Her Royal Grumpiness

As I write this post Princess Suzy Edwards sleeps on HER chair at home in the heart of London, UK. She is older, pitch black, and her small head rests on a body that has led her human slaves to call her Footwide instead of Suzy. According to the reports I got, this 'grumpy old cow' of a cat has attitude. She wil always demand instead of ask, refuse on principle, and requires immediate service from her adoring subjects. She barely dained to have her photo taken, even after being told she was to have her portrait painted. I wanted to capture the wild side of her, and that omnipresent attitude,and maybe, just maybe, hint at the loving purr underneath that is the reason her humans dote on her so.



Every time I experiment with something in art I find I learn. The project may be a dismal failure, but the process NEVER is. For this reason I enjoy challenging my students to tackle something alien to their styles. In the past few months I had them lay down an under-painting of colors the exact opposite on the color wheel of the intended color. The groans and protests were not hidden, but with much prodding they produced a simple tree and lawn scene that had a new depth that they had never tried. As they began to see the way the contrasting color bought a new life to this traditional design they got excited, and from this experiment, they gained knowledge.



It seems all to easy to let your art taken a back seat to the mundane tasks that are necessary but not creative. I have been guilty of that, and needed a nudge from two directions to find my way back to creating and sharing my art. The first was an accidental placing of two similar paintings next to each other. I had done the first two years ago, and could remember how pleased with it I had been at the time. Having it next to the more recent work let me see the evolution of style and increase in knowledge. It was a reminder of how growth comes through effort as well as passion.
The second incident was a strong nudge to not only get painting again, but to return to this blog and share the thoughts and motivations that lead me to paint. (waving to Si. )
So, dear blog readers, I have returned from my silence.


You Never Know

I had the oddest experience that I think is a lesson in reaching the viewer. I had painted a King Charles sleeping on top of a Cocker Spaniel and sent it off to the gallery that shows my work in Ohio. I was told by the gallery owner it was noticed and commented on regularly. But it hung for six months without a sale, and I decided it was time to pull it in favor of a piece that might do better.

Once the piece was shipped back to me I re-examined it for a show here in New Mexico. Only hours before leaving to hang the piece I decided to alter the King Charles, and make him awake.
The piece sold in three hours.
Now I keep looking at it, trying to decide was it the change in eyes or the change in location or ?? I shall never know.


Dignity and Cats

Cats are so dignified, sleek and graceful that it delights me when they succumb to the inner kitten - rolling over and batting at sunbeams, luring you from your work to just savor the moment and the silliness. How they can look both silly and dignified in the same moment, I do not know, but I tried to capture a bit of both in this painting.


Sunday Morning Musings

Sunday mornings here are so quiet - with no activity nor impending obligations. My mind is free to slouch off the mundane duties that occupy so much of every one's time, and just savor the moment. I can let the beauty outside my window woo me to thoughts of Shangri La.

This morning there was an apricot dawn, that made dark dusty rose shadows on the land. It was such that I ached to paint it, yet wonder if anyone would believe it was nature's coloring and not my own imagination. The mountains in the distance had a soft blue grey that almost seems luminous beneath the totally clear sky. And as I watched the colors altered, slipping to paler versions that became infused with the blue that gradually dominated it all. The brightening of the sky revealed the greens within the black forms of pinon and juniper. The wild horses slowly appeared on the mesa, as though they too were part of nature's dawning composition. Light pulled out patterns from the shadow on my stucco wall, and the birds began to find the shallow puddles from last night's rain.

What a miracle it is to be here, watching this transpire. There is a sense that I could walk to the mesa and run with the wild horses. I could dance my way to the mountain peaks and meet the most magical of creatures. And then, I think ....
just maybe...

I think I can reach between the mountain tip and the pale blue sky and raise a corner like a curtain on a majestic stage, and just crawl between the two to the beyond!

I feel the need to write laughing poetry or paint joy on a canvas. I want to tease the last ray of moonlight into a dance or shake hands with the unicorn innocently hiding among the horses.
I am one with this place and time and all its potential. I want to cup the moment in my hands and share it with everyone! Like a child showing a captured firefly I would slowly part my fingers, reveal it, then watch it sparkle up and into the universe as it was meant to do.


Mr Coyote

One of the joys of living in Placitas, New Mexico is the variety of wildlife that visits the foothills of the Sandia mountains. I have been holding up in the studio the past few days painting thanks to that wonderful inspiration. The end result is a portrait of a gentleman who visits my yard often, though the background choice I made does not reflect it. Mr Coyote is a sleek and well-fed fellow, no doubt due to the abundance of rabbits in the area. Each time I see him or his cousinfriends I am struck by the way they seem to be assessing my presence. I wonder if the look in my eyes as I watch them is the same as theirs as they watch me.