"We Three"

"We Three"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Aw, gee, cut it out!

I seem to be the victim of a vengeful HP.  First, I was scrupulous in putting out my trash bins (I just paid that freakiin' garbage company their exorbitant fee, which other old folks, who live the CITY, get for 1/3 the cost), and they skipped my yard waste can.  Really indignant here.  I need it empty!  I am planning on major yard work this week!  Then, my new phone, the one I just love and adore, locked itself up and refuses to unlock.  This means a trip to Best Buy to bother those sweet guys in the cellphone area, again.  Nuts.  And, after enduring many months of very irritating reminders that popped up EVERYWHERE, I finally renewed my RegCure license (they had a sale of RegCure Pro, real deal), and it refuses to load on my computer.  Now have to call them and trudge through a plethora of steps so I can correct all those errors on my disk that the now defunct program said I had.  Give me a break.  And my new camera, a Samsung, like my phone, came with the manual on a disk, and needs Adobe Reader to decode, and that is not working, either.  I think the technology fairy has taken a dump here in the little yellow house.  So I said hell with it, and painted for a while.  Not sure I like him, but he was fun to diddle with for an afternoon.  He will wind up in the pile soon, the one I keep for paintings that I need to review before I finish them.  My mentor calls that the "second easel".  I just call it the pile.  Tomorrow will be another day.  Maybe I will get my phone back.  Maybe the bin will be emptied.  I don't know.  It's always a surprise.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A hardware success story...

Okay, this is embarrassing.  The chain broke off my closet light about a year ago.  I fumed a little, then began screwing and unscrewing the light bulb to see into the darkness and preclude any faux-pas like arriving with two different shoes on, which has happened to me and no one bought the story that it was the latest from New York.  And the other day, when I was trying to unscrew the light bulb, this thing popped out of the socket.  I looked at it and thought, Holy filament, Batman!  I could probably get a new one of these at OSH!  So today I put the whole thing into my purse.  This saves me from trying to describe what I need.  I just hold it up and say "I need a new one of these".  Once, I managed to fix my toilet that way.  Well, the first aisle I was directed to was not the one I needed.  And, after perusing the infinity of items that come under the label of "lighting", I asked someone else.  What I needed was around the corner.  I am always proud of myself when I solve one of these little life dilemmas.  I was going to pay a handyman to come in and do this for me, along with some other little repairs, but gee, I fixed this one for under $4.  Oh, wait, I have yet to screw it in and try it out.  That is another chapter in the never-ending uphill battle with this cruel, cruel world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love on leaf-blower day...

Absolute cacophony happening here.  Punkin is laying at my feet, and we are both blown away by the noisiness of Thursday afternoon in the neighborhood.  I already did my compliment of whining and sniveling earlier, so I just have to suck it up, I guess.  Last night, a friend shared with me that she was pooch-sitting the daddy of a new litter, and that soon, when she was grown-up enough, one of the pups would be her very own.  And she was amazed by how much sweetness this little guy brought into her otherwise solitary life.  And I thought surprise, surprise, surprise.  Non-pet owners have no idea what they are missing.  These small (or medium, or large, or gigantic) sweet creatures provide warmth and laughter and just plain company for we solitaires who have given up on a life partner (or, like me, have tried on a variety and decided phooey, I'd rather just be myself for the rest of this existence).  Sadly, our companions will probably leave us too soon, but for the time they are here, they are totally present.  I went out for a little while this morning, about two hours altogether, and the joy at the front door on my return was a celebration, for sure.  And, burdened as I was with my huge Costco bag, and my ultra-large purse (gave up on the hella-cute teensy one, I need much more STUFF than that one can handle), I was still touched by the love that poured out even before I put the key in the lock.  Oh, and here is the 13th white horse.  Thinking of moving on to dark horses now, having explored all the vicissitudes of white ones.  Plus, white pastels pretty chewed up here.  Another trip to Blick is in the near future.  Yay.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Portrait of my youth...

It is interesting to me that so many people do not believe in God.  I look at all the wondrous creatures that share our little podunk planet, and think we are so blessed.  This is one creature that made us what we are today.  Without the horse, we would have been stuck in the hunter-gatherer stage a whole hell of a lot longer, for sure.  And they are such gentle things, so strong and powerful, yet fragile, too.  This one reminds me of Bridget (named after Bardot, herself), a palomino my steady's Mom got for herself when I had usurped her big gelding on the weekend romps around our lovely countyside.  Bridget came from the glue factory, literally.  Rescue horse.  And she was just fine, that little filly, even if she did pronate rather alarmingly, and occasionally, just run in the opposite direction.  My mount, Big Fella (lack of imagination has never been my problem, but I didn't name him), a strawberry roan about 70 feet high, loved going up hills and often took them in amazingly big leaps.  However, downhill scared him, so we were always in the rear of the parade.  Ah, the teenaged days of being saddle sore.  I remember them well.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I don't know about you, but sudden changes in the climate kind of throw me.  Today, it was all drizzly.  I slept in.  And got up to big muddy prints all over the kitchen floor.  I mopped.  And now, need to do it again, despite deployment of strategic towels on the canine path of least resistance.  So, I pondered this rather frustrating epic I am determined to execute, endeavoring to make them look less than a parade to the glue factory.  Believe me, it is mucho better than it once was.  Funny, but taking a photo and looking at it on my monitor here gives me hope, again.  Must never say die, you know.  And now, back to the mop brigade.  Makes me want to attach little booties to Punk's admittedly overly-large paws.  Or I could just put his fuzz-ball little self on my Swiffer duster?  At least I removed the dog stairway, so no laundering of bedding will be required.  Ah, the life of a dog lover.  Messy love.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Win some, lose some...

Some ideas work, some don't.  Hint: if the horse looks like a circus performer, he is never going to look natural in nature.  This one was in the surf, but that just didn't give enough value contrast to make him dramatic.  And now, with his new and improved environs, he is perhaps TOO dramatic.  I have fiddled and faddled away at this for DAYS now, and I NEVER do that.  So, I now pronounce him done-diddy-done-done.  The paper has another side, you know.  Or, maybe, some time in the future, I will look at him and find him redeemable, just the way he is right now.  You never know.  Stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Life is cruel enough without hardward stores...

The IRS took pity on me and refunded some of my own $$$.  Very big of them, since I have these piles and piles of pastel paintings, just yearning for frames.  Now, I have mastered the art of centering and securing the painting on its backboard and matting it without getting fingerprints on the mat (most of the time, if anyone knows how to get pastel pigment off white mats, let me know).  I have learned to very carefully Windex the glass and blow out any tiny morsels of detritus before slamming the whole thing into the frame, only to find I had forgotten to sign my work  Aaaarrrrgggghh!  But, except for the metal frames that come with handy doohickies that have holes for the wire, I have not come up with a way to secure the hanging wire to the wooden frames without resorting to my faithful staple gun, which I braved the hardware store to purchase so I could stretch the one canvas teacher made us do (and that, too, required more than one trip), and my friend and mentor, the PROFESSIONAL artist says that is tacky.  Eye screws are de riguer.  No way I could get these microscopic little screws into the miniscule lip of the very hard wooden frame.  Soooooo frustrating.  Then my admittedly fertile mind had one of its AHA moments.  What I need is a tiny drill!  So I packed up one of my already framed paintings with its little packet of accoutrements (eye screws and picture wire) and bounced off to OSH yesterday afternoon.  One of the things I know how to do well is look helpless and confused.  Half an hour, three hardware experts, and $50 later, I had this handy-dandy drill, with an auxlliary collet to hold the 1/16" bit.  It was just like the staple gun; there is more than one size of staples and there is more than one size of collar to hold the infinite number of bits and doodads you can attach to a drill.  Thank you, dear OSH folks.  I attached a couple of wires last night to pieces that were already framed and the drill was slick as a whistle.  Framing will never be my favorite pastime, but it is no longer the enigma it once was.  Now, off for more eye screws, wire, and oh, yeah, frames.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Easy peasy...

Animal portraits are so simple compared to portraying the whole magilla.  All that measuring and conformation!  Okay, I don't do that.  I eyeball everything.  I think there is joy in the spontaneous drawing and painting that I do.  Well, it is a joy to execute.  Whether it is a joy to look at, ah, that's the question.  With this ditty, I took a page out of Wolf Kahn's book.  It really doesn't matter what pigment he uses, it all works, as long as the value stays true.  So I just noodled away, and this sweet filly just jumped up off the paper, dark grey paper in this case.  Dark supports always produce more dramatic and dynamic images for me.  No worry about pushing pigment into the tooth, no annoying holidays peaking through, little white spots that make an image look unfinished.  Okay, you can see the paper here, too.  However, it looks like I did that deliberately instead of just letting it be and not messing around with it any more.  I love this image.  There is an inviting expression on her face, like you just want to go get a bunch of carrots for her.  I don't know how that happens.  It just comes.  How sweet is that!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Free to be me...

Well, white horses are boring.  And tight is boring.  Not that I can't do tight.  I can.  Just like my process to hang out there.  Not a lot of thought here.  I put all my pastels into little 5 drawer chests, two of them, so everything is organized and I can find a pigment without a lot or perusal.  Makes the whole deal a lot easier.  And a whole lot more spontaneous, actually.  Open a drawer, grab some blue, and oh, some yellow would be nice, and let's put some pink in the waves.  Just love color.  And this medium is so very luminous.  Oh, and this is on my favorite support, Fabriano Tiziano black paper.  I will probably noodle around with it some more before moving it over to the framing table.  It is larger than my usual piece, so will need a custom mat.  Luckily, the IRS returned some $$$ to me the other day.  I am going to think of that BEFORE I do the next work on the black paper.  Details, details.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Well, you have to begin somewhere...

Not a big fan of the 4th of July.  Love fireworks.  Hate sitting in the parking lot or garage for 3 hours trying to get home later.  Hate that the noise scares the stuffing out of my dogs.  Hate that so many folks get royally pissed on Bud and drive around where I might be at any given time.  So, staying home, with the Punkin and the Pickle, and just because I could, I started a new white horse painting.  This is on my favorite paper, Fabriano's Tiziano, black.  Can't get it in my little town, had to sojourn down the 101 corridor and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to Blick, the mecca of art supply stores.  Okay, I could order it online, but it is a lovely drive, and I get to have lunch with my son who works in Richmond, and I get to explore new levels of gratitude on the way back over the bridge, when San Quentin fills my windshield.  I think it is a good thing to remember that I am free, here in the USA, in the little yellow house.  And you can see from what has happened so far that I am feeling free with COLOR.  This is, of course, just an underpainting, but I can already see it will be very dynamic when I start putting the good stuff on top.  What a way to spend a retirement!  How lucky am I! 

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sunday, and more horses...

Major endeavor of the day was a trip to Petco for a purple replacement bra for Pickle, who keeps getting her pink one all dingy, despite my best efforts to launder it.  Punk went along, rode in the cart, gave his approval to some new toys, and two engraved hearts to put on their harnesses, so everyone knows they are loved and wanted back should they wander away.  Really, we should all have a tag like that, "If lost, return me to ____".  Sure would make me feel cherished.  And, onward with the white horse opus.  These were particularly vexing.  My first effort had the legs too long, and a definitely saggy looking butt sticking out there.  Much work on the values, which were problematical, and the hues, also a little perplexing.  It has now all come together in the way these things have of happening, mostly without much effort of thought on my part.  As usual, this is a surprise.  Now ready for a trip to Village Art for frames.  When I have enough, perhaps I will get brave and show them to an artist who owns a gallery, and has actually ASKED to see my work.  Fear, it stinks.