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December 28th is my birthday.  I am not 60.

If you are a regular reader you may remember that line from last year’s birthday when I wasn’t 60 either:

Last year I was in painting class working on a landscape from Istria.  This year I was visiting my two adorable little nephews Dean and Dillon (5 and 2 1/2 respectively). They are little germ incubators.   They coughed, wheezed, sneezed and almost barfed on me.

I love them.

The husband and I went to visit and give them their Christmas gifts. I’m sure we left with a cold, the regular flu, the swine flu, bronchitis, typhoid and possibly the Clap.  (OK, I’m sure if we got the Clap, it wasn’t from the nephews).  What is up with kids and germs?  They just spread them back and forth, from kid to kid.  As soon as they are old enough to go to school they are sick from September to June.   This is why I stay away from kids.  (Mr. Donald Mills has the right idea about anyone under the age of 21.) My niece Lizzy is a school teacher and she takes Airborne & EmergenC every day so she doesn’t get sick from her little germ-filled charges.  Licking a subway pole would probably spread less infection then spending a day with a 3-year-old.

OK, enough about germy kids, lets talk about me.

As I said, today is my birthday.  Feel free to send me a gift.   If  you will be mailing it,  may I suggest that anything valued over $100 should be insured.   My favorite color is jewelry.

The above painting is of a Japanese Maple path in front of my sister’s house.   They had some sort of Cootie lichen  stuff on them.  The trees line a lovely pebbled path going across my sister’s front lawn.  It is very Zen-like. This image is from the summer, and there was a blindingly bright shot of sunlight at the end of the path.  I saved the white of the paper for that.  When I was done with the painting, I went back with a bit of white gouache and hit some of the tree bark and some of the dappled light on the path, but still managed to keep that one section just the white of the paper.  I also used a wax resist for some of the dappled light on the path and the for the light between the leaves.

I wasn’t sure about the texture of the pebbled path.  I did NOT want to draw in all the pebbles, so I splattered and splashed and I think that worked in terms of texture.

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