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All posts for the year 2018

One of the great things about NOVA is it gathers so many great hobbyists and teachers in one place. NOVA always brings in someone new every year (often from over seas), and I’ve enjoyed learning something different from each instructor.

When you’re in these classes, you pick up on more than just the technique or concept the class is about.  You also get insight into the general philosophy or attitude the teacher takes towards their work. 

Sometimes, that’s the more important take away than the painting technique the class was about.

Most teachers will tell you they’re in it for the fun, but a lot will also say that when it’s a job it’s tough work and really takes a certain kind of person to do it.

The thread that really stood out for me is the happiness part of that.

One of Roman’s sayings is “Paint Happy” – his philosophy is that painting should be for you, as the painter. The act of painting should be enjoyable, and if it isn’t – you’re doing something wrong. He often signs his art prints with the slogan.

Sam and Alfonso both echoed similar things.  Watching Sam paint was a masterclass in throwing caution to the wind and just painting for fun.  He didn’t have much of a plan going in, but he took cues from the room, how he was feeling and just improvised.  Alfonso took Roman’s concept a touch further and spoke about how different painting styles are fun for different people – it’s a personal, tailored experience, so paint however makes you happiest.  Experiment often.

I don’t think my current method of painting is one that makes me happy;  I know my painting isn’t yielding the happiness it could.

The good news is: I’ve come to terms with why this is the case and I have been brainstorming some strategies to rectify it.

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Day 3 of the con is usually the busiest – it’s Saturday so there’s no requirement for you to take time off work to attend, and it’s also the start of the family friendly events.  For me, it’s when the lack of sleep starts piling in and I start to slow down.  I only had two seminars on Saturday, but they were two of the ones I was looking forward to the most…

Seminar 5: Master of Reality with Sam Lenz

Sam’s class was a blast.  He’s incredibly talented and still enjoying discovering new things, and this seminar was less structured and more of a showcase of Sam’s current process and style.

There were maybe ten of us in the class, and we all sat and watched Sam work from scratch on a large zombie model from Zombicide: Black Plague.

We joked, laughed and learned.  Sam spoke about the things he enjoyed learning about from other painters and teachers, and shared his thoughts as he works through a model.

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The big event for me on Day 2 (Friday) was the 3-round Direct Action Infinity Tournament I’d signed myself up for, far too many months ago to remember what I’d been thinking.

Ok, I know what I’d been thinking:  “Brendon, you don’t play many games.  This will encourage you to get out of the studio, play some games.”

Note to future self: That kind of motivation doesn’t work.

I went into the tournament with well theory-crafted, but poorly practiced lists.

I also went into the tournament without a tournament tray.  I’m clearly a professional.
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The NOVA Open is held only a few miles away in Crystal City, Virginia, just across the river from Washington DC.  It’s a con I’ve been volunteering at and attending for the past five or so years, and it’s currently the only con I go to each year.

The con kicks off Wednesday night with some small special events and goes through Sunday, offering over 4 days of events.  One big benefit to working only three blocks away from the con is that I was able to swing by after work on Wednesday and picke up my SuperNOVA registration and Swag Bag.  The SuperNOVA is NOVA’s premium registration, and offers loads of perks for the notably higher price – one of which is the embroidered KR Multicase Backpack 2.  The rest of the goodies… well, you’ll just have to wait for the loot showcase!

The con really started on Thursday for me.  My schedule for Day 1 included a Build-and-Play for CMON’s Dark Age, and three (!) seminars.

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So, I love dinosaurs.  Ever since I first saw Jurassic Park, I couldn’t get enough of them.  So, now that I’m an adult and into tiny toy soldiers, OF COURSE I’m into tiny toy dinosaurs.

I’ve been sitting on a Start Collecting: Seraphon box for a while, and when some local buddies wanted to get into Age of Sigmar by way of Skirmish and then Path to Glory, I was all in with some SPACE DINOSAURS!!

SHow me the dinos!