Monday, November 29, 2010

Cat For Sale

"Mittens is being very bad!!"

We have always had a cat. Sometime more than one.There was a time when we housed  [in the barn ...not the house!] 22 cats of different colors, types and ages. We had bought an old 200 year old farm in southern Maine and with it we inherited a plethora of cats and added our two house cats who we moved in with, into the mix. [We also inherited a flock of sheep with the farm,but that is another story!] Over the years the number decreased, attrition by condition! Needless to say, we cut down on our feline dependents and today find ourselves with just Mittens, a now 12 year old [give or take a year or two] Maine Coon Cat of dubious lineage. She was born on that old farm,nestled in a cozy den amongst the hay bales in the loft. A friend and I pulled the snarling hissing, scratching kittens out of their den.The whole "kitten -kaboodle" of them! My friend adopted two of the kits and I kept Mittens....the rest were picked up by cat rescue to be sent to their forever homes. Mittens is my buddy as I write and work on the computer. She enjoys the peace and quiet of the upstairs loft office space. It is where she does not get dragged around by a certain Jack Russell Terrier! It is her safe zone. We all need a safe zone where we can have peace and quiet....hers is here, beside me....she purrs her happy song while I work. I love her when this what is going on.......BUT of late she has started waking us up early in the morning while she enjoys her 'playtime'...she runs like a banshee through the house, over our bed.....very annoying to say the least! If this continues she WILL find herself on the side of the road with a sign attached : FOR SALE-FREE!
The winter watercolor I am working on of two Belgian drafts is almost is just needing the details....and it will be then good to go! I am headed down to the studio Mittens sleeps in the office....she needs her rest you know! She was up early.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thoughts Before Thanksgiving

"Bluegrass Baby"    casein on canvas    18 x 18"

Today I received the good news that my casein painting "Bluegrass Bay" had been picked to be published in the 25th Annual Polo and Sporting Art Issue of "Polo Players Edition" magazine. Every year they receive hundreds of quality submissions from very talented artists, and I feel very honored that my painting was chosen as one of the paintings featured!

Their theme this year was “History.” Their aim was to show a range of equine sports in different forms. My painting is now exhibited at Gallery B in Lexington, KY. and is available through them.

 Here  at Cob Cottage.....the turkey awaits roasting. The apples are setting on the kitchen counter waiting to be peeled,sliced and baked in an apple pie.....It is that time of year again when a day is actually set aside to thank the good Lord for all the blessings in our lives. Believe me, I have MANY blessings.....and I take the time to give thanks everyday. Not just one day a year! That being said... I do like Thanksgiving Day and all the foods that are associated with it's celebration. I will enjoy the day.
Nell and Addie doing what they do best!

Today is sunny but very windy.The horses are standing against the barn to cut the winds.From the office window I can only see the tops of the trees as I sit at my computer.....the spruce dance and bend in the wind. It is a nice day to work in the studio....and work I must! My watercolor of the Belgians is almost done.....and I need to finish the watercolor of the Morgan. [see past blog posts] The pups are sleeping in their bed in the sun. I think they know how easy they have it!

I want to take the time to wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving....a day full of good food.... with good friends and family..... and good vibrations!
God bless!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Watercolor And Water Coming Down

Watercolor I am working on today.

Mid week and rain is coming down. It comes down in sheets, beating against the south of the house, running down the window panes...and the dogs do NOT want to go out. I don't blame them. I spent the morning painting in the studio.Today I am working in watercolor....a painting of two Belgian drafts as seen from the box. In the studio easy listening jazz is playing, and the atmosphere is cozy. I will stay here and work while the pups sleep upstairs ....Nell has taken to sleeping on the big antique chair,all propped up on a fluffy blue pillow. I am letting sleeping dogs lie.

Cozy Nell
The rain drums against the studio windows, even under the deck that shields those studio windows. One of these windows is decorated with our winter squash,.... each squash waiting to be picked as the squash of the evening....fall dinner fare. I think I need to do a painting of them....they look so good! [While they last!] 

Rain on the pane.

Addie does not like rain down her ears.

Then when  the weather cleared a bit, the pups and I headed down to the barn. I turned the horses out and cleaned the stalls. Addie ,our Corgi, still was not too happy about the drizzle. The rain runs into her lovely pointy ears, you know....not a nice feeling. So we hurried and cleaned the stalls and made them ready for the horses to come in to for the night.....Then headed back to the house for the warmth and to dry off. We had to stop and enjoy the brook that runs by our it wanders through the woods towards our back pond. It is really bursting today.....I think it is a lovely sight...even if it is a bit gray today.

Red fallen leaves dress up the gray day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Work Published .....Again

A page from the new book written by Lynda McCann, illustrated by me.

Years ago I worked as the advertising manager for a Maine Equine publication,  The Horses Maine . I also illustrated its monthly story that was written by Lynda McCann, the  paper's editor. The stories were about an adventurous welsh pony called Tink, a Jack Russell Terrier named Frado, and a whole array of barn yard characters...a fun bunch to draw and to capture their personalities. I looked forward to each episode,as did the readers of the monthly equine newspaper. I stopped illustrating the stories when I went full-time into my painting career.Lynda continued writing the stories that went unillustrated over the years. Last winter Lynda told me she was going to start publishing the stories in book form. We decided some of the old illustrations should be used....And Lynda's book is now out and available... just in time for Chistmas gift giving to young horse crazy kids everywhere. Go Tink!!! Go Frado!!!

I must admit Frado looks a bit like our own JRT, Nellie......I guess Nellie came to our house for a reason!!
And even though the persona of Tink was based on a welsh pony from North Yarmouth, Maine...
at the time that I was illustrating Lynda's stories, we had a handsome welsh pony named "Frolic" , who was loved by our granddaughter,Jackie. It made my job so much easier having the characters right there to draw from! The drawings in the new book were done years ago...but still work today! Take a look at "The Mis-Adventures of Tink and Frado"!!!

Book available at

Our Nellie could have posed for this!
I have new work in the making now...a watercolor begging to be done and I am back into a LARGE casein on canvas of three draft horses ,that was supposed to have been  a "work in progress" example, when I got waylaid and running off into another direction! Easily done these days!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life In Progress

'Tug' in progress

The past week flew by too fast. I saw the studio occasionally, but not so much I could really do anything that took a concentrated effort. So I did one small casein painting of a tug...a painting I have been wanting to do for a long time.....and sketched out a head shot of a Morgan...a work that I also have been meaning to get into. Both works were done while sitting at my drawing board....and I am finding I would rather be standing up and painting on my feet. So that means bigger works...and room to dace around a bit! That should make the pups happy...they like it when we dance....sort of like dancing with the 'stars'!

Addie likes to watch me work.

The girls pups and I go down to the studio each day....some days are productive...some not so much. Such is life.We take our 'brilliant days' when we get them and chalk the others up to "practice"!! No time wasted!!! We learn from our triumphs and our least I think so.

The graphite sketch below is the one I worked on today, for a bit .I really think I want to do this one as a watercolor.....we shall see. In the mean time I will continue with works in progress...and my life that is still in progress...!!

Graphite sketch of Morgan mare.....should it be a watercolor?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mooooo-ving Paintings

"Number Two Cow"    casein       10 x 8"

Two casein paintings done ,one not so small...and both are available on  my websiteOur weekend was busy, but I did get time to work in the studio and get these done. I love looking at cows. Their eyes are sooo big, liquid and sad. For years we raised beef cattle....mostly Herefords. We had one cow who was always going right through the fence , and heading down the road towards a farm a mile away where some bulls lived. A lady with a mission! But how I hated chasing that lady, trying to get her back into her pasture. She was the reason we stopped raising our own beef. The 'girls' in this painting are dairy cows from a local  farm just down the road from us ......We will not be having cows on our farm again. I will enjoy them at neighbors farms, thank you. 

Today the sun keeps peeking in and out of the gray fall clouds. Today I will spend mostly in the studio.  But first my barn chores must be done. Everyday has barn chores...........I do not get into the studio everyday. But I have some ideas that I need to get formulated and today is the day!

I have work in an art show that is opening this week in Cazenovia, NY.  " Le Cheval:" the horse exhibition, is an invitational  exhibition of national artists ...and I am honored to be one of the artists. The exhibition will open with an Artist's Reception & short artist's lecture series on  Wednesday, .Nov. 3rd @ 4 - 5:30 PM. at Cazenovia College in  Reisman Hall Art Gallery, 22 Sullivan Street, Cazenovia . NY . 13035  I have all casein work hanging in the show...not many artists are painting with casein,,,,,,I hope you will check out the show if you are in the area!

Heading down to the barn now...pups tagging along! We have a mission!

"She Was A Cow"   casein     7x 5"