Company in the Studio

I have wonderful company in my studio every day. Her name is Dragon and she can often be found looking like this… either on my drawing desk or, if I’m using it, on the sunny window ledge.

Sleepy Kitty
Sleepy Kitty

Here’s what I’m working on today:

Quilted Wall in progress #1
Quilted Wall in progress #1
Quilted Wall in progress #2
Quilted Wall in progress #2
Quilted Wall in progress #3
Quilted Wall in progress #3

The beginnings of a theme?

Here is another painting very recently finished in the studio. It features another cat portrait! I don’t know if that will become a theme yet. I’m more interested in the spaces and fabric patterns right now… it’s just that the cats want to be in the cozy spaces! What can you do?

Cat on the Rug
Cat on the Rug

Butters

Hi Folks,

It’s been quiet on the painting front since returning home from my residency, but I’ve been busy in other areas of life. Honest.

Go visit multicraftual.wordpress.com if you are interested in crafting and want to watch my friend Liby and I in a new video podcast. We yammer on about crafting, we sing songs and put knitted garments on her cat pancake etc. Pancake is a star. The podcast is worth watching just for his expressions.

Crafting podcasts (and there are many: dramatic knits, stockinette zombies, 90% Knitting, the knit girllls, whatcha swatchin, yarnivore, craftstash, willow fairy knits to name just a few) are most often watched while engaged in knitting or crocheting yourself. As I recently explained to my mother, it is not meant to be captivating in the same way a tv show or movie is… rather, it is like sitting down with friends to knit and gab together. That is the best I can explain it.

In other news, the Brit (husband) and I are gearing up for a move into a new home July 1st. Same town. Portales. It means “porches” in Spanish. We like it.

The move means less time in the future with the neighborhood cat Butters. Since I got back from residency, Butters has been visiting me every morning for pats and scritches. His meow is a scratchy pathetic sound like something from a dying animal. But he is nevertheless quite talkative and affectionate. I will miss him (and frequently walk through our old neighborhood just to visit him).

orange cat picture
Butters, mi amigo
photo of orange cat on porch
on the porch

Desert Walk

Today I walked in the desert as if I don’t live in it… as if I live in the interior of British Columbia and experience sunlight for four hours a day before it falls behind a mountain.

Every image below is out of focus and intentionally so. Think of them as paintings made with a camera:

desert photo
photo in the desert
desert photo
desert grass

Somewhere to read

My librarian mother recently noted that I draw and paint many stacks of books in my scenes. And this is very true. Reading is one of my life’s biggest obsessions after art… and maybe food. I really love food. Art can be an escape for me, and so can books… so why not bring the two together as much as possible and enjoy a double dose of what I love most?

While today’s piece of art does not contain any heaps of paperbacks, I’d like you to imagine reading there. I’ve drawn the same bench in a tangly shaded space and a sun-soaked desert space. If you choose to read in the jungle space be sure to take bug repellant and if you chose to read in the sun, remember sunscreen and shades! Nothing worse than being blinded by trying to read the glaring white page.

watercolour and ink drawing of bench in vegetation
The Bench, watercolour and ink on paper, 5 x 10"

Tangly wild lawns

I began this lovely Tuesday morning with an activity I normally reserve for Saturdays: weeding! The front flower-bed… (er… cacti-bed) was overrun with all sorts of different weeds. I counted six or seven different types, although the only one that really matters to me is the one I call “evil spike”. Its little burrs break your skin through thick gardening gloves! So you can imagine how I felt when I knelt on a whole clump. They are NOT the soft sticky type of burrs I grew up with in Canada. Those you could get in your hair or on the back of your pants and walk around for days with them stuck there without knowing. Nope, you know instantly when you get these buggers stuck to you. yowch.

I’ve decided today I don’t like weeding tangly wild lawns. But I do like drawing tangly wild lawns. That is an activity far more suited to my temperament.

Side note: Tangly Wild Lawns would make a good band name no?

watercolour and ink painting of a lawn in new mexico
Tangly Wild Lawn, watercolour and ink on paper, 5 x 8"

An oasis

There is nothing like a pool of water in the middle of the desert. Bizarre: yes, peaceful: incredibly so.

This was painted at the nearby Oasis State Park. Many people are attracted to the fishing hole here. On a busy day families are lined up along the pink stones dropping their lines in for catfish and guzzling sodas. The morning I set up my paints at a shady picnic table the only other people around were a father and daughter fishing quietly from camping chairs.

I’ll definitely be revisiting this gorgeous place to paint more… if only it was a swimming hole!

oil painting of trees at oasis state park, new mexico
Oasis, oil on canvas, 8 x 10"