Elliott, my companion critter

My daughter at Yosemite




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DISCLAIMER: I am here for weight loss and good health, not to discuss politics or religion. For example, if you are promoting evangelical Christianity and/or right-wing politics we are not a good match.

Now 66, in the last two years I retired from my job, left my marriage, and moved - after 25 years in the midwest - back to the mountains of Western Maryland, not far from where I grew up.

I joined Spark in October 2010 at 174 which is obese for 5'2 (highest weight was 178); dropped down to 159, just barely out of obese range, then stayed around 160 for four years, but still was losing inches and gaining control over binge eating. In June 2015 I buckled down to drop another 10 pounds for health reasons. Two months later I've plateaued at 152 but am aiming for 145 as my goal weight.

For the past three years I've been following the WheatBelly low-carb program (no refined carbs, plenty of good fats, no grains or processed foods) which has brought my blood sugar down from diabetic to prediabetic and has also lowered my cholesterol.

Member Since: 10/14/2010

My Goals:
Leave Obese BMI - DONE
Leave Overweight BMI - 15 pounds to go.

My Program:
Exercise: ST class twice a week, swimming, walking and mountain hiking.
Food: I've cut out all sugars and grains for several years to control my blood sugar. I use almond flour and garbanzo flour in recipes and sweeten with stevia. Emphasis is on protein and good fats. I don't always get in as many vegetables as I should, so working on that. I limit fruits.

Personal Information:
Raised in DC metro area. Retired graphic artist. Big reader, painter. I have one daughter, 27, and a cat.

Other Information:
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --- Albert Einstein

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  • v EABL81
    They carry it in the international section in Kroger. A friend turned me on to it a few years back. It's a lifesaver when I'm in a hurry. A quick stir fry with some protein, veggies, fresh ginger, yogurt, lime juice, and Patak's and I've got dinner.

    3 days ago
  • v EABL81
    I've made the sauce from scratch from time to time, but often use Patak's Curry Paste because it's so easy and I like it better than the commercial powder. Experimenting sounds like fun. Something else to look forward to in retirement :-)
    4 days ago
    I don't seem to have a photo of the little conch shell I painted - it sold before I had a chance to take photos. And for that inner pinky peach part, again burnt sienna with titanium white.

    For the sand, I do a lot of layers of dots. I don't really plan it - I start with a grey underglaze (ultramarine, burnt sienna, about equal parts, and then water and gel medium to make the glaze). Then my tiniest round brush, just dots - burnt sienna, different greys to browns, add little bits of white to make beiges, maybe some ultra with very little sienna so it's still blue, and usually a little bit of red or red in the beige. This is where it gets meditative - I just dab dots sporadically all over the sand regions, building up layers. Thinking "dot dot dot" as my mantra.

    Eventually the brush gets bent, so after a day of painting I'll wash up, let the brush dry, and then trim the top back into a point. Trim off any strays that splay out too far. And go back to dabbing on dots. Lots of texture, both visually and physically.

    I also like the thick gallery wrapped canvases - I started using a 24 x 30 size, with a depth of 2.5". So I just paint sand around all the edges, and then maybe continue the shells around the corner of the canvas as well.

    Part of the fun of the shells is that I collect the shells while walking beaches. Also, my dad was a coastal geologist, so as kids we spent a lot of time on beaches each summer. I always liked to lie on the sand and look at each grain of sand, the different colors and shapes. That's the feeling I tried to evoke in that series, being a kid on the beach and being so close that all you see is sand and a tiny shell looking gigantic.

    (I can't remember if you paint in oil or acrylic? I use acrylics - I developed asthma and couldn't tolerate the oil and turpentine anymore.)

    8 days ago
    When we lived in the VI, I did a couple of paintings of shells on the beach - but blown up so you can see every grain of sand. (Which is very meditative to paint.) LOTS of titanium white, ultramarine, and burnt sienna. If you go to my page, there are a few photos of some paintings - the "Rincon, Puerto Rico" shell is only those three colors. (The "Flamingo Tongues" are burnt sienna and white, which makes a lovely peachy color that isn't as bright as if you start with orange.)

    Yeah, I've always enjoyed conversations with other art people. We see the world differently. Quite often, I look at the world and break the view down into paint colors. Another teacher and I took a batch of kids on a couple of days field trip to another island, and my husband was shocked that these teenagers, even the boys, were hanging out of the car windows saying "Whoa, look at the color of that house!" Things that I say. He thought it was only me - but I keep telling him it's the way all artists see the world.

    8 days ago
    Yeah, I use purple as shadows a lot too. Or ultramarine blue. (Love ultramarine and burnt sienna, they make so many different colors together!)

    I was taught in color theory class that when every (or almost every) color has a bit of the same color in, yes, it ties the painting together. And the prof called it a "saturated color scheme" because you basically are saturating the painting with that color, even though sometimes there's so little of the color you barely see it. But as you said, it ties it all together.
    9 days ago
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