roots organizations building peace in many corners of the world and we can learn from them and add to them. I'm in progress on this...I want to say more, but I don't know yet how to say it.