Floral

18 09 2014

I’ve been MIA lately due to getting sick for a couple weeks. Yuck! Received some flowers while sick and decided to do a quick painting of them:

Lillies

Lillies

I’m sure orange in the background over purple seems like a weird choice; I promise it looks better in person. But ultimately, my goal was to try to capture the effect of a painting I did in high school of flowers using acrylic and molding paste. I sold it before I could take a picture, and I’ve never painted in that style since. Of course…I forgot it was molding paste and tried to use gel medium instead. Not the same! At all. I shall blame it on being sick.





Tea at The Gryphon

1 09 2014

Exactly 1 year ago today, I was in England and had nearly reached London coming from Portsmouth. The next day we finally had tea (in Selfridges, see here), but I never got to try full afternoon tea in England. Been sort of obsessed with finding it for the past few weeks. Sadly, Jacksonville only has 2 tea places, one of which has great food but isn’t exactly traditional. Then I found The Gryphon.

savannah gryphon2

I visited Savannah, Georgia yesterday where The Gryphon Tea Room is located right across from the art college’s (SCAD’s) student shop. It used to be a Pharmacy at the turn of the century.

savannah gryphon1

On Sundays they’re open from 11 – 3. We arrived at 2. I was worried it would be on the late side but ended up being perfect (minus a few items being off the menu since they’d had a crowd that day); we got one of the best tables.

savannah gryphon20

Parking is hard – we found a lot that was free on weekends, though conveniently it didn’t say that anywhere. We only found out when someone told us after fumbling at the credit-only pay machine for 5 minutes.

mortar and pestle

mortar and pestle

books everywhere...

books everywhere…

Gorgeous!!

Gorgeous!!

The stained glass over the chandelier/lamp is so beautiful; what a centerpiece!

savannah gryphon4

savannah gryphon12

The entire place is just as eye-catching. It has an old world ornateness that you almost never see this far into the south.

savannah gryphon14

Their afternoon tea is $18 per person. They had maybe 8 kinds of tea to choose from. I choose one with orange and berry tones – called a something Autumn. Don’t remember exactly.

cell phone picture, blah, but you get the idea

cell phone picture, blah, but you get the idea

The tea set-up, above,  before food arrives…

savannah gryphon10

What I’ve been waiting for! A 3-tiered vision of yumminess.

cream and jam for the scone

cream and jam for the scone

The cream was amazing – tasted like clotted cream, just like a whipped sweet butter.

cranberry scone

cranberry scone

The scone tasted fresh and was perfect with the cream and jam…though I prefer just cream.

Tea sandwich!

Tea sandwich!

2 of these (above) were cucumber; the other 2 were chicken salad.

1 of 4 little desserts

1 of 4 little desserts

I thought this dessert was a macaron at first, but it wasn’t really. It was a denser poppyseed cookie with strawberry icing in the middle. Very good! The others were a sort of shortbread cookie with a thin layer of jam in the middle, a chocolate cup with a melty caramel, and a rich chocolate mousse cup topped with a raspberry.

The bill comes inside of an old book rather than a billfold.

The bill comes inside of an old book rather than a standard black billfold thing.

I can’t get over how gorgeous the entire room was:

one of 2 couch-type areas above the rest of the seating

one of 2 couch-type areas above the rest of the seating

savannah gryphon5

This was the main event, but we did walk around the rest of Savannah. It’s very old south, old Georgia. Oglethorpe is everywhere.

savannah3

savannah2

savannah18

savannah23

savannah1

I really enjoyed The Gryphon and would recommend it to anyone. They have brunch as well on Sundays, which I’ve heard is delicious. :)





Northanger Abbey

27 08 2014

According to WordPress it’s the 3 year anniversary of this blog. Who knew? Anyway:

Weirdest. Movie. Ever.

Weirdest. Movie. Ever.

I saw this 86 (or 87?) version of Northanger Abbey recently and man, was it weird. It didn’t help that I saw the 07 version first (JJ Field!), which is actually pretty cute and endearing. The 80’s version is like…wailing saxophone music, little boys doing cartwheels, staring around with enormous eyes in fields of mist, and a random French character with a moon on her face. Pretty accurate summary. I think their casting choice for Mr. Tilney is odd/bit creepy too. His face is hard to draw…it’s round with this fluffy halo of blond fly-away hair and non-angular features.





Le Michel

22 08 2014

french street

Latest tablet experiment  – blocking in color/shadow without line work AND a scene vs. portrait. Lots of improvement needed, but I like it. :) Based on a photo I took in Strasbourg, France last year.





Caves of Florida

18 08 2014

Back in May after my B-day, I took a trip to see the Florida caves for the first time. (Yes, this is much belated.) Who even knew there were caves in Florida? That aren’t underwater that is. The only above-water caves in the state are at Florida Caverns State Park, see here.

Swamp on the drive in...

Swamp on the drive in…

It’s outside of Tallahassee, a 4 hour drive from Jacksonville. It had severely rained the day before, so there were an unbelievable amount of mosquitos and over 1/3 of the caves were flooded, but it was still worth the trip.

statue in front of the path to the Visitor's Center

statue in front of the path to the Visitor’s Center

the first cave entrance

the first cave entrance

We had to pass the first entrance and enter the second to skirt around the flooded areas.

descending into the caves

descending into the caves

They do tour groups frequently – I think every 1/2 hour. It’s not a thing where you can just go on your own, but the tour is helpful anyway as the guide was very knowledgeable.

Some areas were much wider than I expected!

Some areas were much wider than I expected!

I had my low light lens, but it doesn’t do well in close quarters since it’s a set focal length. So I had to break out the cell phone for some of the pics (like the above grainy one.)

 

stalactites!

stalactites!

 

They call this the "wedding cake," and they actually do have weddings here, but for small parties only.

They call this the “wedding cake,” and they actually do have weddings here, but for small parties only.

plenty of lights...in some areas, the minors inlaid bits of ceramic plates in the rock to reflect light and spread light around more.

plenty of lights…in some areas, the miners inlaid bits of ceramic plates in the rock to reflect light and spread light around more.

impressive

impressive

All the lights are standard white/orange. I think they should mix it up with some blues/reds/greens. Thank you, Photoshop.

All the lights are standard white/orange. I think they should mix it up with some blues/reds/greens. Thank you, Photoshop.

more pretty....

more pretty….

I don’t really have a pic of it, but in some areas the stalagmites are gray or black colored. The guide said that oil in human skin causes it to react that way over time, so you should avoid touching anything.

still pool of water

still pool of water

Pretty sure a bat is lurking in there.

Pretty sure a bat is lurking in there.

It was pretty awesome. Can’t imagine being tasked with digging that all out in mostly darkness.

 





Chiseled

13 08 2014

greek guy

I am loving this tablet! Still learning – attempted for the first time here to block in colors and shadows first before linework. Added the linear definition at the end. This guy is based on a photo I took in France at the Palais Rohan.





Aira

11 08 2014

Aira

More tablet experimentation – I am probably like one of 5 Americans that have seen Green Legend Ran, but I remember thinking it was pretty awesome as a kid. They had these alien-worshiping bishops that started turning into plants. This is a quick take on Aira, Ran’s “silver-haired maiden” counterpart.  Anyhow, I’m playing around with how to turn a scanned traditional sketch into digital tablet art.

Aira sketchThis was the original sketch. Annoyingly you can’t delete or really erase the background layer in Photoshop, which is what anything you scan opens as. But you can make a duplicate layer from the background and alter that and paint white over the original to hide it – ta da!

may 2014 sketch tablified

This was about a 3 minute digital overlay of part of the original sketch below. Being able to color without a mouse is a dream!

may 2014 sketch








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