Summer’s Cat

Once upon a time, when my daughter was innocent (as in age 10) she made a series of cat ornaments. They had various themes with little attributes attached. She sold some for a song, and I kept a few, too. One customer commissioned her to make a ‘bookworm” cat, and paid in advance.

Summer dutifully created the cat and it was my job to deliver it. Despite my best efforts, I had a very difficult time contacting the customer. In good faith, I placed the ornament in the glove compartment of my car, somehow believing I would eventually find the rightful owner of the cat.

When my car was totaled in a flood four years ago, I transferred the ornament to the glove compartment of the new car. Now and then the cat would surface, and I would wonder how and wish I could find its cat lady.

Last night, possibly 10 years after “Bookworm Cat” was created, I encountered that customer. She promised to stay put while I went to retrieve the cat. Transaction complete!

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I look at that cat, and it brings to mind so many things. For one, it reminds me to keep my faith. For another, its “cattitude” reminds me of the sly wit of Summer’s beautiful soul.

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Three Graces, (part 1)

It’s a long story, about 3,000 miles long, how my studio came to be filled with beautiful antique French, German and English stained glass. And these crosses are just the latest turn in the road.

Three Crosses Fused Antique Stained Glass, 2.5"w x 4"h $30 eachThree Crosses
Fused Antique Stained Glass, 2.5″w x 4″h
(16/30in30) $30 each, available in November through the Johnson Center for the Arts

My mother made stained glass panels and windows. She was good at what she did, and took care to use only the best materials. She used lead channel, not copper foil. She bought huge sheets of glass from Bendheim Glass in New York City, and all her glass moved with us wherever and whenever we moved: first from Connecticut to Pennsylvania, then to California in the order of Santa Barbara to San Francisco to Sausalito.

In 1989 she was diagnosed with ALS and her hands were the first to go. She called me and asked me if I would be interested in “some glass,” as I understood it. I told her I’d choose a few pieces during my next visit. She replied, “No – it’s all or nothing.” So, not being sure what she meant by that, I placed my bet on “all.”

About 6 months later a tractor trailer moving van inched backward down the alley to my garage studio. Out came more than a hundred boxes with one or two sheets of glass in them. Out came cabinets, tables, bins and barrels. OK, so there weren’t any barrels, but you get the idea – a full-on semi’s worth of stuff: from the fixtures on the ceiling to the rug on the floor and everything in between. It was her ENTIRE studio. (to be continued)

Four More Wild Flowers

It is so much fun to dive into my right brain and let the colors and lines flow.
Someone asked me if these were actual wildflowers…
No, they are not – which is why I call them “Wild Flowers.” They’re pretty wild, alright!

Three Friends Wild Flowers Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5"w x 6"h (15/30in30) $30

Three Friends Wild Flowers
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5″w x 6″h
(15/30in30) $30

Blaring Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5"w x 6"h (12/30in30) $30

Blaring Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5″w x 6″h
(12/30in30) $30

Sunny Hillside Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5"w x 6"h (13/30in30) $30

Sunny Hillside Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5″w x 6″h
(13/30in30) $30

Blaring Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5"w x 6"h (14/30in30) $30

Starry Bouquet Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 4.5″w x 6″h
(14/30in30) $30

Four Wild Fowers

While on the road at my daughter’s volleyball tournament, I sketched and painted these wild flowers.
They are so fun to do!

Curly Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper 5"w x 4"h $30 (8/30in30)

Curly Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 5″w x 4″h
(8/30in30) $30

Corn Burst Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper 6"w x 5"h $30 (9/30in30)

Corn Burst Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 6″w x 5″h
(9/30in30) $30

Purple Star Wild Flower Watercolor on Rough Paper 5.25"w x 4"h $30 (10/30in30)

Purple Star Wild Flower
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 5.25″w x 4″h
(10/30in30) $30

Spiky Wild Flowers Watercolor on Rough Paper, 6"w x 4"h (11/30in30) $30

Spiky Wild Flowers
Watercolor on Rough Paper, 6″w x 4″h
(11/30in30) $30

Tower Sketch #2

Here is a little color sketch I did a few days ago – I must confess I have been pretty slack when it comes to the 30 in 30, mostly due to allowing myself to be distracted by other media and other projects. The “30 in 30” challenge is not for sissies! But I am determined to catch up, if for nothing else to prove to myself I can.

Tower at the Top (7/30)
Watercolor and ink on paper

What did I learn?

1. That this sketchbook paper does not receive water media very well.
2. That I do like watercolor as a medium.
3. That I want to try painting some of these tower images in oil.
4. That I am now in search of better paper.

The Tower that Burns

I have decided enough is enough: time to get in better shape. So I have selected a 2 mile route that takes me down by the Alabama River. Part of the routine is climbing up several flights of stairs that are housed within my current “tower of doom.”

6/30 - Thigh Burner, watercolor on mat board, 5"x7"
6/30 – Thigh Burner, watercolor on mat board, 5″x7″

It hurts, oh it hurts … to go up those stairs. But I’m determined, and it’s a beautiful addition to the city, and I love looking at the river, and …well… we shall see about that burn.