Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Six Sweet Pounds of Purr and Fur

A paper grocery bag scuttles across my studio floor, a couple of inches of fluff moving side to side behind it like a furry rudder. Suddenly a brownish striped and spotted form darts out from beneath the bag, then turns and leaps into it, smacking the back of the bag with a crinkly thump. Acadia has come to live with us.


After extensive (some might say obsessive) searching on petfinder.com and adoptapet.com, and several lengthy interviews with rescues about various cats, I came upon "Lisa" and fell in love with her sweet face and relaxed body language. After another careful interview, I met "Lisa," who decided she was home and let me know that, of the names I was considering, Acadia was the one that would fit her. Acadia is probably a bit over a year old, so I'm designating November 28, 2013 as her birthday-- Thanksgiving Day, because I am so thankful for her. 

I knew I'd missed having a cat since Silver died a year and a half ago, but I didn't realize how much until Acadia moved in eight days ago. There's a saying by Roger Caras, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole." I know many cat lovers would say the same about cats. I'm not sure I'd put it quite that way, since I believe it is God who makes my life whole, but I do believe that He uses dogs and cats to help many of us experience His love that makes our lives whole. I know that's how it works for me. I've had a cat-shaped emptiness in my heart and lap for too long, and this past week I have often had tears of gratitude and joy at having that emptiness so warmly filled. I've been filling my journal with sketches of Acadia, and I look forward to many years of sketching this beautiful creature while she purrs on my lap or scampers around our home.




Saturday, January 31, 2015

Painting Friends Art Exhibition

My good friend Deb Townsend and I are exhibiting our paintings together during the month of February at Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie.

Opening Reception
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Mary Wojtecki Rotunda Gallery
Adriance Memorial Library
93 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wilbur in Watercolor


Charlotte's Web has always been one of my favorite childhood books, and I've been wanting to play with soft color to build expression on a pig. We also have a family member who loves pigs, so I painted a small pig for her for Christmas and then painted this slightly larger version.

Meet Wilbur:
"Wilbur"
Watercolor
8" x 6"
Available for purchase

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Joy!

I started this painting in Stephie Butler's watercolour portraits workshop here last August, but then got busy with life (a new grandchild) and didn't have a chance to finish it until yesterday. I also often take a while after a workshop to let the ideas and instruction settle in my mind as I practice the techniques on other subjects, before I go back to have another go at the initial subjects. This woman's smile and obvious joy captured my attention as soon as I saw her photo (by Steve Evans), so I was eager to paint her and attempt to share some of that joy in watercolor.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Delicate Arch

We visited Arches National Park a few years ago and hiked out to Delicate Arch in the late afternoon. Once there we sat quietly for a while, just absorbing the immensity of the place. I just painted this from a photo we took when there, all the while remembering the wonder of what that world is like.

Delicate Arch Watercolor Painting
7" x 10"
Available for purchase

Bearded Collie Puppy

I love herding breeds and recently have been training a delightful Bearded Collie puppy. This isn't the puppy I've been training, but she is the same color as this pup, which I've painted from a photo by Kim Russell.

Bearded Collie Watercolor
Watercolor
6" x 9"
Available for purchase


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shenandoah National Park

Trees and mountains garbed in autumn splendor, thick mist softening the world, deer and bear watching from beside the road, craggy rocks to climb, soul-nourishing views to the east and the west...On our way home from Florida in September, Stephen and I took an evening and a day to drive through Shenandoah National Park along the Skyline Drive. I've been wanting to explore and sketch there for years, so we meandered our way slowly along the 105 miles of the Skyline Drive. We stayed the night at the Lewis Mountain cabins, partway through the park, staying in a delightful, clean cabin, where I awoke the next morning to the sound of a Screech Owl right outside the window and the fragrance of fall rising from the damp earth and leaves.

We stopped to enjoy most of the overlooks, savoring the variety of views, and I sketched as many as I had time for. We also took a couple of short hikes (though one was longer than planned, due to missing a turnoff on the trail), stretching our legs and breathing deeply of the refreshing, clean air. I could easily spend days in this place, but I thoroughly enjoyed our short visit.

Here are my sketches that tell the story of our time in that magical place. You can click on the images to see them large enough to read my notes about each location and my thoughts about the park in general. 

McCormick Gap Overlook
Sawmill Run Overlook
 
Crescent Rock View
Jewel Hollow Overlook
Hazel Mountain Overlook
Pass Mountain Overlook
Hogback Overlook
Shenandoah Valley Overlook

 

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