Inktober Day 4: Dodge


Any idea how rare Dodge is as a mountain name? I didn't either before I started looking for a mountain called Dodge. I could find a lot of Mountain Dodge dealerships, but not a mountain named Dodge. Dodge Ridge is as close as I could come. Turns out, it is a ski resort. And pictures of ski resorts are usually maps of the ski resorts, or smiling happy people. They aren't usually pictures of the mountain.

A trimmed and edited version of what I found is what I used:

Turns out, Instagram wants vertical pictures in a 4:5 aspect ratio and will not allow the taller aspect ratios, because, of course the assholery of Facebook. Didn't figure that one out until I had posted a cut off inspiration image.

This image included a couple people in it. I wanted to include the people, and was 100% sure I wasn't going to be able to paint them well, as I don't have fine enough paint brushes to paint the itty bitty people on a 2" x 3.25" painting. So, for the first time, I used ink pens in this challenge. I wasn't able to convey the dynamic stance of the skiiers, but I believe I was able to convey some tension in them. They went from running speed in the inspiration photo to walking speed in my painting, but still moving.

And, because one always sees what she has done wrong after saying, "Done," I needed to add snow to the trees.

Inktober Day 3: Path


Hooboy, when I searched for "path" on my phone, you know, the latest 40000 pictures I've taken in the last 2 years, I had 1725 pictures identified as including paths. Of the 22 I was willing to try to paint today for Inktober, this is the one that Jonathan selected:

I don't have experience painting non-glaciated mountains. Nor do I have experience painting greens or trees or flowers or plants. But here we go!

This painting was a lesson in patience. I needed to walk away from the painting many times, to give it time to dry so that I could "cheat" and paint over the watercolors already on the paper.

The picture has a white glob on it that was a piece of dried paint that fell onto the painting before I took the picture. I look at this and see how I should have darkened the left side bushes, and added texture to the bush at the top of the path, and how I should have played with the light and dark, sun and shadows more, but I like it. If you squint a bit, it is a lovely painting. I'm pleased with it.

Inktober Day 2: Spiders


Okay, there is a Spider Mountain in Washington state. I looked at a number of range / peak profile images, but the only one that really inspired me was John W Porter's Final ridge traverse on Spider Mountain, so that's what I tried to paint. I really struggled with this one, not having any browns in my watercolors. So, I cheated and used the colors already in my mixed paint wells.

At first, I didn't like this painting. The more I see it, however, the more I like it. If you view from a bit back, the ridge actually looks a bit three dimensional.

Inktober Day 1: Dream


Today's prompt is dream. This was an easy choice. The Pyramid, which is a nunatak that looks like a pyramid and dominates one's view when moving from High Camp to Low Camp of Mt Vinson. My caption was, "I am dreaming of Mt Vinson, and the nunatak that dominates our view on the way down from High Camp."

My interpretation:


I realized only after I posted the painting that I totally put the light source on the wrong side.

Inktober begins


Inktober is a month (October) long nominally inked drawing challenge that's been going for like 14 years. The process is

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2023
4) Repeat to the end of the month.

My plan is to complete the challenge with watercolors, and to have the whole process mountain themed. I plan not to buy any more watercolor supplies, and paint small: 2.5" x 3.75" paper.

Let's see how I do.

Context with al-Zahrawi


This is a rant.

But first, context.

Jonathan and I play Redactle on a regular basis. There's a play together option, where multiple players can play on the same board, guessing independently of each other, in an attempt to guess the Wikipedia article. I enjoy this game a lot. I enjoy reading the Wikipedia articles after we guess the article title. The game is an opportunity to learn something new, often many something news. There's a daily game, with a "new random game" option. We will often play 3-4 games in a social setting. It's fun.

One of today's redactles was al-Zahrawi, a physician, surgeon and chemist from al-Andalus, considered one of the greatest surgeons of the Middle Ages (and, let's be real, all time). His pioneering contributions to the field of surgical procedures are still applied today. Like, the man was amazing.

Here comes the rant.

The article reads:

While al-Zahrawi never performed the surgical procedure of tracheotomy, he did treat a slave girl who had cut her own throat in a suicide attempt. Al-Zahrawi sewed up the wound and the girl recovered, thereby proving that an incision in the larynx could heal. In describing this important case-history he wrote:

A slave-girl seized a knife and buried it in her throat and cut part of the trachea; and I was called to attend her. I found her bellowing like a sacrifice that has had its throat cut. So I laid the wound bare and found that only a little haemorrhage had come from it; and I assured myself that neither an artery nor jugular vein had been cut, but air passed out through the wound. So I hurriedly sutured the wound and treated it until healed. No harm was done to the slave-girl except for a hoarseness in the voice, which was not extreme, and after some days she was restored to the best of health. Hence we may say that laryngotomy is not dangerous.

Okay, a slave girl tries to commit suicide, and fails. There is a reason she tried to commit suicide, and let's be real, it wasn't from boredom or a feeling of ennui. A slave girl in the middle ages is nothing more than chattel. She was likey abused, probably raped or otherwise tortured daily, by who knows by how many people. Her "bellowing like a sacrifice that has had its throat cut" was probably not from pain but from the realization that she was unable to escape the unbearable torment that drove her to choose death over the life she had in the first place. No, more harm than "a hoarseness in the voice" was happening, and she was not "restored to the best of health" after healing from an attempted suicide. I would even venture to guess she was sent back to where she tried to escape from and likely had a worse life as a result. She wasn't saved and paraded around as a success story, she likely continued the hell that was her life.

Context matters so much, and sending someone back to hell because, hey, you managed a successful tracheotomy is f'ing horrible. Again, context matters, and her life wasn't worth much during his life time. And that sucks so much. F that.