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two slices to goTwo slices to go –  watercolor on Arches 140# coldpress

Did you ever say anything and as the words exited  your mouth you thought “never in a million years would I ever think I would say that”?

It happened to me two days ago.  As The Husband and I were preparing to leave the house to go pick up friends we saw a mama bear and cub in a neighbor’s yard and continued to watch them as they proceeded across our road, down our driveway and around our car.  It was then that I realized we would be late.

ME texting friend:  We will be late because there are bears in our driveway.

FRIEND who lives around the corner and knows about bears:   HA!

I guess this is our new normal.  They are cuter than NYC rats and about the same size.  🙂

Bear in drvieway 1

Bear in drvieway

bear - these weeds taste good

The Brother, sister-in-law and two nephews were in town last week.  We had a great time but despite all of our talk about bears they didn’t see a one.  What they did do is sing a song that I now can’t get out of my head.  It’s called: It’s raining tacos and it’s very catchy.  Have a listen. You’ll be singing along with me.

The above painting is based on the two slices I got on a recent trip to NYC. Nestled between the 8th Ave. subway entrance at 40th street and a homeless shelter was a hole-in-the-wall pizza place and the pizza was yummy. And just as much fun to paint.

 

 

 

Monica's bulldogHand made card – painting of a bulldog puppy

The asthmatic bronchitis is gone and I can breathe easily again.  What a relief. Breathing is important.

In addition to not being able to breathe I have not been sleeping.  Anyone who knows me will not believe this.  I can always sleep.  I can sleep early, I can sleep often.  I can sleep long and hard.  I can sleep in the daytime and the nighttime. There has never been a time when I could not sleep.

Until now.

Not only can I not fall asleep and am up all night,  but if I am lucky enough to fall asleep I wake up at 3:oo am and walk around the apartment or watch horrible 3:00 am TV infomercials.

As I post this I am drinking Chamomile tea. I was told it was calming and could help one sleep.  We’ll see.

I did have some time to paint a birthday card for my niece.  She’s a big fan of bulldogs.  Since I can’t get her the real thing I found some cute bulldog puppies on-line and painted one of them.  Happy Birthday Monica!

decoupage peony

decoupage kittys

Decoupage under 7″ round glass plates

I’ve been working on some more decoupage under glass pieces.  I’ve posted about it before and even had some step by step instructions posted on this blog here Part One and here Part two.

Nicola was interested until she read all the steps and then told me she found it too fussy.  Which it is. But it’s also relaxing.  At least for me.  Part of the process anyway.  The cutting of the paper is very relaxing, particularly if it’s “lacy”.   It can put me in an altered state.  Like Candy Crush.   Then comes the gluing, and cleaning the glue which requires a few things I don’t have.  Patience and a delicate touch.

All the work is done from the back of the glass.  Gluing, cleaning off the glue, metallic and bronzing, (that’s the shiny stuff on the glass pieces above), painting the background, bronzing the back and finally applying polyurethane.  The pieces are actually food safe because the front is just plain glass.  You just can’t soak the pieces or put them in a dishwasher.

On a different topic, Sunday is not only Father’s Day in the U.S. (happy father’s day to all you dads!), it’s also the first day of summer and most importantly the 10th anniversary of my dog coming home.  We picked her up from the shelter on June 21st when she was 12 weeks.  Now The Husband and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary with her.  I’m sure there will be a special treat for her that day.

Maybe I can serve it to her on a lovely decoupaged glass plate!

Kaiya June 2015

 

 

 

 

peony 2

peony 1

Peony cards on 140# Arches coldpress

I never had allergies to anything.  Ever.  One time I had a rash on my arm which I attributed to stress but my sister dragged me to her allergy doctor anyway.

Dr. V:  What are you allergic to?

Me:  Nothing.

Dr. V:  We will test you by pricking you with all these needles in a grid pattern on your arm and see which ones you react to.

Me:  I’m not allergic to anything.

Dr. V:  Prick, prick, prick.

Me:  Ow, Ow, OW!

After the required amount of waiting time:

Dr. V:  Oh, you’re not allergic to anything.

Me:  Response cannot be printed here.

So imagine my surprise when our winter polar vortex turned the spring into a pollen vortex and I started sniffling.  Which then went right into my chest for a very acute case of asthmatic bronchitis. I’m still not all the way better and I’m still not convinced that I have allergies, but I do know this case of bronchitis knocked me for a loop.   Ugh!

New Mexico

New Mexico landscape on the Rio Grande – 15″ x 21″ watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

The peonies are in bloom and they are one of my favorite flowers.  I needed some cards for friends so I figured I would paint a peony or two.  I also finished my New Mexico landscape which I’m happy with.

WordPress told me that this is my 300th post!  Wow!  Who knew I had that many paintings or that much to say.   Thanks for visiting, looking at my art and reading my posts.  Cheers!

And finally, here’s a picture of my dog.

Kaiya

Turned out the snowpocalypse was a NOpocalypse for NYC. Good for us.  Bad for areas further East and North. They did get the expected bazillion inches of snow.  I believe they are still digging out their cars.

Snow Day 1-27-15

Doggie Snow Day 1-27-15

I took a snow day because they shut down the subways.  Never before in the past 110 years have they shut down the subways!!!!  Since I couldn’t actually get to work,  The Husband, The Doggie and I decided to make the best of it and went for a lovely 2 hour walk in Prospect Park.  Someone (not me) LOVES the snow and will take any opportunity to roll around in it and stick her snout in the snowdrifts.

We also got to see a bunch of cardinals, beautifully bright red against the bare trees and glistening new white snow.  And finally, we saw a hawk, so well camouflaged in the trees I couldn’t see it until he moved his head.

Hawk in the park 1-27-15

Of course The Husband was the one who saw all the wildlife and pointed it out to me.  A lion could have crossed my path, I wouldn’t have noticed!

 

 

red tulips wip 11-30-2014Red Tulips WIP watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# coldpress Arches

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And if you read the name of this post you might be thinking “that smell” is turkey, gravy, stuffing or sweet potatoes. It’s not. I am referring to the smell of my dog’s paws.  They smell like corn chips. I had always noticed it but I recently read this article in the “Dog-ington Post” which says that smell is bacteria and yeast. Oh great.

The Husband and I were thrilled that we were able to bring along our pooch to the Thanksgiving festivities this year.   Luckily no one complained about her smell since she went to the doggie spa the day before and smelled like a nice, clean dog.   I am very thankful to have such a wonderful rescue dog. (I am the person on Thanksgiving who wants to watch the dog show instead of football.   I was out-voted.)

I’m also very thankful for all of you who read my blog.  Thank you so much for your comments.  They always make my day.   🙂

Kaiya and a ballMy dog

paws

My dog’s Frito smelling paw

The painting above is a work in progress of red tulips I had purchased & photographed in the spring. I’m working on painting more loosely and saving more of the whites of the paper.   A little more to go and then I’m done.

Finally, in keeping with the dog theme, here’s the thought for the day:

Karma

 

Life imitates artRoberta checks out the painting of herself watching it snow

I finally got around to meeting my friend Judy for lunch (she had a chicken salad sandwich on rye toast and I had scrambled eggs) and had the opportunity to give her the painting I did of one of her kittens (Roberta) looking out Judy’s window at the snow.

Later, when Judy got home with the painting, Roberta went right up to the painting to check herself out. (see the picture above)  The other kitten, Audrey, must have been miffed because she couldn’t care less about the painting.  And since the kittens have their own FACEBOOK page they know what it’s like to be adored by their fans.

I laughed and laughed at this picture of Roberta checking herself out.   Maybe I’ll have to paint this next and then Roberta can look at that painting and it can go on and on and on.

 

Roberta watching the snow fall on Madison Park 2-23-2014Roberta watching the snow fall on Madison Square Park, NYC – watercolor on 10″ x 12″1/2″ 140# Arches coldpress

I am petrified that I am starting to have short-term memory loss.  Or the beginnings of dementia.  I can’t remember anything anymore.  Ask me what I did yesterday.  Who knows.   What’s that person’s name?  Not a clue.  It’s frustrating. Words are on the tip of my tongue and then I forget them or what I was going to say.

I just read in AARP magazine about a test for dementia. (Why do they continue to send me this magazine?  I’ve already told them I am too young for it.) AARP magazine could NOT be more depressing. It’s dedicated to stories on how to watch out for scams on older people.  How to make sure that you have enough money after retirement so you’re not eating cat food.  Tests to see how long you’ll live.  And, of course, tests for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Which brings me to my point. (Yes, not only did I have one but I remembered what it was since the first paragraph of this post!) Two friends and I went to see a Broadway musical (which we all hated). Since it was Valentine’s day week, I got them small little heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover chocolates.  As we were seated I reached down and handed them the boxes saying “Happy Thanksgiving!”  They stared at me.  Then we all laughed.  But still.

In this month’s AARP magazine there was a test for Alzheimer’s involving peanut butter. If you could smell peanut butter with your right nostril but not your left (or vice versa I don’t remember), you may have early stages of the disease.  I can tell you for sure my dog does not have it.  You can open a jar of peanut butter 3 blocks away and she’ll smell it.

On another note, which has nothing to do with peanut butter or tests for dementia, I will give you the best review of the musical we all hated by my friend Josh who saw it a week after we did.  He said, and I quote:

“The first act was awful.

The second act was better because I was at Starbucks.”

The above painting was done using a reference photo from my friend Judy who recently rescued and adopted two kittens, Audrey and Roberta.  They have their own Facebook page. They are adorable. And, they are now part of a big happy family which also includes Madison the cat and Benny the dog.   Hope you like the painting  Judalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Lest you think I’ve been hiding in my apartment wishing this winter would end without doing any painting, you’d be partially right.  I have a very bad case of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder).  Although like most things, I’m doing nothing about it but complaining.  And painting.

I finished a number of paintings:

Frankee 2-9-2014My cousin’s puppy Frankee the coonhound – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress  

Then I completed this painting:

Greenpoint cityscape 2-9-2014Greenpoint, Brooklyn on a cloudy day – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

And finally I finished this painting:

Prospect Park Lake WIP 2-9-2014 completedProspect Park Lake on New Year’s Day 2014 – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

The Olympics are on TV seemingly everywhere, all the time, non-stop.  Instead I’m watching a TV show about how the Beatles changed America.  Their  first American televised live performance was on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night, February 9, 1964.  Fifty years ago today.  Remember?

In case you don’t remember, they sang:

  • “All My Loving”
  • “Till There Was You”
  • “She Loves You”
  • “I Saw Her Standing There”
  • “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

Beach sketch from PMP Karina Robin

Beach scene from Paint My Photo – photo courtesy of Karina Robin

Winter.  I’m tired of it.  And what is the polar vortex?   I thought it was just called winter?  Since I was too tired and too cold to join the NYC Urban Sketchers today I decided to stay home, watch watercolor videos on you tube and play with my watercolors. Using a watercolor sketchbook given to me by my nephews, I did this beach scene using a limited palette, no more than 2 washes and no drawing first. I’d like to be there right now.

Dog  from pmp ESP

I moved on to this dog, again courtesy of Paint My Photo using ESP’s photo. No drawing first, only using a few colors and a few washes.  He looks a little sad. Why do all my painted dogs look sad?

Pears 1-25-2014

And finally I did every watercolorists’ favorite subject.  Pears.  I did sketch the shape of the pears, but again used a limited palette and not many washes.

I’m off to do some weight lifting. My friend Christine and I were talking about how we can’t remember things anymore and she told me about how weightlifting helps to stave off Alzheimer’s.   And I hear curls keep you warm.