Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Cat Called Moose

We have a cat. He's not a nice cat. He's a nasty-tempered, cranky, mangey old cat who has this notion in his head that he's the master of this house. Master with a capital "M" it seems. In 'his' head that is. Not in mine. Moosey and I have a love / hate relationship. He loves to torment me and I hate him for it. We've had issues in past lives, as Teresa says.

There are certain things in this house that I will just not let him get away with. Most of the time, I'm easy to get along with. Really! But I just cannot stand a cat sitting on my kitchen table or counters. Nope. He gets swiped off with my arm no matter how many times he does it. If I have to stand there and sweep him off ten times in a row, I will. Because Moosey is not going to win the battle of wills. And because Moosey is not the Master. Oops, I meant to say master - with no capital letter. See what I mean? He's starting to brainwash me.

Another thing I cannot tolerate is his propensity to chew wires. Any wires. New headphone wires. Computer wires. Microphone wires. Aquarium wires. You name it - if Moose gets annoyed with you, he'll immediately strut to something used by the annoyer and 'crunch'. Or 'chew'. Or 'chomp'.

If there is one thing I hate, it's having him plunk his rear end down about four inches from my face, on my pillow, at 3 am if his food bowl is empty. Oh, am I in major trouble if his food bowl is empty during the night!!!

Anyways, I could go on about Moosey's nasty streak but I'm sure you get the idea. Or perhaps, like my Mom, you're thinking "Deb, cats don't think like that! And Moose is such a sweet cat. How can you possibly think things like this of the darling?" To which I always reply, "experience". Experience of buying phone cords like they're going out of style. Experience of replacing wires and items whose wires cannot be replaced. Experience of cleaning cat vomit from the sheets of my bed. (That's when he's really pissed off at me!) And the list goes on. And on. And on.

Lately though, Moose has been worming his way into my good books. Or maybe it's the other way 'round. I don't know, but I'm almost enjoying our new-found camaraderie. Which is a very scary thought indeed. He's always within a few feet of me whenever I'm in the house.

And aren't I the lucky one - he likes to sleep curled up beside me! He used to bite my toe if my foot got too close to him but lately, he just purrs and rubs against it. Hmmmmmmm. What's up?

When he has me trained to constantly be on guard, this friendliness, while semi-enjoyable, is kind of freaky really.

Here's a few shots of him - in lieu of a painting. (Since I had a rather large 2nd Annual Pool Party & BBQ this past weekend which required an enormous amount of preparation and work. And housecleaning. All of which totally wiped out any painting time this past weekend but was worth that sacrifice because it went beautifully!)

The first is Moose sleeping in his bed. I mean, MY bed. Note the paws! (But trust me - don't get taken in by the cute look of him!)

Before you get the wrong idea and start writing to me to tell me that I've got a poor judge of character, here's a shot of his "you'd better listen to what I'm saying, woman" look. I often get this look.

When his head is beside my foot and I see what is in this next shot, I quickly move my foot. Or he draws blood. From my toe.

Most of the time though, especially if I'm painting, this is what I see when I turn my head:

If you happen to read any comments from my Painting Pals about 'poor maligned Moose', don't believe them, k? He has them wrapped around his little finger. Or paw.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jose Antonio G. Villarrubia

I'm always discovering art blogs and I've found one that I thought I'd mention here. If you click here, you'll get to a blog called La mirada del Auriga. If you click 'play' on his music (by Philip Glass) (note: you have to scroll way down to the bottom to see the music option then scroll back up to see the paintings), you hear the most beautiful haunting music. It matches so totally & perfectly with most of his drawings and paintings that have this wonderful antique and old-world look. (I just love, love, love that old-world look!)

Wow, listening and looking took me back several thousand years! Beautiful!

We'll have to ask Teresa to translate a few of his writings though. ;-)

(I found his blog by clicking on his avatar after he made a comment here on my blog about the teabag painting. It always intrigues me as to how people find my blog! For some reason, I get a lot of hits on the post "Finished Teabag Painting". Hmmmmmm ...... Curiouser and curiouser.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Honour of the Samurai

Thought I'd post a few paintings I did a while back.

This one is called Honour of the Samurai. It's won several awards - a Member's Choice at EBSQ and also a First Place Watercolour division in a Focus Art Juried Show. It was also voted onto the 2007 calendar for Focus Art.

The ghost of a Samurai Warrior stands under the 'gate', yet his shadow remains strong. The shadow represents the legacy of the great Samurai Warriors.

In real life, the colours are much more vibrant than what you can see here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Heads Up

This is something I started a long time ago! It's been sitting, unfinished, on the corner of my painting table for a long, long time. Still taped down to it's board. Last week, (or was it two weeks ago?) I decided to finish it.

It started out as a small version of something I (later) wanted to paint in full sheet format. During the painting process of this one, many times I thought how there just wasn't going to be a full sheet painting done of this. I cursed those petals sooooo many times! Now that it's done though, I may just do a full sheet of some similar sunflowers. I have some shots I took in the park last year of giant sunflowers that would look great in this technique.

"Heads Up" began with lots of masking fluid drizzled around and a poured base of some wild colours. That was fun! It's painted on Arches Hot Pressed paper (which I love and don't use enough!) and is 13.25 inches by 9.5 inches. Each petal was painted OPAT (one petal at a time). More paint was dabbed off than was left on! I lay down paint, dab most of it off, lay down more, dab off again, and so on until I have the look I want. The main colours here are Winsor Newton Quin Gold and Daniel Smith Burnt Orange - two colours that I love for their intensity.

The reference shot was from Ruth Harris in England. Many thanks, Ruth! You're an awesome photographer and it's wonderful how you share so many of your photographs.

As always, this is a copyrighted painting. Please do NOT copy or reproduce it in any way, shape or form without my handwritten permission. Thanks.

Let me know how you like it ....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Canadian Brushstrokes Magazine!

My good friend, Ann (who is an awesome artist) sent me a link the other day about an e-magazine called Canadian Brushstrokes. It's a beautiful e-magazine with great articles. It features Canadian artists! You can see their site by clicking here. While there, you can subscribe. Best of all - it's free! Check out the beautiful artwork there .....

I've been working on a painting of a sunflower and will post it shortly. It's giving me a bit of grief lately but with the help of Ann and Teresa this morning, I think I may not have to trash it after all. Thanks you two!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Today's Art - Edible

Seems that Canada Day brings on Edible Art! Last year, I made the Canada Day cake that looked like our flag. This Canada Day, Mat (my youngest son) and I made homemade pretzels using Alton Brown's recipe. They're soooooooooooo good! (Instead of mixing the dough by hand, I adapted it to the bread machine and went swimming while it mixed! That's the life!)

I wanted to paint today but had a visitor so it was kind of hard. Tonight or tomorrow .......

Tomorrow's a work day. What a bummer. I could get used to this schmoozing around the house all day!!!

Happy Canada Day!!!!!!