Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Holy crap, a month and a half! In my defense, I've been very very busy. I started a new job at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare, which is an alcohol/substance abuse facility. Right now, I'm spending most of my time doing inpatient admissions. When we get new patients into our 28-day inpatient program, I help do their billing, medicaid/public assistance applications, and other reams of paperwork. I'm learning a few other facets of the facility like records-keeping, a little on the out-patient groups, and I help at the front desk early in the morning when it is crazy-busy. Mary (my boss) has some ideas as to what she wasnts me to be doing long-term, but most of it will have to wait until my 3 month contract with the temp agency (Comforce) is up and I come on as an official SBH employee. I really enjoy the job. The work is varied enough to not be boring and with only one exception everyone at the place is incredibly friendly, helpful and outgoing. There is ONE person who is a real harpy, but luckily I have limited contact with the person..and really I can put up with anyone in small doses.

I've also managed to carve out some time for my jewelry. In fact, now that I need "grown up" outfits to wear to a professional job (as opposed to my last work-at-home job where I could conferance call in my pajamas if I wanted) I've been inspired to make a bunch of jewelry to wear to work. I have a couple pieces I am VERY pleased with. I WOULD have posted pics, but I cannot find our camera. So, I borrowed mom's, took the pictures, then found out her camera will not work with our camera's computer-hook-up-cord, and I cannot find the one that goes with HER camera. Sigh. Once I can find a camera/cord combo that works I will post pics.

On another creative note, due to the fact that matt and I re-did our budget, and we have a tiny bit of spare cash I went out and bought a few books to get me started on something I've wanted to try for quite some time: Chinese Brush Painting. I absolutely love the look of the style! Chinese brush painting has two schools of styles: the detailed and the free. In the detailed style, very fine brushes are used to paint the outlines of the subject and then painted in very meticulously, like this painting:

The second style, which I favor, is a much looser, abstract style where the goal is to capture the essence of the subject without having to paint every tiny line and detail, such as this painting.

Chinese brush painting is done with special brushes, traditionally made of animal hair. The black in the paintings is hand-made ink created by grinding an ink-stick (a charcoal and glue stick made specially for this) against your ink-stone. then you add a small bit of water to create your black/grey ink. Colored inks can be made by a similer process of mixing water and powdered mineral pigments (though you can also use chinese watercolors, or just plain western watercolors as well). I have the paint kit (comlplete with ink stick and stone) and a few books on technique and motifs. When someone begins to learn chinese brush painting, they generally begin my practicing "The four Gentlemen": Bamboo, Orchid, Chrysanthemum and Plum Blossom. These four plants require the full range of basic brush strokes to do well, so they are a great way to learn and practice the basic brush forms. I'm hoping to actually be able to open up and use my kit this weekend :-). Pics may follow, depending on how recognisable they are from 2-year old finger painting lol.
The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend, so I want to try and get out to do a daytrip somewhere to one of the nearby state parks. We've been out a couple times this year when spring has given us a nice day here and there, and I really enjoy getting out, getting some excersise and enjoying the beautiful upstate NY wilderness. I'm not sure what my vacation schedule will be, what with the new job and all, but I'm hoping to squeeze in at LEAST one camping trip this summer.


At 4:27 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Glad the job is going well. Necklaces are GORGEOUS and can't wait to see your brushwork!


At 4:27 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Whoops, that was me. :o)


At 7:13 PM , Blogger gryphonkessira said...

Well, it may be awhile before I get any brushwork up lol. My first task (according to the book I'm reading) is to practice each of the traditional 8 brushstrokes 100 times. My first attempt at making ink was WAY too thin, so we're getting off to a bit of a a slow start.


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