Contemplation – 2.5″ x 3.5″ ACEO

Hmmm…much to contemplate these days. I’m not sleeping well, thinking too much…too internal. I feel like walking, running, writing, reading, but not painting. Is that a normal artist thing? Am I just avoiding work? LOL! I’m having a hard time focusing on painting, but, I’m still able to churn out these little babies because they only take an hour. That’s about as long as I can focus on one thing, and even then, I’m finding myself getting up twenty times, to look in the fridge, the cupboard, the drawers, only to go sit back down at the easel, empty-handed, because I’m not really looking for food. It would probably only take half-an-hour if I didn’t get up so often:)
I did finish the 18 x 24 for Inside Barkerville…I think…maybe. There’s still something bothering me about it, but I’m not sure what it is yet.
Anyways, I love the look in this cat’s eye, and I also love the way I did the red background. It really brings it to life…I think it does anyways. (Thanks a bunch to the copyright free WetCanvas photo library for the reference photo!)

Is That You, Momma?

I’ve been slacking at posting, again, but not painting. I’m busy! I’m working on an 18″x 24″ painting right now for the Inside Barkerville project, and have finished at least 8 ACEO’s since I last posted. This little fella is one of them. I love how the light from the window behind him outlines his little head. He looks like an angel:)

I also took part in our village’s annual Arts and Crafts fair, this last weekend, and I did awesome. I sold cards, prints, ACEO originals, ACEO prints, and even three original paintings! Yay! Not bad for our little town. I recommend it to all of you artists out there. It helps spread your work and your name around, and lets people know what you do. I gave out lots of business cards and chatted with many people who claim to have not known I was an artist, even though I’ve been here for twelve years, and have my stuff in the gallery. Who knew?

New Painting – Not an ACEO!- Le Petit Artiste

“Le Petit Artiste” 11″ x 14″, oil on canvas

Well, I’ve been trying to post for the last few days, but Blogger hasn’t been letting me upload any pictures. Either Blogger or my crappy internet connection, who knows.
This one’s went pretty fast. It was fun, too. It’s a picture of my son, taking up the whole kitchen floor, sitting in a beam of sunlight while he colors. The scene took my breath away, and I knew I had to paint it, so I snapped a few quick photos, some of which turned out really well. There’s another one from the series I might paint, too. But this is it for now.
Aren’t children precious? Everything they do is precious, even the not so precious stuff. And today, that really hit home for me. I mean, I’ve always known it, and always thought it, but sometimes we take it for granted a bit.

That all stopped today. My daughter almost died.

For weeks, I’ve been telling her “Take that out of your mouth! You could choke!” Instead of just getting rid of the offending marbles, or picking them up, we’d get distracted by something else. She’d take it out of her mouth, and we wouldn’t give it another thought. STUPID!@!!@#$% She’s two. She doesn’t listen or she just doesn’t remember.

Today, she choked. She was gasping, and barely making a sound. Her face was starting to turn purple and she was clawing at her neck. I rushed over and stuck my finger down her throat, but it was a marble, and the slippery little thing just pushed farther down. I freaked! My husband rushed over and tried to get it out, but to no avail. He finally grabbed her and did the Heimlich maneuver. After only one or two tries, the marble flew out and landed on the floor in front of me. I broke down. I couldn’t stop shaking. I just cried and cried. It was too close.
We went through the whole house after that, throwing out anything smaller than a baseball…well not quite a baseball, but you know…
I’ll never take my children’s safety for granted again. Nothing matters more than them. Her throat is sore, and she’s shaken up, but she’s alive.

A Dog’s Purpose

Well, I’ve had a pretty awful week, I must admit. I haven’t been able to paint much let alone think. I’ve been consumed with worry and sadness. On October 26th, our sweetheart family dog, Zappa, was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was only five, and we got him when my son was just a baby, so they’ve literally grown up side by side. He was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had. Smart, loyal, he always knew what we wanted and what we needed. He was great at catching a frisbee, even though he only had one eye. He was calm, and protective, but never aggressive, just the best dog ever. The vet said that we should have him put down right away, but we couldn’t do it. It was such a surprise to hear the diagnosis and he hadn’t even been acting sick. We wanted to try to fight for him. But only the day after his diagnosis he went rapidly downhill. There ended up being nothing we could do for him, as he couldn’t even eat or drink. We had him put down to end his suffering two days ago.
My friend emailed me this yesterday, and it was so true, it brought tears to my eyes.
This is for Zappa…our friend…our family…he will be truly missed.

A Dog’s Purpose
(from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The Six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.