Finished the takin painting! I dunno. While it looks more or less like I planned, I find that I’m not entirely happy with it as a companion piece to the camel. I think it’s not so much that I failed in the rendering–I mean, that’s pretty much what a takin looks like, alright, although I think I may’ve made the muzzle a hair short–as that the subject itself isn’t shown to best advantage by this kind of treatment. The camel has such fascinating fur, almost sculptural with the dags and matts and dreadlocks and so on, that it lends itself well to a close up and to the technique I used of acrylic glazed transparently over gessoed hanks. The takin, by contrast, is a much smoother beast around the head, so it doesn’t have that texture for close-ups. And also, the obscurity works against me. Everyone knows what a camel looks like, so if I paint a camel head, the viewer automatically can visualize the rest of the camel. Now, I may know that behind this takin head is a chunky, thick-legged, grey-bellied bear-tailed muskoxen-meets-mountain-goat, but the average viewer won’t, so there isn’t a sense of the rest of the animal. It’s just a weird…thingy. So I dunno–I feel that I have not said all that I need to say about takins, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility that someday I will again paint one of ’em.

In the interests of driving myself barking insane, I’m roughing out another acrylic piece that is a staggering 24 x 48 (for me, this is staggering, particularly since my working space is about half that size, so I will probably have to paint this standing on my head) featuring an anthro-wolverine. It may work. It may not. If not, it will vanish like all the other unfinished paintings. If it does work, I may have to find a way to lug it to Anthrocon, although we’ll see how it goes. I’ve never painted something that big before. Should keep me occupied while I wait to move. Hopefully.

Also, I had a pap smear today. Males, feel free to leave the room. No, go on, I don’t blame you. You’re not a wimp. It’s okay. Anyway, it wasn’t bad–the older I get, the less pelvic exams bother me. I remember when I was thirteen or so that they were prolonged and agonizing, but a dozen years later, it’s a quick process that takes maybe two minutes. Whether this is because my old gynecologist was inept or simply that a decade of doin’ the horizontal mambo has rendered things rather more…ah…accessible is anyone’s guess. The amusing thing I find is that the older I get, the younger the people doing the prodding seem to be. Once upon a time, they were formidable older women with authoritarian haircuts–these days, they’re painfully young nurse practicioners, and I find myself siezed with the urge, when they hesitantly ask if I’m safe in my home life, etc, to pat them on the arm and say “Yes, dear, I’m fine, now what about you?” My mother assures me that this will get much worse when I hit middle age. Goody! Something to look forward to…

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