Last Days of Summer

Last Days of Summer


Summer ended last week. The calendar said so.But here it is nearly October and look what’s still growing fat on the vine.

October! These suckers should be shriveled up and long gone by now. Or filling up bear bellies. Just look at ’em.

blackberries in hand

LOOK AT THEM!!! Fat and juicy and about as sweet as they come. Here I am picking my breakfast. Note to Mr. Spouse: Some of us happen to LIKE blackberries. Some of us do NOT think they’re invasive pests!

blackberry rinse

A little rinse, just because…because it makes a good photo. I mean, look at that water. Wasn’t easy doing it one handed. Note to fans of The Office, especially Miss Daughter : No, I’m NOT going to say “That’s what she said.”

blackberries and yoghurt

Add some yoghurt and there it is–a bowl full of summer. Mmmmmm…better enjoy it while I can, weather’s supposed to change next week.


Evolution of a Painting

Evolution of a Painting

See those three guys to the right, the birds? True confession: I go through stages where I use that image a lot. Three fat little birds, always blue, tweeting and twittering throughout my work in a non-social networking sort of way.

That particular painting has been hanging on my studio wall (ok, pinned to the studio wall) for ages. I’ve never been moved to move ’em out.

Earlier this summer I decided to paint them again, this time on plaster. I made a cradled board roughly the same size, coated it with plaster and painted the birds.

The end result was flat as day old beer. Wasn’t  worth keeping. Wasn’t even worth photographing.

They had to…go away. But I wasn’t giving up that board without a fight. So I sanded it. Gave it a base coat of dark blue to bring out the cracks. Oh, and by the way, when working on plaster I prefer to use the cheap craft acrylics. Doesn’t have much binder and the plaster soaks it up, giving everything a chalky appearance whereas the good stuff just sits on the surface like plastic. And they’re so cheap you can buy armloads, truckloads, for next to nothing.

This is where I realized I’d scratched boxes around each bird. I could’ve filled them in with more plaster but that would’ve added another day for drying and I didn’t want to wait. And I would lose the cracks.

Warning: The next couple of photographs are out of focus. Squint. You’ll be fine.

I added some color as an undercoat. Don’t ask me how I choose color, I just do. And I guess this would be an over-undercoat since there was already a (mostly) blue base.

Toned it down with more paint to even things out. Sanded just a bit to bring out the under-colors. The texture is coming through and I’m happy with what’s happening.

I scratched some marks and filled them in with contrasting paint. Then I threw in some dots because I like dots. This is what it looked like before wax.

And this is what it looked like after. I incised into the wax, rubbed oil color into the scratches. Rub. Wipe. Rub. Wipe. Working this way is hands on down ‘n dirty.

You can see more of my plaster and wax work here.


Birthin’ Pangs

Birthin’ Pangs

Congratulations Mrs. P–you have a big fat bouncing baby BLOG!!!

Last night, when the rest of the world was sleeping, I took the plunge. I changed the privacy settings of this blog from don’t-look-at-me-I’m-hiding-out-here-in-cyberland to Gentlemen, start your search engines!

How did it feel? Well, it felt pretty much like it did when they put FirstBorn in my arms and wheeled me out the door. Me, a new mom with no experience, I mean, a level of no experience one step beyond clueless, and they sent me out into the world with a kid who didn’t stop screaming for his first twenty two years  three months.

He was a challenge. But we figured each other out and we survived. We did just fine, actually. Well, I gave up half my brain cells during his teen years and the other half during his military service, but, other than that, we did just fine.


Sigh… I’m kinda sorta feeling the same way about this blog. Overwhelmed. All consumed by this new baby that I made and am responsible for, except this time I can’t look at it and blame the parts I don’t like on Mr. Spouse. This time it’s all on me.

There’ll be some growing pains, no doubt. But there’ll also be the joy that comes from developing my passion into something tangible and sharing it with the world.

FirstBorn survived the learning curve.  I’m betting ArtyLife will too.

Horseback Writing

Horseback Writing


This is Lana Mama Horse. AKA Boss mare. She’s thirty-one which in horse years is the equalivant of, oh…I dunno, maybe damn near dead. She’s in pretty good shape for an old lady. Doesn’t have to do much these days but eat and hang out with her pony peeps. Pin back her ears, shake her head and boss ’em around when the mood strikes.

Lana Mama Horse


Oh, and indulge my artistic tendencies and let me draw on her dusty ass from time to time. Like this.


And this:

horseback writing


Horseback Writing. Rump Doodles. Rural Graffiti. Whatever you want to call it, it’s leaving my mark on a horse’s ass.

Technical details for you arty types: Substrate, pony butt. Tools: Pointer finger (left hand). Medium: Dust.  Archival rating: Less than 10 minutes.

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

I’m not a photographer but these days I’m packin’ a camera like a TV cowpoke and his six-shooter. Of course this analogy only works if you watch 50’s reruns on The Western Channel or are older than dirt and have a thing about Little Joe and/or Marshall Dillon.

Which I’m not. And I don’t. Well, maybe Little Joe, just a little, back in the day. He had a cool horse. Mine was a stick. Had a sock head with a yarn mane. Best damn horse I ever had. Never once had to clean up his poo, unlike some other horses I know.

But back to the cameras. I never leave home without one. I’ve got three of ’em. Five if I count some early digitals gathering dust upstairs. Blows me away that the camera in my iPhone is way–I mean way–better than the one I Mr. Spouse spent big bucks on ten years ago. Not complaining, just wondering what George Eastman would think of all this.

The other day I was sitting with Studio Quat on the sofa swing in front of the studio. I had a camera in hand and started snapping pictures. Just playing. Then I decided to see how macro was macro on an older Canon Elph SD1000. Older being at least six years.

Here’s what I got.

Studio Kitty

Kind of fuzzy. Not great. Shows her age, which in cat years is life # 8.5 . She was only mildly interested in what I was doing as it didn’t involve food. Or scratchy fingers.

So I moved in a little closer.Studio kitty closeup

And closer.

studio kitty closeup

The question was how close could I move in before she got pissed off. Because  I was, like, right in her face.

Studio cat

At least this close.

Studio Cat

And that was about it. Maybe I could’ve gotten closer but LOOK at those eyes…. You think  she was telling me something?

No details on the camera. Just disable the flash, put it in macro then point and shoot. And be extra considerate of your subject when you’re so into their space. Especially when they have claws. And they know how to use them.