Monday, May 24, 2010

How Della Lost Her Groove

If you have been following this blog any time at all you may have noticed that a new artwork goes up every week, usually on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. But I had nothing last week and this week there is nothing again. This morning I was playing with my camera and took a photo of my desktop,  These are photos that I took in the garden last week. That is about as creative as I am going to get for a while. But don't give up on me altogether. Stick around and you may see a painting of this iris, called Superstition and described as "black."  It is really a deep, deep purple, though it does look black when the sun is not shining directly on it.

As to why there is no artwork, it is due to a malady that hits most creatives at one time or another. Some people, those who are very optimistic and confident - or perhaps unrealistic and delusional - refer to it as a" block," - artist's block, writer's block. This, however assumes that the disease is light and temporary, when in fact it is terminal and devastating.  The closest thing I can come to describing the condition is what happened to my computer this morning.  My new wireless mouse, my pride and joy, suddenly stopped working. It probably didn't help that I had dropped it on the floor earlier, but to me that seems like something of an overreaction.  The little arrow sat lifelessly on the corner of my screen while I shoved the mouse this way and that, pushing buttons I hadn't known were there.  Then my dear husband, the house genius, picked up the mouse, removed the battery and put it right back again. That doesn't make sense, does it? But then the little arrow began dancing across my screen again as if its life had been miraculously restored.   So that is what it takes.  Maybe my battery doesn't need to be recharged, just jiggled around a little. On the other hand, maybe I need a complete overhaul.

Wish I could tell you that I have decided to take a long vacation in some exotic, undisclosed location, but I am not a fiction writer.  A change of scene would be good, but there are too many responsibilities keeping me here right now.  And that may be the problem -  my muse got tired of living responsibly and went off on vacation without me. Hope it isn't an extended one, I miss her...

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever


One of the joys of cat, dog and horse shows is the opportunity to meet many different kinds of animals that you don't see on a daily basis. This is especially true of cats, as many of them are indoor animals, rarely if ever venturing out of doors.  This beauty was one of the sweetest, friendliest cats I had ever met. and she reminded me of a childhood pet.  Mine was pure white, unlike this one who looked as if someone had sketched on her lightly with charcoal dust. But my kitty did have the thick, silky white fur and the most affectionate nature.  Every morning when I got up, she would sit in my lap on the rocking chair in out kitchen and put her arms around my neck. Since she had come from a shelter, it was unlikely she was pure Persian, as this one, but she had the same beautiful spirit.

I am not sure about the coloring of this cat. If her owner shared that with me I have forgotten.   Her fur was pure white with just a dusting of the grayish-black marking. So beautiful and so very sweet. Whoever described cats as "aloof" never met this charmer.

This is a pastel on Sennelier Pastel Card, the image size is 7 x 8. It is mounted on foam core board. matted to a standard size and ready to frame. 20% of the sale will be donated to Tabby's Place, A Cat Sanctuary. It will be listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mixed emotions on Mother's Day

"Knock Out" Rosebush, a Mother's Day gift from my husband, 
sits in the studio waiting for frost warnings to melt away.

For many years now, Mother's Day has brought mixed feelings. My mom passed away when I was 26 - that was a long time ago. I would have like to have had her around longer, would like for her to have been there for my wedding and when I raised a family. I was scared to death of making a mistake, doing things wrong, and it would have been good to hear an encouraging word from her.  She loved kids and would have enjoyed being a grandmother. But God had other plans, and His plans are always for the best, even when we don't understand them.  Mom had a firm, sometimes even fierce faith in God, and she would never have argued with Him about anything.  And we all know that Heaven is better than earth.

I inherited a love of children from my mother, and always planned, or at least hoped, to have a large family. But God had other ideas about that, also.  A few years after Mom died, He brought a young widower with two little boys into my life.  I loved them as if they were my own, even though there were plenty of people on all sides reminding me that they were not, and that it wasn't really "the same."  But I plugged on, and though my mother was no longer with me, God had given me a best friend, named Shary who I could always depend on for moral support.  I hadn't been married long, when we went out for lunch together and she asked me how I was doing.  I chatted on and on about the kids, their activities, the house, Larry's work, and she said, "Della, how are you?"  It made me tear up then, as it does now. She never let me forget that, yes, I was a wife, a mother, a housekeeper, but I was also still her friend, a person, an individual. She once told me that I should stop thinking of myself as a second string replacement, a substitute for someone else, but to always remember that I am the one and only "me" and I wasn't a second-best anything. Thank you, Shary, for being there. Best friends are a wonderful gift from God.

So, the question is who is the real mother - is it the person who carried the children for nine months and spent hours in labor bringing them into the world, or the one who spent years feeding them, doing mountains of laundry and cleaning, spending sleepless nights worrying and  praying, praying, praying that someday when they went out into the world, they would be safe and happy, and that the world would become a better place because of them?  The answer can only be BOTH of them. It takes all those things, and more to make a "real" mother. And for some reason, God in His wisdom decided that my boys needed two different women to share this responsibility, instead of just one. It was His decision.  Twice as much love, two times the prayers. And, like my mom, I don't have the audacity to argue with God about anything.

The beautiful rose bush pictured above is a gift from my wonderful husband, who never stops reminding me that I am the mother of his children.  A husband is a wonderful gift from God.! So, despite the sadness, I am blessed

Monday, May 03, 2010

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier
There is something irresistible about the soulful eyes of a spaniel, and the Cavalier is one of the most soulful of all spaniels.  Cavaliers are the kind of dog that make you say "awww," but they are also very brave, very loyal and have a wonderful sense of humor and a joyous nature. The kind of person you would want for your best friend.  I always enjoy talking with Cavalier people because they are as friendly as the dogs they love. and they don't mind at all when I can't resist stroking that soft, silky fur.

This is an acrylic painting on stretched, wrapped canvas.  No staples show on the sides, and all the edges have been painted so that it may be displayed with or without a frame. It has been listed on Daily Painters for Tuesday and also Art Helping Animals. You may view the listing on eBay by clicking here.

From time to time people write me to request more paintings of their favorite breeds. Cavalier King Charles are among the most requested.  For cats, it is usually Persians or Maine Coons.  I love reading about your favorite breeds, and am happy to paint them when I can. This week I am working on some Persians and hope to show them to  you soon.