corkscrewed

our blue boys

the mantle has been empty far too long
I’ve been meaning to create another portrait
what else is an empty fireplace wall for?

it seems an eternity has passed
since working with a linen base and liquid pigment
pencil and paper are sometimes sorry replacements

on August 3, I set out my paints
and selected a canvas
large enough for a big dog
yet, not overwhelming
for a little one

our last Shepherd, Chama was a regal type
her stoic beauty typified her grace
I did my best to present these qualities
when I painted her formal portrait in 2002

Appreciating

our current dogs
hmm
Rocky the Shepherd
Mojo the Dachshund
what is it about this dynamic duo
that makes my family laugh often

they are quite goofy
yet, they can be fearless too
as small dogs usually go-
Mojo’s 13 pounds sees 90 in our Pella glass door
and
while a Shepherd cuts an intimidating figure
most times
Rocky acts quite silly

when conceptualizing a portrait
there is but one goal‚Äď
doing justice to
the subject(s)
outlook(s) on life
natural as the air they breath

in the case of Rocky and Mojo
I’d say joy
and since purple was not quite right
I chose the colors of a
blissful sky, a wistful ocean,
an icy fruit-sickle on a steamy day

our blue boys…
blue boys.largerBlue Boys, acrylic – 3′ x 2 1/2′
finished a few days ago, in between doing loads of laundry – ah, if only they could help with the chores, now that would be something ūüėČ

Chama (Chama the Shepherd looking at her portrait), oils – 2′ x 1 1/2′
painted in 2002  (sorry for poor photo quality)

Charlie’s Ears

My Friends,
Yesterday’s doll conversations¬†brought back¬†fond memories of a¬†cherished childhood friend. His name was Charlie. He had curled pink fur and bright blue eyes that somehow didn’t seem right, but were.¬†I remember many a¬†dark night when Charlie¬†was my cuddle pal.

I can’t remember why I cut Charlie’s long ears off. They were most¬†likely cropped to better match his eyes. I can’t recall what eventually became of my beloved pink buddy. Maybe he ran away in fear. His little lunatic owner might chop¬†off his balled tail which didn’t look quite right, but was.

Charlie DogIt’s funny how sometimes making new friends can remind us of old lost ones. My blog buddy, Deb has an impossibly adorable dog named Charlie. If you’d like to see precious Charlie along with¬†all his other four-legged house¬†buddies visit C-Dog. Deb is a brilliant wordsmith and a great champion of animals in¬†every conceivable color, even pink. And Fawn of Trigger’s Horse,¬†handles her mom’s cherished doll collection with warmth and pride. Fawn is a volunteer extraordinaire and a multi-talented craftsperson.

Thank you. May you dream of your favorite childhood friend.

Charlie Dog drawn yesterday with misting eyes and markers

Animal Bullies

Dear Friends,
There is something so absolutely pacifying in a wagging tail or a wet nose against a palm. Animals bring magic to our lives. They make us smile-

car and mojoIt is so very sad when animals languish in shelters. Are we not their caretakers?¬†¬†It is so very sad when magnificent creatures are cut down because it is easy. One¬†wouldn’t¬†dare approach a gorilla bare-fisted. Our¬†power is in body-splitting metal equipment only, we own nothing naturally. We trigger from a safe distance¬†then¬†take our¬†prizes in¬†hands and¬†horns and leave the rest to waste. How sad for us.

gorilla¬†I hold hope, as many of you do. We are better than those few who maim for profit. We are better than those who buy then throw on the street because the puppy didn’t fit ‘the dream.’ We will be better. We are good and kind and animals too…

rhinoThank you and goodnight. May you dream of fantastic jungles and leap from vines of silken pillows.
Peace my friends…
Delicate Daughter and Mojo the Dachshund taken in 2013, gorilla and rhino sketched in 2008

The Talking Mushroom and the Little Red Fox

Dear Friends,
There once lived a little red fox-

fox

fox

Her auburn fur edged¬†with gold, flickered in the sunlight whenever she ran about the forest. She was smart and lovely, yet she was unhappy. Though she could do all things in perfect fox-form, she dreamt of¬†being a kangaroo. Daily she practiced graceful long jumps. The¬†little red fox could even leap much higher than her older brothers.¬†But¬†this amazing athletic prowess, didn’t¬†satiate her bounding appetite. She wanted to be a kangaroo. One misty morning with dew saturating her delicate toes, the little red fox¬†came upon a purple-spotted¬†mushroom. It was a purple-spotted fungus, the likes of which she’d never seen.

“My dear child,” bubbled the purple-spotted mushroom from his damp earthen throne, “you are unhappy.”

“Yes,” replied the little fox, not even a bit concerned she was talking to a purple-spotted fungus.

“I can make you happy,” whispered the mushroom low, as not to share his¬†secret.

“How?” asked the little red¬†fox, unable to contain¬†her excitement.

“One bite of me and your dream¬†will come true.”

The little red fox wasted not a moment, she chomped on the purple-spotted mushroom. When she awoke next¬†morning, she could not push up on her strong front paws as she done all the previous days of her life. She rolled to her¬†side, then much to her surprise, sprang up. So forceful was the¬†leap, she soared¬†fifty feet across the forest floor. The little red fox¬†landed by a large puddle that had collected between gnarly¬†tree roots and rock. She caught her reflection in the shimmering water. Her wish had been granted – her dream realized. Instead of being jubilant for the change, she sobbed mightily. She was neither a¬†little red¬†fox nor a complete¬†kangaroo…

fox:kangaThere was once a snowman who wished he was a fox-

Snow Fox

Snow Fox

Hope you enjoyed my little fable.
Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of being content¬†in your own skin…

(Fox Up Close: Prisma, 2000,  Foxroo: acrylic on canvas, 1999,  Snowman with Fox Mask: Prisma, two days ago)

Merrily, Life Goes ‘Round

Dear Friends,
Designing and painting a¬†wall mural¬†is¬†a¬†formidable process.¬†The execution is simply an expanded version of what one would do¬†on canvas. This is not the arduous¬†part. The difficulty comes with the passage of time. What happens when a room gets redecorated or repurposed? The mural is often a victim of circumstance. Many wall paintings are eventually covered over with contemporary¬†hues.¬†The delicate¬†daughter’s carousel¬†had its day in the sun too. I¬†created it¬†years ago when she loved playing with dollhouses and reading picture books. This mural¬†was painted over with Georgian Gold when¬†it became the¬†guest room.

I began this Merry-Go-Round with research and the painting of this wooden sign-

signNext, came the animals-

lion closeThe Paint horse below was created¬†in homage to the animated movie, Spirit. Her name is Rain. She is¬†Spirit’s horse girlfriend-

rain closeupThen of course, there’s the proud Mustang stallion, Spirit-

spirit horseSee how the equine pair frolic about the Wild West-

spirit:rainAnd what’s a carousel without a doting¬†cherub –

Cupid/mural detail

Cupid/mural detail

One must have an animal menagerie to bounce upon too-

giraffeThere can’t be a carousel kingdom without a prince of the forest and a king of the jungle –

lion, deerSo merrily life goes ’round and carousels spin. We ride¬†and¬†laugh aloud. Sometimes we even get sick. The Merry-Go-Round stops and waits for the next group of riders.

Goodnight and may your night be filled with dancing animals and happy music…

Death of an Ancient One

As a kid, I found any¬†morning walk to my¬†bus stop after a heavy¬†rain¬†daunting. Neither me¬†or my earthworm¬†friends¬†were very happy.¬†I¬†couldn’t bear to watch the¬†endless sea¬†of¬†pinkish-brown¬†bodies wriggling on¬†the wet blacktop. Whenever this upsetting¬†scene accosted¬†my eyes, my inner-tomboy¬†morphed into¬†a worm-plucking machine. Running in a serpentine pattern, I’d grab¬†as many worms as my little hands could carry. Then onto the nearest lawn went¬†the hapless earthworms. I’d continue saving worms¬†until the bus arrived. Once seated, I’d wipe my dirty hands on my navy-blue knee socks so the nuns couldn’t think I’d been digging for the devil.

I don’t save earthworms much these days. I’d like to think that over¬†the last forty years their little earthworm¬†brains¬†have evolved and they’re better¬†equipped¬†at saving themselves.¬†I’ve since taken up¬†offering roadside assistance to bewildered¬†dogs. To prepare myself for this challenge, a nylon leash is stowed in my car and I watch The¬†Dog Whisperer, whenever I can.¬†To date I’m happy to report-I’ve¬†reunited several¬†lost pooches with their owners (though one little dog with oddly big teeth scared the crap out of me).

Bringing me to the reptile saving. A few years back there was an incident which compels me to save turtles for the rest of my life. I learned a terrible, horrible and valuable lesson. Every spring where I live many turtles venture out onto the road. While driving the tank, if I happen to spy a slow-moving shell I pull over and return the turtle to safety.

On this particular spring day several years ago, I’d been rushing to collect¬†the big son (who was much smaller at the time) from elementary school. We had to find¬†a birthday gift then¬†get to a party. On the¬†way to his school, a large¬†snapping turtle¬†–¬†the kind that¬†live 150 years¬†–¬†was making his way across the road.¬†He¬†was better than halfway¬†and¬†the road was not heavily trafficked. A fleeting thought¬†entered¬†my mind, “Pull the car¬†over¬†and¬†make sure¬†the turtle gets across.” Followed by the next fleeting thought, “No time. Everyone will see that giant turtle. It’s impossible¬†not too. He’ll be fine.” I continued on my journey feeling nary¬†a twinge of¬†guilt. I picked up the big son and¬†we proceeded to Target.

On the return ride, my jaw dropped open, my mouth hung agape. I was in disbelief. The huge, ancient, beautiful turtle didn’t make it across the road. I was broken-hearted¬†but¬†the guilt was far worse.¬†I vowed from that day forward, much to the giant husband’s chagrin, to save every single¬†turtle or reptile, no matter the time, place or situation.

I¬†will¬†admit that picking up and carrying that¬†giant snapping turtle last year was not very smart, but the darn thing wasn’t moving fast enough and I had to help him cross the road.

turtle head/Prisma

turtle head/Prisma