Thanks everyone for your post suggestions. There are still more days of the month than prompts, so if you'd like to request something, head on over here.
Also if you'd like to suggest a better title than "Blogcember," I'm all ears.metawidget
asked about painting of the arty sort. I'm not sure I have anything really profound to say about painting. What I like about painting is that it's not very profound for me. As some of you know, I utterly agonize over most of the things I do—writing, teaching, freelance work, attempts to pick up playing piano again—painting is pretty much the one thing that I've been reasonably good at for a long period of time that I can do competently without thinking about it too hard. I put on music, I work sloppily, and I completely turn off the part of my brain that is a constant anxiety-ridden monologue for a few hours at a time.
I paint in acrylic, though lately I've been tempted to take up watercolour again, which I haven't done since I was a kid. I like acrylic because it's immediate. I went through a phase where I used palette knives and fingers rather than brushes, but now I'm back to brushes. I prefer to work on large works over small works, though when I was off work and in tons of pain, small works were the only sort I could do.
There's not a lot of deep meaning to any of my work. It's usually just stuff that I think looks cool. The painting I'm currently working on is a woman I saw at Black Creek Pioneer village; I thought she looked like she stepped out of a painting, so I snapped a picture on my cell and I'm working from that.
Unlike writing, where I really do need to be in a certain frame of mind (and I'm hardly ever in that frame of mind), I actually can force myself to paint. The fact that I don't do it more often has to do with time and hassle rather than inspiration.
Once I'm finished with a painting, I seldom want to look at it. There are three exceptions, two of which are hanging in my house:
1) A still life I did in undergrad. It's a gas mask, an old army boot, and a bottle of wine. It's about being prepared for whatever comes your way, a.k.a. the zombie apocalypse, and I have it hanging in my bedroom because it matches the colour scheme.( In Advance )
2) A portrait I did of the first male non-relative I saw completely naked. Which is to say one of our life drawing models in high school. (I was an innocent teenager.) He's clothed in this painting, though. It's very stiff and Victorian and it looks exactly like him. By the way, he was a really cool guy and often hung out at the coffee shop with us after sessions, and he was into the Church of the Subgenius. That one's in my living room, and I actually chose the colour of the living room to match the painting.( The Gambler )
3) This street scene I did, one of my palette-knife-only paintings. It was based on a photograph that I took before there were digital cameras; essentially I shot the feet of the two people I was with, and it was blurry, and for some reason I decided to paint it. I was going through a very angry phase, and the process was violent; the sense I get from looking at it is that it's the feet of people mid-riot. I'd have hung it in my house but it really doesn't match the decor.( Things Got Out of Hand )
So that's painting. I do a lot more illustration these days; less clean-up and I get paid for it.