A Furry Muse

A Furry Muse

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Oh, my little obnoxious Moscow….You have already met him in a previous post! Perhaps you remember the tale of his near-death experience and the $4000.00 vet bill we paid for his survival and recovery! That incident bought this little teenager male a permanent ticket for an indoor life…certain frustration for him …. and quite the hassle for our household to be wary every time one of us opens a door to the outdoor world. Escapes do happen.

Last week, “Houdini” escaped again. As I was in the garden working, I heard the all too familiar screech of a cat fight. You see, every time Moscow, who is a very petite cat, manages to dash under our noses and under our toes outside, a resident “Tom” comes on over for a little bullying.

Sure enough, broom in hand, I rushed to the sound of feline distress only to find Moscow tangling with Tom. Needless to say, Moscow was losing….pinned on his back, that big bully had him.

I broke up the fight. Fur flying and cats scurrying away, it wasn’t until a bit later that my little trouble maker came a running home. Yep, his little body was riddled with scratch marks and maybe even a bite or two.

Off to the vet we go ….. again… antibiotics, exam, the works….$200.00 later…. He’s valued now at $4200.00 retail! But let me tell you, he is priceless as my muse….

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Bold and Colorful Autumn Aspens

Bold and Colorful Autumn Aspens

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Today, here on the Central Coast of California, delivered overcast skies and cooler temperatures…blessed relief! The older I get the less I can tolerate heat and we have had unseasonable warm days lately here in Santa Cruz. So waking up today to gray foggy skies was a welcome change. After the usual morning coffee, scouring the newspaper, and other daily chores, I set off to the grocery store to stock up for the week. My husband came along for company and it made the foray ever more tolerable. Coming home with multiple grocery bags to unpack, I reminded myself not to complain about this least favorite domestic chore…certainly a “first world problem” to complain about having to unpack a week’s worth of food. I reminded myself of my incredible good fortune just to have a grocery store with stocked shelves, let alone the food I brought home. And so I gratefully put the groceries away…..

The piece above is a reworking of the piece below…What a change ! I sprayed the original with fixative to give it a new surface and reinvented ….. I am pleased with the result….which one do you like better?

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Seasonal Fruit

Seasonal Fruit

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What do you make of this curious shape? Is it a fruit or a vegetable? In the grocery store, it is marketed as an ornamental gourd….alongside are miniature pumpkins and other oddly shaped curiosities …. some with bumps and warts…

I am surely not going to eat this! It decorates my kitchen window sill along with other miniature “ornamentals” apt for the fall season. Today I wanted to paint a still life with directional light…and so I did just that! Simple as that!

Enjoy…

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More Seasonal Art

More Seasonal Art

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What a homecoming weekend at Cal. Visiting my daughter at UC Berkeley for Parent’s Weekend was fun filled and quite active. My legs can tell you how many miles I put on my “dogs” the past two days! This past weekend was a weekend of firsts for me.

Saturday’s football game with the Cal Golden Bears vs. Arizona State Wildcats was the first football game I have ever attended. While I am not a sports fan in any sense of the word….often really not even knowing what season which sport is played…I have to say that the college spirit was quite the spectacle.

Opening with the Cal Marching Band and finishing with fireworks to summon the players onto the field, I was captivated by the whole event. Around me were alumni no doubt…couples who probably met there at Cal many moons ago and make this homecoming a yearly tradition. When my mind wandered from the gladiator type machinations of the helmeted colorful bodies bashing into each other, I guessed at the stories each of these couples could tell….how they met…what they majored in…grad school…marriage and now children or even grandchildren carrying on the Cal tradition…

And so there I was, sitting in a stadium with a 63,000 person capacity, attending a sport I have no interest in and perhaps have great reservations about…But I was at Cal and my daughter was sitting next to me and we were now part of this whole university experience.

The next day we ventured up a grand hill to the botanical gardens…how we got up the hill was also a first for me! Deciding that walking up the 1.8 miles at a steep incline was out of the question and it being Sunday so the UC transit was taking the day off, we called an Uber driver!

After downloading the app, entering a few bits of information including how I would pay for this service, we entered our location and our destination of desire and Voila! He arrived in less than 3 minutes! Magic! I have clearly arrived…..

As for today’s painting, I just can’t seem to get enough of this autumn spirit…

Happy Autumn!

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Pumpkin Patch Orange Madness!!

Pumpkin Patch Orange Madness!!

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What is it about pumpkins? They appear only during autumn and soon after Halloween they disappear….In the weeks leading up to the holiday, here on the Central Coast of California, and in particular the San Mateo coast….an unspoiled stretch of coastline , which for California took an act of congress to preserve…. there are patches of orange amid the dried grasses and chaparral…..the fields have the obligatory scarecrow and resident ravens and red winged blackbirds…..and delighted people of all ages roam about finding the perfect shape…Personally I go for the stem….For me a pumpkin must have a notable stem…perhaps a reminant of a curly vine as well….and yes, the shape is quite important…I mean really….it’s about the shape of the gourd, n’est pas?

As for the actual carving potential, bigger is definitely better…wielding a sharp butcher knife and plunging into the almost impenetrable exterior, you need a large margin for error….there is no better killjoy than a trip to the emergency room…

I keep my carving design simply classic…and I save the detail for a safer expression of art….
The piece I am sharing with you today is a watercolor I did a year ago…. I have dabbled in this medium a few times. It takes an immense amount of restraint to produce the effect of light….perhaps a juicy pastel will follow…

Enjoy!

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