I wrote last week about a work in progress for a friend that's modeled after her painting, Memoria. I finished this painting this week and titled it 'Sunlit Depths.' Whereas I saw Memoria as an abstract depiction of a melding between light and dark, or the point at which memory fades into nothingness, I see this piece as an abstraction of the way that the sun touches plants, or the way that some things lie below sunlight.
The acrylic details I added differ slightly from Memoria's as well. Memoria has a silver sheen that enhances the action of the dark meeting the light paint. This painting used acrylics to round out and brighten the 'bubbles' that are in the left-hand top corner, mimic the pink streaks on the right-hand side, and add depth to the dark paint at the bottom left. The acrylics wrap around to the sides, as does the oil paint. They're very hard to capture on camera, but in physical view, they catch the light and draw the eye to the correct places.
I'm quite happy with this one, so I'm thinking about painting an even larger piece in a similar style.
I have a lot of alts. I started the game intending to main my elementalist and play a guardian as well. Somewhere along the line--possibly during Caudecus Manor wipes--I swapped to levelling my guardian first. Both of them are now 80. Before I bought the expansion, I spent $10 on a character slot because I also wanted a mesmer, and possibly an open slot if mesmer wasn't to my liking. I was already planning out what might benefit the guild and what might interest me the most, and having only two character slots seemed a bit too restrictive.
After I bought the expansion, a decision that I made roughly five days after installing Guild Wars 2, I rolled a revenant, a necromancer, and an engineer. Warrior and thief simply did not look as interesting to me since I generally hate "hit it very hard" classes or "stealth around, be sneaky" classes in any game (and, on the flip side, elementalist and guardian are very me). Finally, because of raid comp and guild comp foibles that resulted in 75% of our players maining eles, I bought a character slot for a druid healer. I didn't want to delete anyone, and I also knew that, as GM and as a human being who likes to analyze video games, it was important for me to have every class eventually. I had planned to save thief and warrior for a long time down the road, but, thanks to a desire to parse as a warrior via GW2DPS, I bought an eighth slot for one.
I love my guardian and I'm working on ascended gear for him, so it made sense for me to have the other heavy armor classes, since you can use your ascended gear on any character that can use the armor or weapon type. However, revenant wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be, and warriors also use greatswords in their main pve spec.
Engineer pvp is one of the funnest things in the game--though I also like guardian pvp. Iolenn was doomed to a life of swimming in the Skyhammer mists until I realized just how much our guild needs condi damage.
Likewise, since I was interested in all three light armor classes, it made sense to try to level them up to gear-share. Because in the absence of a levelling plan I had just been hopping on whomever I felt like, I made a spreadsheet that looked at what type of gear was used assuming that your alts will be in a viable raiding spec--ie, something currently on metabattle or close to it.
My results were basically universal: have a set of berserker armor for each armor class, beginning with your main's armor, and then going to the tier in which you have the most likely alts--for me, light armor. With these power sets, you can tank by just adding a few pieces of toughness gear, or heal in full zerk or in an intermediate set. Just make sure your runes match!
The weapons that you can use with these power dps sets? Greatsword for warriors, guardians, and power dps reapers, and staff for eles, healing druids (you can get away with a zerk staff), thieves, and revs. A zerk sword may also be useful for several alts.
Condi sets and weapons are more specialized, unfortunately, and the condi mesmer build uses a different set than the condi necro builds do. However, you could probably get away with having a weapon with slightly less ideal stats, so I'd recommend building a condi scepter or pistol.
All of this should be adjusted for alts that you don't have, hate, or plan to sit in the Heart of the Mists or likewise, of course.
There's no doubt that BeadforLife has been a great experience. I got to go to Uganda. I raised thousands of dollars to support the wonderful women whose voices and experiences became real during my time there. I bought and sold beautiful, handmade, fair trade pieces. I took a picture of my cat wearing a BeadforLife necklace.
The YP program was conceived as a program to reach out to young professionals. From the program announcement: "We want motivated, compassionate, movers, shakers, and difference-makers! In one word, we want LEADERS who want to use their time and talents for good! We need YPs who aren't scared to roll up their sleeves and get to work building a successful program. As a YP, you will contribute to the growth process of the program, participate in Think-Outside-The-Box fundraising to support BeadforLife programs, and participate in the Live Below the Line Challenge."
Now, I did all of that. I lead the Virtual Coffee Hours, which were meant to bring YPs together to converse about the topics that mattered to them. I became a member of the YP advisory board. I raised money, reached out to all of you and got a terrific response. To me, the program ending doesn't invalidate BeadforLife or the money you all contributed. Or, for that matter, the work we did to grow the program.
So, why, if I had a successful experience in the program, is it ending? The answer is a story about the tricky pathway to volunteer engagement, financial fiscal years, and program design. There are two ways to look at it: you could blame everyone, or no one. I think both are valid.
Although YPs had the option to continue in a different volunteer program, I thought it was a good opportunity for me to reassess my chosen commitments. I wish it had ended differently, but I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me and the program.