Still Alive

Times are hectic for me of late; I’m very busy with life and commission work. I watch my granddaughter 2 -3 times a week, sometimes more; from about 6:15 am till around 4 pm. She’s a very busy little girl, just turned 2 years old, but she’s a darling and I adore her. She lets me work in the morning, so we play in the afternoon. The park or the pool, or we go food shopping, depends on the day. Then it’s dinner, clean up, more work on commissions, and by that time, I’m pretty much beat. I work on art for my gallery while waiting for client input, and to push myself more, learn more things.

On the days I do not have my granddaughter; I hike for an hour or so, started lifting weights again, and swim a few laps if I have the time. I swear, my whole family is becoming obsessed with working out.

I really need to redo one of my websites, and there are other projects of a personal nature I would like to work on. Hopefully, I’ll get time soon enough. I do have updates to do for some client sites, and plan on getting to those this week as well.

Lately, I’m rather tired at the end of the day (OK, some days I’m just plain beat). I’m starting to take time off again, away from the computer. Be it a day, an evening, whenever I get the chance to step away, I do so of late. But it’s a good tired, the kind that comes from working hard, being active and busy. You gotta love that!

Goodbye Miss Piggy

Farewell to a beloved a friend.
RIP
Miss Piggy
April 2007 – June 2012

The kitchen was so quiet this morning, absent the soft little sounds of life I have grown so accustomed to over the last five years. They were comforting noises those sounds, even the higher pitched whistles demanding food or a scratch on the head. I could hear her wandering about the kitchen floor, searching for little crumbs when I was downstairs loading the washer, or the dryer.  I used to giggle when she would lick my toes while I was cooking. It tickled, and never once did she use those sharp front teeth in a harmful way. Not once did she bite a single soul intentionally. There were a few times when she accidentally nipped someone in the process of nibbling on a treat. But she learned from those little encounters, from the reactions of the person, or animal and those occurrences were rarer than a blue moon.

Her given name had been Gilly, my son named her. My daughter Dara surprised me one Mother’s Day, five years ago with an unusual gift; a guinea pig. A half-grown, little ginger colored, long haired guinea pig. Id’ never actually had one before, nor can I honestly say I was interested in adding one to the household pet population.
It’s funny how the animals we never look for turn out to be the very best ones.  At first, Gilly was distant and aloof. And she seemed so sad in that cage all by herself. I considered getting her a companion, and dismissed the idea. Instead, I placed her cage in the kitchen on the floor, in a corner, and opened the door. Not long after, I found no need to even block the kitchen exit or close her door. Her name changed too, it went from being Gilly to Miss Piggy. It suited her perfectly.

For well over four years, Miss Piggy had the run of the kitchen, and she could not have been happier. We became her herd. Whenever people were in the kitchen talking, standing about, she would come out of her cage and make the rounds to each one. I recall once recently I was chopping something, and glanced down to see the cat, the dog and the guinea pig all sitting to my left, patiently waiting for a treat to hit the floor. It was one of those moments you know will be lost as soon as you reach for a camera, but it will be etched on my mind’s eye for years to come. Miss Piggy learned to mooch from the best of the moochers.
Miss Piggy passed away Saturday morning, she died in my arms. I held her for a few hours that morning, before she passed, because deep down I knew what was coming. The closeness soothed her, one of the most gentle, loving little souls I have ever known. Those five years passed all too quickly, and it was far too short a time to have her with us. Her cage is empty, the kitchen much too quiet.

She’s buried out back, and Hugo, my Great Pyr lies across the spot where we buried her right now. He kissed her goodbye that day, before I took her to the vet. He knew. He watched us bury her, and he still looks for her, sniffs her empty cage, and sniffs the spot where she is buried. I believe he misses her. He often lay on the floor out in the kitchen with her.
So it is with sorrow that we bid farewell to one cherished, beloved member of our household, one whose time with us, was much too short, but leaves behind loving warmth that will linger for a very long time.
Goodbye Miss Piggy, we love you.

Busy, busy, crazy busy

I’ve been busy. Insanely busy. I’ve had a number of commissions, some of which I’m working on now. One of them is for a book on 3D, which is cool. I get paid for it and get a copy of the book too. I have more commissions I’m working on, but I’ll admit I’m having a blast doing it.

Since the cat is out of the bag and running about on the web, I can post this; I was involved with concept art for Jupiter Ascending. Movie concept art pays very well, I will say. Link to some of the details below, though I cannot post the art or really talk about it. Not yet anyway.

http://collider.com/jupiter-ascending-plot-details/170326/

The movie is a project from the Wachowskis, creators of the Matrix trilogy and others. I was hired to create some of the concept art by John Gaeta; this was not something I bid on or anything like that. Admittedly it was a lot of pressure, but it was a great experience. I would definitely do it again. Hopefully one day I will, and until then, I have lots of commission work.

I have some more work to do on my new website, artbymel.net. I’m planning to add a client section for my commission clients. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on that this week; it should only take a few minutes to setup. Then I can add the pages at my leisure.

Plus I’m watching my granddaughter as much as 4 times a week. Though this month, it won’t be as often. Yea, I’m busy, but it’s great to be busy.

Site updates

I did a lot of updating to this site today; it needed to be updated badly. I also got a lot of my new site done; I just need to post items back into the store. But the site itself is done, and I’m pleased with the way it turned out. The gallery is completely done, and it’s easy to add new images to it. Not quite as streamlined as Coppermine was, but this design I created works so much better. If anyone is curious, here is the link.

I’m rather busy with commissions of late, not a whole lot of time for personal projects. I plan to take the time to redo my design site, a simpler, more modern layout. With far less pages than I have now. I just have to create a new look, and then work on it in-between client stuff.

This is one of the personal projects I got to do this year, and it’s pretty much my favorite so far for the year. I really like the way it turned out. I called it “The Old Ways”. Licensing info can be found here.