Monday, July 26, 2010
This is Spooky, my number 1 cat. He especially likes to be in confined spaces and one of his favorites is any pant leg he can crawl down into. Jeans are better than anything, as they stay fairly stiff and don't collapse on him. Which means they don't get full of claw marks as he makes his way from the waist to the hem.
One prerequisite for him is that they must have been worn by either my husband or myself, clean clothes won't do. For this I am thankful.
Now this was much more fun to do when he was an only cat. He could crawl inside and take a nice long, restful, safe and snug nap. But with a younger brother and a much younger sister, I'm sure you can imagine what happens these days! One or both of them are all over the outside of the pants leg, chewing and kicking to beat the band until he has had enough and out he comes. So this game now gets played, only when the other two are otherwise distracted elsewhere in the house.
I have a lot of photos of Spooky inside things, you might remember Burka Kitty from earlier in the spring. The problem with a black cat who likes to hide inside things is that my poor photos come out blurry as the camera doesn't know what to focus on, and when I use a flash, you know what happens to the eyes - cat version of red eye - glowing green.
What I liked most about this painting was the hem on the jeans, I think I got that just right.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Bitsy (left) and Mattie (right) are my sister-in-laws dogs. Bitsy has a crooked smile with teeth that could use doggie braces. She rules the roost in the house. Mattie is a tissue thief. You can't have a box of tissues where she can reach them or they will be all over the house. She will also steal them out of your hand so softly you don't even realize that she is doing it until it's shredded on the rug.
They were fun to paint, in part because they weren't completely black or completely white which was a nice change. Mattie was the easiest to paint, I loved doing her ears and trying to capture her inquisitive look. Of the two dogs, Mattie is the one who is friendlier with people. She would sit on my lap whereas Bitsy would mostly just bark at me anytime I moved.
I need to do more pet portraits, they are fun. My son has two dogs and would love a painting. Both of his dogs are pure white - just my luck! But before I do that, I really should paint Dessie, short for Destiny, the kitten I rescued last fall. I have been collecting paintable photographs of her for several months. She is grey, beige, black and white tiger tabby. Lots of colors to play with.
Friday, July 9, 2010
One summer one of these single columbine plants appeared in my garden. It was a surprise from nature, nothing I planted. Over the years it has spread randomly throughout the garden. I let them grow wherever they seed themselves.
My garden is not very ordered. I plant things and hope they will survive. If something pops up that I didn't plant, I am extremely grateful. And I always let it grow, sometimes even the weeds.
I don't have the heart to pull out the wild strawberries that have taken over the hill on the far side of the house. They provide food for birds, squirrels and chipmunks. I don't even begrudge the deer my shrubs in the winter, but I do wish that they would leave the Hostas alone in the summer. After all there is plenty more for them to eat. This year I planted some double pink columbines. I hope they like the garden as well as the wild purple ones.
Monday, July 5, 2010
A harpie, in mythology is part human, part bird. When I created this swan, my neighbor came up with the term "Harpette' for the anthropomorphic creature.
It all began when I was practicing sculpting cloth faces for one of a kind dolls. This particular head just seemed to say to me that it was a swan, not a human and thus the adventure began.
The body is constructed out of a wire frame, padded and filled with plastic pellets for weight. The wings are also wired. My original intent was to have the wings stand out to either side, but my wire wasn't strong enough to hold the weight of the fused lame prairie points used to create them. As she grew using lots of jewel toned colors, it was obvious to me that this was not your ordinary swan. This was a 'Vegas' swan so we added the feathers around the head and the boa around the neck.
As a project went, it was a lot of fun. My husband came home to find me talking to myself and laughing hysterically in the midst of creating her. He wasn't sure what action, if any, he should take at the time - and he didn't stick around very long to find out, either.
If you are at all creative, you will probably understand when I say, often you don't own the process, it owns you. I knew I wanted to make a swan, but this wasn't the swan in my head - this was the swan she wanted to be. Later I was able to make a duck that was well thought out and came out exactly as I wanted it. I'm not sure why sometimes it works that way, but I will say that letting everything just flow and happen is very rewarding and fun. It doesn't always work out well, but often it comes out better than what you had planned. So I try not to plan and organize every detail when I play.
This creation won best in show at one of the competitions she was entered into, despite one of the judge critiques that swans should be black or white. To that I reply 'get out of the box!'.