It's nighty night time, and what a miracle, he's asleep! Of course, that does not mean he will not wake up about 15 minutes before I want to turn out the light, and want to play. Look, he still has his pig belly! What a guy, my Punk. That is his new training bra, just like the Pickle's, except hers is pink. That turned out to be not my best idea, as it is now looking rather dingy. Maybe I will get her a matching bra. Punk's is still a little big for him, but I expect him to put on a couple of lbs in the next couple of weeks. Nevertheless, he is a little guy, a true toy. Which doesn't mean he isn't all dog. He now barks with the Pickle at the neighbors as they wrestle their garbage cans down the driveway by the side of our yard. And, like the Boo before him, he is in love with the front porch, now that the weather is clement and we can have the front door open more often. Okay, not a lot of excitement around the little yellow house. What did you want? Drama? Try TNT.
This is the third attempt I have made recently at a decent painting, and the best, which tells you where I am at the moment. It needs a lot of work, especially after I lifted it up to tap off the excess and got black all over the water on top of the big bird. Almost threw it in the round file after that. So it feels like time for some alcohol. No, not the sipping kind, the rubbing kind, that will smooth out the water so I can lay another layer of pastels on it. Yes, that's an idea. Or maybe it is just too far gone. Whatever. Have I ever told you my ex-husband used to put movie reviews on his answering machine? Tempted to call him see if he has seen Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a yummy little movie now playing at the smart people's movie theatre. Also The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, another little film that is currently making over 10 times it's production cost. Yes, Virginia, there are folks out there that can survive without CG or 3D, violence or sex. We are old, but not dead yet. More, please! Oh, and back to the geese, time will tell. It could be worse. I think.
Well, there is always a new day. Until there aren't any more, of course. Looks like I will remain vertical for a while, and today, it is better than it was yesterday, which was better than Tuesday, which was hell. Have decided to let it be what it is, not try to muscle through my current low energy/high headache phase. If tests show nothing physical, committed to doing some counseling, which is never a bad idea. And working at doing more art during this time. It is the only thing that gives me surcease from the constant barrage of self-interest that runs like DOS in the background all the freaking time. Well, the Punk helps, too. He has been the easiest pup since the Boo, is pretty much trained to go outside (with a little help from Mom), and can be trusted more, which makes my life ever so much easier. So, not jumping up and down, but pretty contented today. Off to start another masterpiece. Loving the animals. This may be what I was looking for when I was casting about for an idea that worked for me, and a style I liked. The pastels seem to be my medium. And I even went online and found mats in the size I had been paying a small fortune to have cut for me at our local craft store. Ordering them even as we speak. See, not entirely stagnant here. Sort of treading water, not going anywhere fast, and that's okay. Yes.
Yesterday was one of those days I could have lived forever without experiencing. Got up early, never a happy thing, and headed for the lab for blood tests to determine why I cannot get my butt off the floor and what is causing hellish headaches. Nice hour spent there. Fortunately, I took a book. Unfortunately, one of my talky friends was also waiting for tests. The needle-sticker guy was dandy though. Five humongous vials, he took. Home again to pick up the Punk, take him for his rabies shot, and out to the animal shelter to get his license so they don't send me a bill for major bucks like they did with Pickle. What can I say, live and learn. It was closed. I stopped for gas, and this annoying guy was tailgating me, pulled up beside me to tell me my gas tank was open. Red-faced about that. Home again to peruse Animal Shelter website to figure out how to get Punk official, at senior rate, sans penalty, and languish for a couple of hours before heading out
to Costco for prescription, TJs for milk. Found that my glasses had fallen out of my tiny purse, so back to the car to look for them, where I stepped on them and they were totally trashed. Luckily, I had just sold a painting, so I had $200 to get new ones. The day ended when Punk threw up in bed shortly after I turned off the light. Did I mention I put him down every night on a towel? Best thing that happened all day was that he was on it when he hurled. Puppy-motherhood. Not much different than infants, except that yesterday was the first time Punk got left home in the general population instead of his cell in the kitchen. And he did just fine.
Yesterday, I went online to see how puppies grow. How big will my Punkin be? He has already topped 6 lbs, which is 1/3 the size of Pickle, though this picture makes him look bigger. I was prepared to find that he would triple his size. And was I surprised. Small dogs reach their full size at 5 months. And, suddenly, it looks like he will remain really small, for this household, anyway. He may top out at about 8 lbs. As with anything, one never knows. I also looked at pics of other Shipoos. They are enormously diverse. Some have curly poodle hair. Some have really short noses. Punk didn't really look like any of them, though his coloring was there in abundance. He is, of course, much cuter than most. And has the sweetest personality to boot. So, what will be, will be. Despite all my web searching and fretting.
Heard a wonderful Ted.com talk today on how so many of us were discouraged from pursuing our creativity by peers and teachers who put our work down. What is that about, anyway? Does it help folks who are small feel bigger, do you suppose? In my young days, it was considered bad to praise a child. This would lead to prideful behavior, swelled heads, bragging. How sad is that. It is still hard for me to take a compliment, especially where my art is concerned. It came from somewhere deep inside, I listened and plugged away at it. And suddenly, there it is! I feel peculiarly graced by the ability to take some chalky stuff and paint a picture. Strange way for a grown-up to spend her time, n'est-ce pas? Oh, wait. I don't qualify for that moniker. I am really only five years old when I do this kind of thing, in love with fingerpainting.
Don't know if there is anything wrong, but life seems so tedious these days. Little headache that never seems to go away. Bane of my existence. Though I am happy there is not some great big awful disease gnawing away at me, there little irritating symptoms keep pecking away in the background. So I decided to ignore them, took myself over to Target where, FINALLY, I found a jar opener I can live with, and some other intimate items for other pesky age-related problems. And came home to work on this new pastel. I think it is coming up rather well. And that is what happens, the image just emerges, rises up from the paper , defines itself, says "lighter value here, please" and "okay, this part is done, work somewhere else". As usual, I am not happy till the whole image is there, filling up the space. Oh, my. I am liking this one. Lots of color. Lots of values. Lots of sweetness, without the coy thing happening. Off to take a pill for my headache, and keep plugging away at the art. Letting my daemon out to play.
The Mother's Day peonies, all immortalized in messy pastels. No patience today. I spent most of it chasing Punk around, keeping him from devouring all of Pickle's food on top of his own generous helping, shooing Pickle off the top porch step so Punk could exit the house, taking him out for his numerous potty breaks, in short, being the Punk mommy ad infinitum. So only a few seconds to slap away at the pastel. And while I am whining, let me say I really resent the new Blogger template. I used to be able to select the size and placement of my uploaded photos. Now it just plunks it down in the center, plop. Nothing artistic about that. Well, not a lot artistic about the painting either. Little headache today. Static on my art receiver. Just happy to have done something at all. Many a day has passed when all I did was play numerous games of solitaire here on the Big Bad Mama computer. Heck, I even made the bed. Totally successful day, in my opinion.
To begin with, it lasted two days. Big kiddo, my son, came up on Saturday, with this huge box under his arm. In addition to his card and a Blick gift card, guaranteed to bring glee to this artist, he brought pictures of himself and his new love, and a plethora of gifts SHE sent to me, in gratitude for my son. Art books! Watercolor paper, D'Arches, the best! A necklace she made herself! What a sweet gal. Then we took Punk and went to In and Out for lunch, just about my favorite fast food in the world. And he accompanied me to my mother's for the afternoon, and that was his best gift. I was spared being the solitary target. In actuality, she was gracious and grateful. Who are you and what have you done with my mother? On Sunday, little kiddo and her new husband arrived with peonies (currently being immortalized in pastels), sweet journals, and roobios soap, and we climbed into her Mini Cooper to sojourn over to Montgomery Villlage for brunch at Viola. No reservation, and it was bursting at the seams, but, wouldn't you know, someone didn't wait and we got a table lickety split for a lovely meal together, and some catching up after their latest world junket to South Africa. I am so blessed with these wonderful kids. And best of all, they all adored the Punk. No one has been that enamored of my dogs till now. This baby just has it all - cuteness, personality, affability that just disarms even the most diligent curmudgeon. Motherhood - it rocks.
You know that my secret of happiness is to be a cheap date. Just doesn't take a lot to spin my beany. And my current source of luminous happiness is the fact that the Punk learned how to go out the dog door yesterday. And today, he seems to have the knack of coming back in, too. Big yay. Does that mean he is house broken? Nope. Just means he can get himself around easier, follow the Pickle out every time she goes, and I do not have to jump up to let him out, let him in, let him out, let him in, ... No accidents in the house in the last couple of days does not mean there will not be some in the future. He is, after all, only four months old. He weighs in around six lbs., which is six times the size he was when he arrived. The best view of him is walking away. He kind of waddles, and has the most adorable puppy butt. And he continues to channel Boo's spirit. Yesterday he burrowed into the throw pillows on the bed the same way dear Boo did. Next milestone is to get him to sleep in.
Not myself, no not at all. Up and down, roller-coaster ride of healing from the big wounding losses not that far away yet. And I notice that I will refuse to do anything that I love, that I know will raise me up out of my self-made mire of ickiness, not paint, or listen to music, or walk the dogs (now that Punk is ready to go after his last puppy shots). So, pulling my self up today, doing more on this painting, and ready to get out the last one to work on, as well. Much to do, and it is a big sucker. The old bugaboo of how-much-is-too-much has raised its gnarly head. Oh, just get over yourself, Cowwoman! Go let the Punk in the back door. Despite learning yesterday how to negotiate the dog door, he is back to one way only, out. I give him lots of breaks, he is only 4 months old. This is a good thing.
Latest, and last, pic of the nest on the front door. Funny little guys. Blow on them, they all open their mouths. Rather, they did. Something tore up the nest last night, and mom and three of the babies went to their reward. One was clinging to the remnants, another was flopping on the front porch, probably fell out. I put them in a bowl with some shredded Kleenex, gave them some sugar water with an eye dropper, and went online to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do now with these tender little unfinished birds. And I found, kind of to my relief, that it is ILLEGAL to raise a wild creature without a license. Imagine that. So, the expert online said to return them to the nest. It is a fallacy that the mother will not care for them if a human handles them. But mom did not show up all morning. So I called the bird rescue people, who, dedicated souls that they are, were in on a Sunday, and took my babies, nest and all, to the bird hospital where they will be raised up and set free. They are numbers 0440 and 0441. I can visit them later this month. Think I will become a member, donate these old birdcages I have in the garage to their cause. So happy this was an option. I would have killed those little things, for sure. With kindness, of course, but, after all, dead is dead.
I stopped in the gallery in my hometown, little storefront affair on Main Street, and had the temerity to ask the owner how I could get my art on her walls. She looked at me like something that had been stuck to the bottom of her shoe and replied, well, I would need to have a body of work. And when I said I met that requirement, she handed me a sheet of paper. It seems that my work would have to be juried first. Well, I expected that. Then, I would have to pay a non-refundable $600 membership fee. In addition, I would receive a bill every month for my share of the operating loss, if there was one, and be required to work on the floor 2 or 3 days a month. If my work sold, I would receive 75% of the selling price on the 10th of the month following the sale. Let's see now. I work without wages, pay to show my paintings, pay the rent and utilities, and maybe get some of that back 40 days later? I think I will have postcards printed and have a private show in my little yellow house, where I already pay the operating expenses and get a place to live, to boot. Parking is better on my street. Meanwhile, latest work in progress, another huge (for me) painting on terra cotta red sanded paper. Coming up nicely, I think. This is what I like to do, the painting part. The other part, well, that's the rub. Somehow, I need to get my name out there, so I can sell the work, too. Will keep looking. Phantom gallery? Maybe.