Maker Monday

I originally wanted to do a clever #ThrowbackThursday post, but there have been non-stop projects since last Thursday. Instead I thought I would catch up with a #MakerMonday post, sharing what I have been up to in the past few days. 

Creative Commons License
Rachel (left image) (based on a work at
and Rashida (right image) (based on a work at by Emily Clanton are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
While moving things around in the new "office" that we created when the guest bed was moved into storage, I came across a few paintings from the figure painting workshop that I did late this winter with Hollis Dunlap at Townsend Atelier in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

It was a pretty intensive course, running from 9am to 5pm for a regular business week.

Rachel was a bit earlier in the week. While editing and measuring everything, I broke the rules and ran her legs off the page. I painted the portrait of Rashida on the last day of class.

I don't consider either of these to be some of my best work. They're more illustrative of work made in a learning environment. Hollis' class focused on using a restricted palette of about 5 colors. Using this we were challenged to mix the colors we needed before applying them to the painting. It was exciting to get back into a figure painting class after a few years.

This was an oil painting class, but I brought and used my acrylics anyway. My goal was to focus on how Hollis renders figures so well. He seemed pretty irritated at my paint choice, so I bought some retardant to slow my drying time. It also changed the viscosity of the paint. You can see more transparent areas in the Rashida piece because of that.

This summer I've stepped up my efforts to heal my gut with food. Last week I had to toss my cow soup bones (pictured above) to make way for the new pig bones I had bought at a local Asian market. During an experiment with the French practice of remouillage I successfully made three batches of broth in my crockpot over a few weeks - two of which actually gelled!

The same day that I tossed the cow bones I made broth with the pig legs, and it gelled really well. It actually formed a thick layer on top of the jars that reminded me of a candle!

Starting this spring I started an accidental garden on my porch. Unfortunately my initial plants died. I bought them on accident while looking for fresh herbs at the store. Thinking I had bought a nice-sized box of herbs, I found that I had actually bought small plants. The thyme died pretty quickly. Then the rosemary went. When the basil got root rot, I took two cuttings and you can see how well the one that survived has done in the pot with the smaller plant (pictured above). The larger plant came from a small one that I bought at Home Depot. Once the humidity started, it just blew up!

While I mull what to do next with the piece from my last post, I started another piece on watercolor paper.

Last Friday I spoke at the Departure Reception for new JET Program participants. I'm an alum and worked as an ALT in Hyogo prefecture for three years. I'm also the Vice President / Online Presence Manager of the JET Alumni Association of the Southeast.

As you can see, I have a lot of different creative interests. It would be awesome if I could find a way to squeeze more time into a day!