My Weekend with Basil

I found myself with a rare weekend on my own to focus on my art projects this weekend. At first, the thought of having THAT much time alone seemed a bit overwhelming, but then I remembered that I would have Basil to keep me company ūüôā

I prepared a mini-art festival to help break up the projects and ordered three art-related films from the library to watch over the weekend:

  • “My Left Foot” – which I¬†was pretty sure that I had only seen once, when it was20190531_192430 released, so I was due for a re-watch.
  • “A Soul Haunted by Painting” – a film about artist Pan Yuliang, which I had thought that I had seen, but¬†wasn’t 100% sure¬†¬†(this was the film Basil was most excited to see – he is a HUGE Gong Li fan)
  • And the final film was the 2018 PBS mini-series “The Woman in White” the latest dramatization of Wilkie Collins’ suspense novel. Originally, I had just wanted to see it as I loved the novel, but had forgotten that one of the main characters was an artist and painting master – so it was a happy coincidence ūüôā

Friday night we had a mini photo shoot highlighting my VIDA candles and White Rooster Studios coffee mug:

After that, we got comfortable and watched “My Left Foot” (1989). If you have NOT have an opportunity to see this film, please put in on your viewing list. Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of artist Christy Brown is nothing short of amazing. I will admit that I was a little disturbed when I read up on Brown’s life and realized that the on-screen portrayal of his relationship with Mary Carr was NOT as romantic as it appeared.

To learn more about Christy Brown, please check out his Wikiedia page:,¬†his autobiography “My Left Foot”¬†and biography “Christy Brown: The Life That Inspired¬†My Left Foot” by¬†Georgina Louise Hambleton.¬†

You can view Brown’s work at:

Saturday, after a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up, Basil and I spent a lot of time in the studio trying to get as many of the six pictures that are in progress as close to completion as possible. I focused on Pismo 3, 5 and 18:

Check out Basil trying to help me figure out how to finish Pismo 5:

We managed to figure out most of how to completed Pismo 5, but encountered a design problem with the four corners that we chose to leave alone for the time being – no sense ruining the picture so late in the process when we can put it on the studio wall for a couple of days and see if the answer comes naturally.

20190601_121220-1We took occasional breaks on Saturday to watch episodes of “The Woman in White” and found ourselves completed caught up in the story. To say we loved it would be an understatement – please check it out if you have a chance.

We¬†took a break and¬†tested¬†out Basil’s new backpack that was recently delivered so we can enjoy more adventures now that the warmer weather has finally arrived. I am pretty sure that Basil loves it – the backpack is just big enough to fit a book, my notebook, a bottle of water and Basil without being overstuffed.

We also checked in to see how the Bruins were doing Saturday evening in their quest for the Stanley Cup and were thrilled that they won!! Now they are up 2-1 in the series with20190602_101414 St Louis¬†– go B’s!!

We saved “A Soul Haunted By Painting” until Sunday morning, mostly because all the extra studio time and the need to wear my glasses at all times now had strained my eyes and I honestly didn’t think I could read a subtitled film Saturday evening. Basil was a tad disappointed, but he was overjoyed to finally see his¬†favorite actress,¬†Gong Li, on Sunday morning.

Because of the age of the DVD (over 20 years old) and the fact that it came from the local library, the disc was NOT in the best condition. Basil and I became a bit frustrated trying to watch the last 15 minutes of the film and had to eject the DVD several times to try to clean it so at least we would be able to finish the movie.

Personally, I got completely caught up in the life of Pan Yuliang and will be seeking out the following:

  • “Hua Hun” – novel by Shih Nan from which the film was adapted.
  • “The Painter from Shanghai” by Jennifer Cody Epstein – which I know that I have… somewhere… so the great search begins.
  • The 2004 TV series “Painting Soul” – this may be hard to located, but I am up to the challenge.

To check out some of Pan Yulian’s work:

A big part of Sunday was spent trying to solve the design problem with Pismo 23:20190601_172440.jpg

I will admit, that we admitted defeat – for now.

I think part of the design issue with the W and why I have spent so much time trying to figure it out is the shear size of space that the W takes up. Unlike the other letters in which I feel that I have had more success with: A, C, E and R, the W takes up a LOT of the real estate of the paper. My displeasure with the design comes in when I attempt to block in the shapes and colors and, in the case of this W, I tried to do something different with the center and now I am not sure how to correct the problem I created.

I also want to figure out a solution for this as I will encounter the same issue when I start the M and I am hoping that by spending some extra time with the design now, will allow a smoother design process later on in the Pismo Series.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to start another letter, but I didn’t want to waste my afternoon, so I have begun a second V.

I had already prepped the border and the letter itself, so I was able to quickly able to design the knot.


I also updated the studio wall… which made me realize that I am quickly running out of wall space:

We also spent some time writing this blog post – check out Basil helping me pick out which pictures of him to use in the post:20190602_114644.jpg

Originally, I thought that I would be incredibly lonely this weekend but I found that although there were times that I was… I was also able to focus more on my art without feeling guilty about ignoring my partner. There were occasions in which I wished that I had someone to talk out design issues or share something great that I came across, but that will all happen later on this evening.

All of this is kind of a test run for a shared vacation that we have planned for August. We have rented out a secluded cabin and plan of dividing up the week. We will each have an opportunity to have several days alone focusing on our projects and share time in the middle of the week together. After this weekend, I am looking forward to this time to immerse myself again in my work.

That is not to say that I am not focused on my work now,¬† but having several days of guilt-free uninterrupted studio time allowed me to re-set my goals, organize my project, take stock of what has been accomplished and see where all this can go. Quite frankly, this is difficult to do while working a full-time job, trying to¬†maintain a good work/life balance, spending time with loved ones and trying to run a studio and art business… sometimes, life can interfere too much and times like this weekend are needed to recharge and rededicate myself to my art work.


If you enjoy the projects, pictures and posts, please see free to comment – feedback is encouraged and is always welcome.

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