In The Studio: Cat Art For Sale!
I had a lot of fun a couple of months ago doing a series of cats in watercolors for a local show of cat art. On the opening night there were kittens available and four were adopted! There were also sales! But I still have some of my pieces left and am offering them for sale right here and now. So consider giving one or more of them a good home. :0)
All of them are done in transparent watercolor on Waterford paper and are unframed.
In order to purchase, please leave a comment saying “Sold!” and saying which one(s) you want. First come, first serve.
I really had fun getting crazy with color, letting it run and spread as it wanted to.
Once again, to purchase please leave a comment telling me which piece or pieces you want. First come, first serve. Payment by Paypal only. Sales price includes sales tax where applicable and mailing.
Thanks for your interest!
The Art Life: Not Just Art
I have the good fortune to work at home doing something I love. It also means “visitors” every day. Our two rough collies and three cats wander in and out, sometimes just to say “hi” or to hang out. The last few days Alexander has come in, sprawling across my desk in front of my iMac to get his tummy skritched and combed out. He was a slightly scruffy little shelter kitten who we got when he was about three months old. He’s grown into a phlegmatic 8 year old, 16 pound furball.
(And wouldn’t you know it, as I was proofing this post in he came. Pause for tummy combing….)
(Ok, I’m back.)
Being at home also means that if I, say, spot a juvenile great blue heron down at our pond I can grab my camera and get some photos.
After work tasks include watering the vegetable garden and picking what’s ready. We got a very late start this year, but Humboldt County’s warmest weather is in September/October so we’ll get at least some goodies in the freezer like peas for winter solstice dinner.
We picked our first real harvest a few days ago. Shallots, a yellow zucchini, Hurst Green Shaft peas (got the seed in England and haven’t found an American source for this awesome variety), Blue Lake green beans, and French haricot verts. Potatoes will be ready in another month or so. We’ve also planted regular green zucchini and summer squash, both of which will start to be ready for harvesting soon. I also, because I had them, threw some brussels sprout seeds from 2012 into the ground just to see if any would germinate. Thought I might get two or three. Well….I’ve now got a clump of over a dozen that are too close together. My plan is to carefully transplant them into a row once the rains come and the weather is cooler.
I think we’re going to dig a small root cellar on the north side of the garage since there are five varieties of garlic on the way, plus some heritage onions. The peas and beans will be, respectively, shelled and cut up for the freezer, where they will join the three gallon-size ziploc bags of blueberries our bushes produced this year. Did I mention that I’m reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” right now? :0).
In the meantime, last night I rummaged around for dinner wanting to use the zucchini while it was fresh and some mushrooms before they were goners. And came up with this…
I set water to boiling for the shell pasta and then sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil and butter. I added the zucchini and let it cook for a bit, then added some finely sliced leeks. It’s seasoned with a bit of salt, basil, parsley and oregano. When the pasta was done I dumped it into the vegies and stirred everything together. Dinner was served in our Portmeirion “Borders” pattern china that we got at the factory seconds shop in England twenty years ago.
As for art, as you saw last week, I’ve got some new small horse paintings under way. I also started this one, getting the brush drawing done. You can still see the pencil marks from where I projected the preliminary drawing for transfer and then made some corrections. But darn, I kinda like the way it looks now, so I might just call it done and keep it around. We’ll see.
Gallimauphry Friday: Cat Art Sale Coming Up! See What I’ll Be Offering…
There is a great benefit art show that has happened for a number of years now that I’ve contributed to in the past but have been too busy to do again until now. It’s called “Cats in the Hall”, the hall being The Hall Gallery at 208 C Street Studios in Eureka, California, about 20 minutes from where I live.
There will be work by over 70 local artists working in various media. The Arts Alive! Reception will be on Sept. 2nd. The doors open at 12:00PM Saturday and Sunday. Costumes are encouraged for the opening. The show comes down Sept 27th. There will be cats available for adoption.
I’ve taken advantage of finally not staring down the barrel of show deadlines for awhile to splash around with my watercolors and have some fun painting from the zillions of photos I’ve taken of our cats over the years.
The pieces I’m posting here will only be available for now at the show. If any don’t sell, then I’ll post them for sale on my website.
I really had fun loosening up with the watercolors. I drew each shape, added a layer of clear water and then started adding paint, just letting it do its thing. I used my new Yarka watercolor set so it was a chance to try out some new colors too.
So if you live in Humboldt County (or beyond) and you love art or cats or art and cats or cat art, come to the show!
Feline Friday + The Family Dog
I’ve got a rather intense project under way, about which more soon, so for today I thought I’d just share some photos of our family critters, three cats and a collie. The cats all came from a shelter, Niki from a responsible breeder.
100 Posts!- Culture Vultures in San Francisco and Snowy Roads
To my amazement, this is the one hundredth post that I’ve done since I started to blog last January. It seemed to happen so fast. I guess it really is true that time flies when you’re having fun. Thank you to everyone who reads and comments!
We just got back from a four day trip to San Francisco, which is about six hours south of where we live. We knew that the weather was predicted to be “interesting”. Little did we know. But first, here’s a really special photo my husband took before we left. I was out running errands, he went to get the mail and saw this little grey fox snoozing in the sun right out in the driveway of a house across the street. He got the camera and he/she was still there. This is one of the best shots. Pretty cool.
As anyone who has cats and dogs knows, they figure out pretty quickly when something is up and the humans are going away. Some get anxious and some, well, don’t.
When we left, the ocean looked like this:
We speculated on where we might see snow on the mountaintops and maybe even on the road. I figured Rattlesnake Pass between Laytonville and Willits.
Wrong. This was almost an hour north in Redwood Country, where we rarely see snow on the coast.
Mmm, it’s getting heavier and right down to the road.
It’s a….Winter Wonderland!
Snow, snow all along the route. Laytonville and Willits were covered with snow. Really beautiful and an unusual treat for us coastal northern Californians where the average temperature in January is 55F.
But we got to our room at the Emeryville Courtyard Marriott and had this killer view of San Francisco at sunset. And the Golden Gate Bridge.
Notice the clear skies. So we had nice weather, but cold, for what we came down to do: Family visit, the Yves St. Laurent show “Style”, at the de Young Museum and the Afghani treasures show, “Afghanistan” at the Asian Art Museum. A bonus at the de Young was an absolutely knock-out show of geologic forms, “Systematic Landscapes” in a variety of media by Maya Lin, who designed the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington D.C.
We got in a stop at IKEA, too.
Of course we took advantage of the culinary richness of the Bay Area, eating Thai (Boran, Solano Ave., Berkeley), Ethiopian (Addis, Telegraph Ave., Oakland), Italian (Pasta Pomodoro, Bay Center, Emeryville) and seafood (Sea Salt, San Pablo Ave.. Berkeley). At the Sea Salt Restaurant, I couldn’t an unexpected opportunity to try the legendary drink Absinthe for the first time. There were three choices and I went for the St. Georges, which is distilled in Alameda, right down the road from Berkeley. It was…..amazing. A little goes a really long way. We found it at a, hate the name, BevMo and indulged in a bottle, which ought to last a couple of years depending on how many artist and other friends care to try it.
And, since David had accidently put his cell phone through the washing machine and our contract was up next spring anyway, we went to an Apple store and got iPhones. Absolutely revolutionary devices. Effortless to use. Intuitive. More stuff than you ever thought you’d want to do. The procrastination possibilities are almost endless. And the phone works just fine, too.
The trip home yesterday was in rain, hard rain and pounding, monsoon-like rain. We were glad to collect the collie boy and kick back for a quiet evening.
I’m going to take next week off and celebrate the holidays with family. Mongolia Monday will return on the 29th. Before we left, I got this photo of Michiko snuggled in her chair amongst some garlands that I’d draped over it.
Mongolia Monday- Cats and Dogs
In three trips to Mongolia I’ve seen exactly….three cats, literally one per trip. In general it appears that Mongolians don’t much like cats. There are a number of beliefs about them, none particularly positive. I was told that the appearance of a cat meant that there would be a death. Two women that I’ve spoken with both said that they didn’t even like the idea of touching a cat, but one allowed as how her attitude was probably based on things older people had said when she was much younger.
On the other hand, when we stopped at a ger in the Gobi, I watched a woman shoo this cat into the ger while the dogs were clearly meant to stay outside. I remember thinking “It figures.”
They do seem to be kept around by some families for the age-old purpose of rodent control. This little cat was at the ger camp at Ikh Nart. She was fussed over by the cook, who I was told loves animals. She was very friendly, so David and I were able to get an unexpected “cat fix”. It was apparently impossible to keep her out of the staff ger because she would climb up to the top and come in through the center opening. One night she dropped down onto our guide’s bed, one of the women who was adamant about not liking cats, and proceeded to try to snuggle up near her head. I remember thinking “It figures.”
I suspect that Mongols have had dogs for as long as they have had horses and the other “Snouts”. The traditional greeting upon approaching a herder ger is “Hold the dogs!” and they aren’t kidding. The traditional herder’s dog is a Tibetan mastiff, which can take its guard duties very seriously. I was told on this last trip, however, that many herders do keep a dog as a “pet” along with the ones for guarding. I hope to learn more about all this on the next trip.
One consistant piece of advice that one runs across when looking into travel to Mongolia is do not, DO NOT, pet, pat, scritch, scratch or otherwise touch any dog. They have not been vaccinated for rabies and getting saliva on your skin, much less a bite, means air evacuation to a hospital for the (painful) series of shots. Foreigners who are working in the countryside get the rabies vaccine, but since nothing is 100%, it’s smart for them not to have contact either.
That said, I have found that most of the dogs I’ve seen don’t exhibit vicious behavior and a lot of them seem to be longing for contact with people. I finally relented once at Arburd Sands when this dog approached me while I was sketching and leaned into me. I decided that it was unlikely that the camp owners would have a dog around that was at all likely to bite the guests. I stayed alert while I gently petted his back and didn’t let his mouth near my hand. He seemed to really like it, but it was still a risk.
I hadn’t seen brindle dogs like this before this trip. Not sure where that coloration came from, but he has the mastiff head and body type.
I feel like I’m seeing fewer of the pure mastiffs since my first trip. When the Russians pulled out in 1991, I was told that they left their guard dogs, mostly German Shepherds, behind. And I remember seeing a couple of what looked like purebred Shepherds between the airport and UB in 2006. There has obviously been a lot of uncontrolled interbreeding. It looks to me like the dogs are gradually reverting to the basic dog form that travellers see all over the world in the streets, the countryside, at dumps, etc.
And, for something completely different, at Red Rock Ger Camp, there was this chow chow, the only one I’ve seen in Mongolia. Never found out who he belongs to, but a fairly wide area around the camp seemed to belong to him, judging by his thorough and conscientious marking routine.
From The Global Village Dept.- twice when I’ve been in the State Department Store, I’ve seen young girls with tiny “fashion accessory” dogs tucked in their arms, a la Paris Hilton. Sigh.
And finally, many of you know that I have a rough collie, named Niki, the same breed as Lassie. Imagine my surprise when I happened upon this banner in Ulaanbaatar:
Friday Features- FLASH!
JUST RECEIVED WORD–“Morning Break”, below, has been accepted into the Mendocino Art Center Animal Art exhibit! It will be on view there in Mendocino, California from Sept. 3-27.
AND…if you live in central Humboldt County, tonight is the opening reception for Wild Visions 2, a group show of nationally recognized nature and wildlife artists, including yours truly, at the Umqua Gallery, Arcata from 6-9pm. Lots of new work by all of us and some oldies, but goodies too. We snagged a great feature in the local paper this morning!
The other artists are Linda Parkinson, watercolor, who has done many commissions of birds and had her work published in American Falconry magazine; Shawn Gould, acrylic, who has done freelance art for National Geographic; Paula Golightly, oil and acrylic, whose day job is working as a biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service; John Wesa, well-known local serigrapher; and Derek Bond, egg tempera, who has recently had work accepted into the first Artists for Conservation juried show.
This is the first time all of us have shown together and we hope it won’t be the last.
BACKYARD BIRD WATCH
The two Allen’s hummers are showing up right around 1:30 every afternoon. How do they know? Can you imagine how tiny their wristwatches must be? Right now, if I only had room for one hummingbird friendly plant it would be Crocosmia “Lucifer”. If you have a little room for a truly red, red, red flower, you might buy a few bulbs.
WHAT ARE THESE? Answer on Monday
“Am writing an essay on the life-history of insects and have abandoned the idea of writing on ‘How Cats Spend their Time’.”
W. N. P. Barbellion (Bruce Frederick Cummings) 1889-1919
Well, here’s some evidence:
Eowyn and Michiko
Leopard at Berlin Zoo
Lion in the Masai Mara, Kenya
I think you get the idea.
(All photos copyright Susan Fox)
Cute Alert-Kitten Update
The kittens I’m fostering have gained ground faster than we expected. Merlin has doubled his weight in two weeks, from one pound to two. The shelter staffer who asked me to do the foster came over today and weighed all three. Their coats are now soft and fluffy and their energy level is normal (which is to say, they are total maniacs for hours, then completely crashed out).
I wanted to see how fast I could bring them along and it looks like a combination of three things turned the trick: a big helping of wet food every day in addition to free-feeding kibble; room in a covered pen to run crazy, climb and otherwise get lots of exercise and being handled, snuggled and petted at least twice a day.
Here they are as of today:
If you live in Humboldt County and are interested in any of these guys, go to my contact page on my website and email me. They are now about 8 weeks old and ready to go to great forever homes!