Curious Meanderings from an Artist's World
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They say art immitates life. That's about how much this post has to do with art, but I think you might enjoy it.
I crawled out of bed this morning at 9:04. Bill had been up just long enough to brew some coffee, so he brought me my first cup, as is his tradition. Then he disappeared, as is his tradition. I remembered him saying last night that the leaves are all in color out back, so I hobbled out in bare feet to the back deck, coffee in hand, to enjoy the beautiful Autumn leaves. I live in North Carolina to enjoy the change of the seasons. Right?
The two dogs followed me outside. They also wanted to sniff the fresh fall air and survey the back yard.
I crossed the deck to the table, barely (tip of toes) avoiding stepping full footal in a wet little plop of rained on doggie poop which evidently had gone undetected from a couple of days back. Great. Rinsing my toes off in a handy puddle of rain water, I was headed back inside to bathe my five little piggies in some of my sister's handmade soap when suddenly there was a terrible commotion.
The dogs had cornered a little squirrel. Probably the one who's shadow had been dancing across the wall yesterday. She was running this way. One dog grabbed her. Then she escaped and went that way. The other dog nabbed her. I shouted frantically at the dogs as they and their prey skitterd hither and tither. I ran around flailing my arms wildly. "No, dogs! Bad! Bad!"
"We hunters," they proudly barked. "Squirrels bad!"
The door to my bedroom remained agape, and I realized the squirrel was eyeing it as a means of escape. She headed that way, but the dogs were on the job. Still I screamed, "Stop! No! Stop! Bad dogs!"
Finally I got the dogs in and the door closed. The poor squirrel just lay there, breathing heavily. She was injured, but I couldn't tell how badly. At least no blood was evident. I thought I'd give her a moment to recover.
Enter the cat. As is his habit, he wanted in so he could eat breakfast, but seeing the squirrel, he thought, "Oh! Breakfast Delivered!" He wouldn't go in, so I had to capture him, slamming the door behind him as I tossed him unwillingly inside.
Next, I let the dogs out front and the second of our three cats came in. Though Layla can jump the fence, she can't get onto the back deck because of a gate. Whew! Only one cat to go.
But alas, peace was not yet in my grasp. Somehow, clever and relentless Bo managed to escape the fence. He was determined to get that squirrel. Both dogs ran barking to the back gate. Discovering it locked, they ran amuck about the yard for a while, chosing to bark at neighbors and the mailman instead of the victim recovering on the back porch.
Thank goodness that the one cat left outside was Little Kitty, who has FHDD...Feline Hunting Deficit Disorder. I'm not too worried.
But an hour and a half later, I'm still concerned about the squirrel, because she hasn't gotten up and scampered off. What am I to do with her, poor thing? I'm thinking it would have been more merciful to let the dogs just do her in. It would have been swift, and thus more humane than letting her die out there, suffering for hours.
As I write, Bill just found Little Kitty locked accidently in my studio overnight. My hero. (That's what you get for sneaking in my studio and hiding, as is your tradition, you little...)
I'm going for more coffee. Maybe I'll get dressed, too, and hang out with my husband for a while...and check on the squirrel again and again and again. I should take her to the vet. Dang. Dangdangdang!
Well, I must away, my fellow squirrel lovers. (And to you squirrel haters? I know you're out there, and I don't even want to hear it.)
Autumn Blessings to all,
Squirrel update: The squirrel is okay.
Also, our friendly mailman caught Bad Bo and put his hiney back in the fence. He loves Bo. Thanks Mr. Mailman. You're my other hero of the day.
At last. Peace and Quiet. I shall enjoy!
It's hard to enjoy life from the inside of a Ziplock Bag!
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It has been one year since I created the whimsical piece of art "Billy's Submarine".
He traveled to California for a time and returned home about six weeks ago. Since then he has been stored in a plastic ziplock baggy (don't worry...he doesn't need to breathe) on a shelf in my kitchen. He didn't like it there, but being most patient...and flat, he waited quietly, knowing I had plans for him.
Last week I carried him and his sister, "The Family Spaceship" down to be entered into Full Circle Arts' Fall Competition, which had its opening last night. I am delighted to share with you that "Billy's Submarine" won third place. I'm especially pleased about this because the show was a "general" show which was open to a wide variety of mediums.
This whimsical piece was inspired by Bill the Wonder Hubbie, Engineer From Birth. As a young boy growing up in Miami, Bill made a "real live" submarine from scrap wood and tar paper found amongst the many construction trash heaps in his neighborhood. He and two compadres constructed their submarine on a river bank and hauled it down to the river. Finding it wouldn't sink, little Billy attached a pump to make it do so. And it worked! Sadly, however, the boys were unable to resurect their submarine from its watery grave. But luckily, Billy and his friends survived to share this adventure with their future wives and kids.
This brings me to the part where I attempt to tie all this in with the lonesome life of the artist. As some of you know, it's been a rough year for me. Like my friend, "Billy's Submarine" I've been sitting on the shelf in a plastic baggy, so to speak, apart from my artist friends. Like many of you, when I'm sad, I don't like to "burdon people" with my problems, (I'm so sick of the drama...) even though my friends may not feel like burdoned at all. Some might even want to know they're needed. You know, it's not good for a person to be alone for too long.
But now that I have reunited with my artist friends, I am glad to report that it feels lovely. I think they actually missed me. I certainly missed them.
Like the Bible says, "It's not good that man should be alone." I know that was about Adam needing a wife (and maybe a dog), but I am sure God was whispering something similar in my own ear the last few months.
Enough, already! I've got a jewelry making class to sign up for which starts on Tuesday, so I must be off! But a little advice from your artist friend here at the Little Pink Spaceship Gazette. If you're going through a hard time, don't try to make it alone for too long. Unlike Vincent's, your art will likely suffer more than you do, and Honey, that ain't pretty. Get out and get involved. You don't have to share your misery with everybody and their dog. But you do need someone to laugh with and something to look forward to.
And know what? Maybe someone needs YOU!
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I am what every art store owner dreams about. I'm what every artist's husband hopes his wife won't become when she buys that first little set of oil paints complete with canvas paper, turpentine and brushes. I am an addict. An art supplies addict.
Maybe you are, too.
Actor Greg Kinnear has a line in one of his movies that goes like this: "I just...can't...help myself." I don't remember which movie it's from. But Greg states it clearly, with a mischievous glint of delight in his eyes. It's one of those movie lines that gets stuck in your head, like Cary Grant's "Judy, Judy, Judy" or James Cagney's "You dirty rat!"...or "Cones! They're just cones!" (From the movie "Wedding Singer".)
When it comes to art supplies, I find myself saying that line. "I just...can't...help myself." Understand, my friend, that I've been on self-imposed art supplies buying restriction for several months now. That's a long time! Being a mixed media artist, not buying art supplies is a sacrificial act for me, sorta like fasting. As those of you know who have tried it, fasting is hard when you're hungry and your house is full of wonderful cookbooks filled with recipes you've been meaning to try. Likewise, refraining from buying art supplies is difficult when I come across a book filled with new art forms and creative venues.
So. A couple of days ago, I stumbled across a book in the fabric store on needle felting. Yes, Needle Felting. Before you say that needle felting is a craft and not "art", let me say this. What that woman did with a little wool, some funny little needles and an assortment of ephemera (as they call "stuff, junk and broken jewelry" in the business) was art. Genuine "Art".
I had to try it.
Going on the internet, I discovered wool roving (loose, unspun wool) and ordered some. Then in AC Moore, I found a needle felting "beginner's kit" way back in the corner by the yarn, complete with two sharp felting needles, a chunk of foam and instructions for making a strawberry appliqué' on felt backing.
As usual, I didn't "need" a new art medium. But I didn't spend much money. I'm inspired. So far I have made my strawberry appliqué, 27 striped or polka-dotted beads (enough for a necklace) that are firm and go "plunk" when they hit the floor, and a beaded flower appliqué. Next I'm going to make a case for my phone, and stick all that stuff on it.
Don't give me a hard time...it's going to be cute.
I'm taking photos. Then I'm going to download them onto my Tarpaper Submarine how-to blog. And I am sure that as I work in the future on mixed media projects, these new supplies and my newly acquired needle felting skills will come in handy.
Think about it. Art is like climbing up a ladder. Each rung leads to the next, until you reach the top.
See you next time!
Little Pink Spaceship Gazette