topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sid's Vicious Dogwood

I had leftover paint from Thursday, so I panted Sid's dogwood tree because he posted such pretty pictures of it.  Sid is an excellent painter who lives in Maryland.

This painting was particularly good practice to find masses in very lacy areas.

8x10 oil on panel, hour and a half

Friday, April 22, 2011


I went up to the Cloisters yesterday and did a little painting in the park, spent about an hour on this one.

The palette is from Kevin McPherson's recommendation....Cad yellow light, cad red light, alizarin, viridian, ultramarine, black and white.  I might try this one again but without the black.

8x10 oil on panel

I was in very low spirits yesterday.  There are some not-nice things I have to think about concerning my cat.  She has become a real problem, and it is more than I have the capacity to deal with.  Basically, she pees on laundry.  In fact, she will go out of her way to pee on laundry.  I am extremely short on living space, time, and stress capacity. There is nowhere to isolate her, and nowhere to isolate  the laundry.  Otherwise I would do it.

Also, she does not get along with my daughter and considers her a rival.

As far as I know, my cat is 14 years old; she has been with me for 13 years.  She got a recent clean bill of health from the vet, nothing in the household has changed, I tried Feliway spray, odor deterrents, keeping her litterbox fastidiously clean, and finally an animal communicator who I met through a friend in Connecticut.  The animal communicator actually worked- perfectly- for six months. After our first chat my cat even stopped peeing in front of her litterbox-a habitual behavior she had been doing for a year and a half straight.

Then a couple of weeks ago she started up again, in the laundry.  I had another talk with the animal communicator. She said my cat has some pretty deep mental issues. (Which has always been true)  Apparently my cat just got tired of being good.  She has no sense of caring for anything beyond herself- well, she does love me but she is so high above herself nothing else really matters.  She simply doesn't care that she is causing hardship and unsanitary conditions.  Sleeping in the laundry she just peed on doesn't bother her either.

The bottom line is that I can't live like this.  If, after a first talk with an animal communicator my cat's long-term habitual behavior changed drastically and immediately, it is pretty obvious evidence of comprehension and self-control. I don't want to live with anyone (person or animal) that has such a basic disregard for everyone else in the household.

So I have some terrible options:  keep the cat in a cage overnights and when I can't supervise her, re-home her if possible (but who wants an old, mean cat that pees everywhere?), or take her on a one-way trip to the vet.

I'm pretty devastated about the whole thing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Watch Out! There's Some Nudity About!

Friday night was the Draw-a-Thon at Pratt, and I went this year, and I made it through the whole night!

I don't have a whole lot to show for it work-wise, mostly a bunch of drawings like these below, which are between 3 and 10 minutes.  I prefer 5 minutes or less for figure drawing.  It's better to go fast, and it was so nice to work with live models again.  All the figure drawing is one of the things I miss most about being in school.

These are all 18x24 conte on newsprint, click for larger view:

It's such a different world, Pratt and the art environment in general.  I really miss it.  Being back in that space, in that zone was literally like being on vacation.  And I saw a old friend from my college years, which was really great.

I also did one ink wash drawing which is not finished, a pastel drawing which is not finished, and a really terrible painting with a bad pose and terrible lighting.  It was so crowded- very difficult to find space.  I even had to drink coffee...nasty stuff!  But all in all it was a great time and I am definitely going back next year.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Really Cool Central Park Tree

There is a tree in Central Park that I particularly love.  It lives right by the zoo.  This tree reminds me of one of my most favorite genius artists of all time, Eyvind Earle.

Eyvind Earle used to live here in NYC.  He ran laps around Central Park a lot.  I like to think that he, too, saw and loved this particular tree, and that he also found inspiration in it.

This painting was very much an experiment, mostly to see if I could pull it off alla prima, meaning all in one session.  It took a little over 2 hours.

8x10 oil on linen panel

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Three hours, magenta, yellow, cyan, black, white.  The reference is from a pic I took in Brooklyn last June.
8x10 oil on linen panel

Here are the paints.  They were on sale at Jerry's Artarama.  They are really cool and fun to work with.  I want to try them with optical mixing in glazes.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

My Sweet Rose (after Waterhouse)

I have been working on this painting since January.  It's big, and it was difficult and frustrating, but was a great learning experience.   This painting also prompted me to get my new easel, which was a long-overdue upgrade.

24x36  (61x91cm)  oil on canvas
(click image for larger view)

I have also been studying like mad.
Finished these 2 books cover to cover:

And have made serious progress reading these: