My Blue Boys in “THE BARK”

I’m so very proud to have an essay and portrait in The Bark, a wonderful online magazine dedicated to man’s best friend.
Tributes is a special online section dedicated to stories about our beloved dogs past.” —The Bark
Click image or highlighted text to visit, The Bark!

I hope you and all those in your loving circles are managing during these difficult days.❤️

she followed me home

the version tonight
I do not like her
the woman who came home
that one
she followed me
had the nerve to walk in my shoes
into the house
in soles not made for stomping
yelling in a voice that should be singing
she’d said
the other version, the one I like
warned me awhile ago
things might get a little ugly
like a volcano
festering stuff below the tonsils
when that one gets angry
she’s not pleasant
not even to the cute little dog
no one is safe
the only thing two extra legs buys you
when she’s in that mood
is a fast walk into a little crate
I hope when she finishes firing off all her rockets
she flattens into an autumn shadow
I want the person who entertains me
yea, the one who mostly laughs
even when it gives her smile lines

Pumpkin Sweet

Pumpkin Sweet

at the beyond

Nothing is the same
All the lights are on
yet the dark is oppressive
I imagine you’re out there
Dreaming
lets me smile
I think you’re in the next room
Pretending
is a talent of mine
I miss you completely
Maybe one day
we’ll be together again
at the beyond
when I grow tired of pretending
and short
of breath

Rocky

Rocky

missing you greatly, my dear friend and companion

and frolicked in the autumn mist…

Well my friends,
Rocky our loving Shepherd has moved on to that big white kitchen where all are welcome. We are heartbroken, but damn if he didn’t enjoy life. So today my family and Rocky’s sidekick, Mojo the Dachshund are celebrating how he lived. And my friends he lived brightly–that dog lived oh, so very brightly…

Peace, love and light, my sweet canine companion
Rocky.post“Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei”

rest now, my furry friend

Holidragon

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–
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 😉

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

The Legend of an Angry Catwoman

My Friends,
The legend of Wampus Cat speaks of a Native American woman of breathtaking beauty who possessed a passion for knowledge. A passion that would ultimately bind her in fur and claw.

Wampus Cat
Daring to learn the sacred stories of magic, she stole under the cloak of night and mountain cat-hide to eavesdrop on tribal elders. Medicine Man sensed something amiss and she was soon discovered. As punishment, Medicine Man transformed her. With one stroke of his mighty hand, her body absorbed the mountain-cat hide she wore. She morphed into a wicked creature destined to roam the woods and hills forever alone. She never acquired the knowledge she so desperately desired. She was educated in rage. Her mind knew what she’d become. Forever…

So if you venture into the forest deep, and should you hear the crack of wood or the soft patter of a two-hundred pound cat woman, you best run. There is no smooth-talking Wampus Cat – you’ll only piss her off.
Wampus Cat Thank you. May you cuddle with sweet kittens and pampered pooches. And hopefully, Wampus Cat stays in the forest.

Wampus Cat sketched today while beautiful snow was falling. This sketch is unfinished. She needs  work and I’m unsure about the tail – could look unnecessarily ‘phalic’ (might be a bad thing for an agitated woman). Final render will cover Wampus in black fur and white teeth 🙂

Out Green Man, Out!

My Friends,
I woke up this morning and a Green Man was in my head. I think he hails from a distant house in a far off neighborhood. He wears a crown of flattened, blue celery to frighten would be produce buyers. A ring of cheap gold – his pet – accompanies him whenever he strolls down the street seeking out those who dare to don a better crown than he…

Sometimes you just have to let the Green Man out.
Green ManThank you. May you dream of men in the vegetables of your choice.
Green Man created yesterday, I’m still trying to figure out why he was in my head and so is the giant husband 😉

Dream Well 2014

My Friends,
We begin each year with promise. We end each year with hope. And in between we live. For me 2014 consisted of 365 attempts – some successes, some failures – to find daily fulfillment. The last months were wrapped in family, friends and food. I’d like to share a quick reel of my recent holiday season with you. Feel free to hum, The Twelve Days of Christmas while viewing.

My holiday season began with Thanksgivingpalooza (5 days of family, food, fun and shopping, did I say food) –
t'day

Delicate daughter posed like a Christmas Tree, free of charge, for her mom’s art –
delicate daughterDealt with holiday shopping exhaustion –
Mojo's feetShared big son’s wrestling moments –
MaxRocky the Shepherd and yours truly, tried shedding T’day pounds before Christmas –
ExerciseMade holiday decorations using fruit mailer packaging –
fruit treeAttempted snapping Xmas photo with all subjects cooperating –
Xmas 2014Christmas Eve-ing’ at The Roselli’s – Manjia!
More food A few Roselli’s and attachments (more were hiding in other rooms) –
Xmas EveDessert, dessert, did I say dessert… –
more dessertElf on Shelf terrified Rocky the Fierce –
fierceWaited for Santa or wanted to draw yellow snow angels (they’re creative) –
waitingBig son went missing when Santa showed up (He still admits nothing) –
santaTried lifting away Christmas pounds before New Year’s –
liftingLaughed in the New Year with family & friends –
RingingThe giant husband can still hear my voice above the din of the crowd –
Giant husbandRight eyebrow arched high, fist supported chin, sleep was not far behind –
girlsAfter the 2015 New Year’s ball lands, we begin the wait for mall Santa’s return –
mall santaHopefully Mojo the Dachshund will divulge where he hid Elf on the Shelf before next Christmas –
elf pullWe breathe a moment while peering out the window –
til next timeand look to the stars –
lightsand take comfort in knowing they’ll shine no matter the time of year.
Dream well 2014.

Thank you. Here’s to dreaming your 2015 hopes into reality.
And don’t forget to start polishing up those Valentines 😉

Holiday Disorder

Holiday Disorder

All Things Great and Small

Dear Friends,
Though I spent my younger years attending Catholic School, I don’t consider myself religious. I’d call myself spiritual at best. This particular post includes text from Cecil Alexander’s, Hymns for Little Children. James Herriot used the first stanza from Ms. Alexander’s hymn, “All Things…” to title his fabulous series. Mr. Herriot’s three books are based on his 1930’s veterinarian practice in Yorkshire, England. These humorous, yet poignant books, are worth the time – if you have it to give.

All things bright and beautiful,

flowers close
flowersAll things great and small,

cabin kidsgreen monstermonster pants

All things wise and wonderful,

on couchThe Lord God made them all.

istaalligatorThank you and goodnight. May your dreams abound with earth’s wondrous creatures.

(The flowers are done with watercolors. I rendered the monster illustrations in Prisma pencil and I once had an iguana named Ista who I called friend. The croc is named Barney. Barney suffered tremendous depression when he learned a purple dinosaur swiped his name. Barney cried so many crocodile tears he rusted. )