Sooo… today I was supposed to draw chinese ceiling stuff. I put some photo paper in the printer and thought
”No need to make a test print run – this thing worked perfectly a few days ago.”
I should have heard the drums of fate over that one! The printer chewed on the picture, and several minutes later I’d printed a phoenix in red and black only. That was a downer since the point was the blue and green areas vibrating against the red and gold ones. I tried to clean the print nozzles. After four cleanings the cyan cartridge put two spots on the test printing page. Encouraged by this I decided to clean the nozzles a fifth time – only to get a message from the printer that it wouldn’t do so and did I want to by a new cartridge? Oh, and the other cartridges was now almost empty. Neither did we have any replacements, nor did I find the little tape with the password for our ink provider.
At this point my husband kindly suggest a big cup of cocoa.
Round two. I decided to use our tablet for the pictures instead. Con; it blacks out after two minutes, pro; I can zoom in on details. This meant I had to occupy it the entire afternoon, while my son and hubby were making doe eyes since they wanted it for games. Feeling only a tad of bad conscience I started to bring out my gouache and my brushes…
Now, where did I put my brushes? I couldn’t find my original set of brushes – those lovingly handled and molded into the perfect tools for painting miniatures. Didn’t surprise me much, but I couldn’t find the replacements either. I had a vague memory I’d put my original set in my ”grejergrunka” – a large, black portfolio that used to stand beside our living room sofa. Nope. Wasn’t there. I looked in the locker, the wardrobe, under the sofa and ended up going to our basement storage and shudder at the stuff we keep there. Wasn’t there either.
Then I took a closer look at the area beside the sofa. We’ve been in the SCA for several years, and are still keeping a lot of linnen, wool and silk ‘just in case’. All that fabric is stored in a four feet stash hiding a folding table straddling a chest of drawers on wheels. In other words; beside our sofa we have a hellish nest that you don’t want to move around – there are two baskets and two wicker chests hidden inside the heaps of fabric. But you can see one side of the table, and a small part of the chest of drawers, and when I took a closer look I could see the portfolio. It leant against bureau under the table, blocked by an avalanche of fabric and baskets. So I moved the avalanche, inch by inch, while a basket was rocking back and forth on its top. My husband dragged out the portfolio. Finally I could lay my trembling hands on…
…nope. No brushes in the portfolio.
But do you know what else I found there? Several half finished blank scrolls, one with the names of a royal couple who stepped down years ago, some goofy paintings I’d made when I lost patience with the fixed patterns of illumination, calligraphed signs for a medieval fair ten years ago, small scraps of paper with wise words on them (something I’ve forgotten I’ve tried to sell), examples of medieval illuminations printed from the internet, one sketch pad, four (four) aquarelle pads, an giant envelope with diapositives of manuscripts from Carolina Rediviva (never published – I hoped to use them in a textbook about illuminations) and a few scraps of vellum – one of them had a shoe print neatly placed in the middle of the would-be writing area.
On the other hand, while going through the portfolio I remembered where I put my replacement brushes. I had put them on their place in my writing desk. How could I ever imagine being ordered? (And yet it happens every day.) Anyway, I brought out the brushes, the gouaches, and the other stuff and started to match colour tubes to the colours of the photos. That’s when I noticed that at least one of the tubes rattled, and I’m pretty sure tubes shouldn’t do that. At that point it was around four in the afternoon and I was ready to call it a day.
I put the tablet in the hands of my family, who, in turn, looked dumfounded and asked ”what are we going to do with this?”. Then I raked in the papers I wanted to keep in the porfolio, put the pads in my pad stash (See? Ordered! But do I remember that?) and happened to catch a glimpse of one of the goofy paintings.
”Gee! That one would look good on a mug!”
It wasn’t finished, and I have no idea when I started it – probably about ten years ago. Now I sat down and did the few strokes that was needed, just to feel that I had done any real job this day. Then I put it up on zazzle, since it is a design in need of a cup. Here it is.