topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Two Yesterdays

Sid came to visit me on Friday!!

We went to Gapstow bridge to paint, and I took him all around the city and we had a great time.
I am so glad Sid came to visit and paint!

It was COLD though....much colder than I anticipated and the hand warmers I had stashed in my gear were about three years old and were not very warm.

I have Sid's painting and will send to him when it is dry.
His came out a lot better than mine...I have stupid drawing issues that need fixing. When you are out there FREEZING it can get a little hard to concentrate.

Mine has drawing issues.
Sid's looks really good.

We will both tweak them and post updates!

Drawing issues are the story of my life.....

We both worked 8x10 on canvas panels, assorted oils and galkyd gel, about 2 hours. It just happened that we finished at the same time.

Sid's painting is on the right.

I had a really nice birthday yesterday.
My father remembered this year which I appreciate.
Rob took me out and gave me a watch.

Friday, October 28, 2016

A Request

The last time I was visiting Dru, she called me over to ask for help.

She said, "Would you take this brush and put cornstarch on Branwen's rat's butt while I hold him?
I said, "Sure!"
And I did exactly that.

This is Bilbo and his back legs don't he gets a little moist in his boy-bits, hence the cornstarch.

photo by Drusilla Kehl

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What the Cat Cost

Because she is an everlasting pest, Pebberz needed to go to the vet again, because we ran out of Prozac.

Pebbz WAILED the whole way to the vet. I walked halfway, then caught the bus.
I do not like being on the bus with a wailing cat.
Some people laughed.
Some people gave me really strange looks because I had noises emanating from my person and they didn't realize I had a cat on my back.
Some people seemed annoyed.
Some people felt bad for the cat.

No one felt bad for me, which is really wrong because the cat cost me $225.

Imagine this on non-stop repeat for about 35 minutes.

Pebbles checks out the exam room

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fire Hazard

I put faerie lights around my desk and they looked really nice.
A few years ago, I had lights up...for about three years until they died.

Since I happened to have lights under my desk left over from a (very excellent) prank, I put them up.

Yesterday I got a really nice email from our fire safety inspector (who is a very cool person) saying NYPD revised its rules for small appliances in high rise buildings 2 years ago, and my lights are now considered a fire hazard.

(I can't have my humidifier anymore either.)

So I had to take them down.

The fire marshall said the building is patrolled every night to look for fire hazards,

Which I thought was odd considering those lights were on 24/7 for over a month before anyone said anything.

Aww lights, you were so pretty

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Here is a little ACEO I did with one hand while I was on the phone.
It occurred to me several tines to use my headset so both hands would be free, but that meant getting up so I didn't.

These little cards are great when I want to paint but don't have the energy and focus for more intense work.

Pastel 2.5 x 3.5
Golden pastel primer on bristol

Monday, October 24, 2016


I got a text over the weekend from a number not in my contacts.
They sent this picture with a short message.

I know who sent it.
She doesn't have to identify herself.  
She knows I know.

The last time I heard from my best friend at Pratt was 5 or 6 years ago when Kaiti died.  Kaiti is pictured all the way at the left. I am all the way at the right.

I got dumped at the same time my marriage ended and I had a baby and I had to move in an emergency and I was very scared and traumatized. It all happened at the same time. I'm sure I have written about it here somewhere.  Oh, here too.  She dumped me when I asked her for help and got mad at me for asking her for help.

I admit I wasn't a perfect friend but getting dumped like that during that time was really bad. I have only heard from her twice since and this was the second time.

Why she sent me this picture?  I have no idea.

I didn't save the number.

90s at Pratt

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Back to Yoga

Yoga last night was pretty wonderful. I had been going regularly for a long time and I still can't believe a year passed. It is unreal.

Sudama (the teacher) remembered my name!

I was pretty surprised about that, I wasn't expecting he would even remember my face. The class isn't the kind where people get to know each other, people just show up or not. I like Sudama, and I like going to that particular class because of him.  I told him I was glad he was still there teaching, and he said some things never change.  I said I was very glad about that and it is true.

Integral Yoga really doesn't ever change and that's why I love it there so much.
It has been in the West Village since the 1960s (I think) and it is an official ashram with people in residence.

I did prenatal yoga there and it was a very comforting place to be when I was hurting really badly.

I still find it deeply comforting.  It is old, unchanging, stable, positive, and safe.

Even after a year away my body fell right into the rhythm of class, the mantras and asanas like no time had passed at all. Even though I could probably do a level 2 class, I like the atmosphere of Sudama's class so much that's where I want to be.

Yoga doesn't stop me from feeling sad but it does help immensely with coping and just taking a time-out from life.  It is amazingly regenerating and peaceful on every single level. It puts a gentle but effective structure around my thoughts.

It's normal to not be able to generate higher energy when we are low, so we have to go out and get it.  Yoga is a good place to get good energy.

After yoga I took myself out for sushi with a good book, then I walked up from 14th street to 34th street and took the train to pick up Daya.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today is Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, another week is going by.
This evening I'm going to yoga for the first time in a year.  I can't believe it has been a year.

I have made some changes- necessary changes- over the past few months and it is an adjustment. I derail easily, and I know that, and I know why, so I have to take it into consideration.  Hopefully it will get better, but I need more time and it is ok. It's just something I have to keep in mind.

Sorting things out is difficult and sometimes I am not sure what's what.

The Fall schedule has got me with many long stretches of time by myself, several times a week. Evenings, days,  Daya is at dance a lot and Rob is busy with school.  I like being alone but it's getting to be a little bit too much, even for me. So I need to fill my time.  So, yoga tonight.

Everything with Rob is still pretty new- it's only been about three months. I have no agenda, I don't know what we are, and at this point that's ok because it is still very new.  There's a whole lot to like about Rob and I genuinely like having him around.  He is good company, We get along. I like him for who he is as a person.
It is very nice to have a man in my life.

He wants to move out of the city though, Westchester. To me, that's far and requires driving which is not an option for me.  So I don't know if I'm setting myself up for another loss and that makes me very sad. It really stinks that after this long stretch of alone-life that I would meet someone really great just to have them move away.

I don't know what to do, and maybe it's just something that needs to work itself out with time, one way or another. I don't have an agenda, I'm not the clingy type, I'm not into forcing things to be a certain way.  But isn't the point of seeing someone to grow a connection? Especially someone you like and get along well with?

In this case, perhaps more time is needed.  Since I don't know what to do, I'm going to do nothing and let things unfold however they will.  I just wish I could stop feeling sad about it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jerry's Plein Air Contest!

Jerry's International Palette Shop had a plein air contest today in Union Square.
The theme was the statues.

The weather was perfect and Rob kept me company which was very nice of him.
I liked having him around.

There are awards! I want to win! But even if I don't win anything, it was still a really fun great to see so many people come out and paint!

Winners will be announced Oct 30th.

8x10 pastel on Richeson sanded paper

Rob took this pic of me working.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Muted Forest

I was playing around with my new Liquitex Muted Series ink.
Started abstract and i guess it still is, but it also looks a bit like a forest.

Muted Green * Muted Purple * Muted Gray
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5) on Bristol

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mad! Chess

This week's theme is chess.
I had a bunch of ideas but managed to pull off half of one idea before I ran out of steam.

The King is in Trouble
Pastel on Colourfix
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ink and Stupid Eyes

I'm in a bit of a slump and I can't paint which really stinks.
Hopefully I'll be able to make this week's theme happen....

Yesterday I went to the eye dr for my yearly visit and I have to be on drops now.
Stupid eyes. It's not a big deal really but I still don't like it.

But I got my ink in the mail three weeks early!
Liquitex came out with a special edition muted colors series- ink and acrylic paint. I am not interested in the paint but the ink!!! Wow!

It came in a really nice huge box and it is beautiful.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Tweenage Crap

Daya is truly the best and most awesome kid in the world.
She is not a difficult child, never has been.
She is brilliant and self-motivated and hard working.
Normally she is cute and funny and pleasant and sweet.

But now she is also a Tweenager and ALL Tweenagers turn into unstable batshit insane little demons in about 2 seconds with no warning.

It is hard.

It is so very, very brutally hard. On everyone.

Aside from having to learn new ways of communication, which are not always guaranteed to work when the Tweenage Demons take over, I have to constantly remind myself that this crap is normal. And then I try not to completely lose my shit, which is also not guaranteed to be successful.

Having a Tweenager is, in many ways, exactly like having a toddler again.
The only difference is I can leave the Tweenager alone which is a lifesaving grace.

Seriously, it's a second toddler phase.

They are insane.
All of them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Mad: Animals

Sadly, Drusilla lost her wonderful Aloysious this past Saturday.

Since she is always doing really special portraits for everyone, and because Aloysious was such a wonderful and special rat, I wanted to give her a portrait of him.

It was a very short-notice portrait and it didn't go as fast as I thought it would.
Because of the time factor and lack of natural light to look at the finished painting in, I didn't realize until I gave it to Dru that the background needs about three more layers. You can't see the rainbow.

Because of the time I had to use acrylic and my color layers over the black are too transparent...and acrylic has an annoying tendency to darken when it dries.

so my rainbow bridge painting is a black hole instead of a rainbow.

I'll fix the painting but I left it with Dru.
She says she likes it.

5x7 acrylic

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Hudson Wetlands

Yesterday Dru and I went to the nature conservancy. The weather could not have been more perfect. 

There are natural protected wetlands there and i made a little painting of them. 
8x10 pastel on richeson sanded paper. I used some Diane Townsends i just got at Sketch and my new Sennelier plein air set. 

There were hay bales in the fields and I could not help thinking about our friend Claude Monet. 

Saturday, October 01, 2016

I might be wrong but.....

....I think this guy needs something stronger than a flu shot.....
Just saying.

a poor example