So we will have a break from chemo, and hopefully the side effects will slowly start wearing off. I expected to have a lot of energy this week, but didn’t happen yet, so maybe next week. Since it is the second round, it may take just a little longer to get my mojo back, but it will come, so the next weeks are really something to look forward to. Whooo Hooo to being able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, get rid of chemo burn and nose running constantly.
On the art front, I got one piece juried into the Glendale Arts Council Show.
Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.
It is a Wolf Dreamcatcher, and will be there until Sunday, Jan 24th. The show is open daily from 10Am to 5 PM. It is at Sahuaro Ranch Park, 59 Ave & Mountain View, in the old packing building just North of the main building and rose garden. If you live in the West Valley, you would really enjoy it, there are two rooms of great art. Speaking of Art, I have started a new project for the new year. Thinking of Christmas, I decided to make Hand Drawn Christmas Cards. If I do one a week , should have enough to send everyone on my Christmas list an original. They are 5″x7″ and will pop right into a frame, or can be matted and put into an 8″x10″ frame. SO here is a sneak preview of the first four cards.
On the pet therapy front, I got a couple of photos of Loki during our parrot therapy session. Thought you might enjoy! Oops, Loki is screaming, I mean Loki is calling me to do more parrot Therapy……Later!…..I am coming Loki……nuts, you want to be paid now…..I thought this was volunteer work……hmmmmm…
Yesterday, the Az Cardinals played football(yes they won!!) and Coach Arians was shown several times saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” The original quote is attributed to Gregory Peck, but I am sure this saying is a lot older. It reflects the spirit of optimism and hope, and is going to be one of my mantras during this battle against cancer. The current CEA count is 29.1, which is fast approaching our goal of under ten! Heading in the right direction! So when I am feeling sick from chemo, I can still say, “it is working, it is working!” Whoooo Hooooo! Only two more chemo treatments! However, I received the greatest birthday present this week. No nausea during this chemo week. It is the first time in almost one year of chemo treatments, and I have enjoyed it to the max! Take that cancer! Pow! Pow!
Rupert – Raven Dreamcatcher
Here is the Dreamcatcher I have been working on. Rupert is one of the ravens at Liberty Wildlife. He is quite the character and one of my favorite ravens ever. He talks in different voices and is just so intelligent! Barbara Delve(another Rupert devotee) took the photograph and was so kind as to let me use it for a reference for this special Dreamcatcher. Thanks so much Barb! This one went to Jan Miller as a big Thank You for all of her work at Liberty Wildlife, and her love and support during this cancer battle. Also a big Thank You to Margaret V for giving me a ride to Liberty to deliver Rupert. This was such a fun and special project, it is a blessing to be able to be involved in projects like this.
I have been having lots of kitty and parrot therapy and am felling well, with some tiredness. The guys have been really good, and I am wondering what they are really up to? SO if you figure it out, let me know!!!! Back to Rip Van Winkle land…….zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Finch – Pastel Pencil
We met with the surgeon Friday and the surgery is scheduled for April 28th – with lots of testing until then. Colonoscopy, pet-scan, blood-work, lung x-ray and several other appointments. Fun, fun, fun! At least I will be feeling better for all of this. It gets better each day as the side effects from chemo slowly disappear.
The weather is so gorgeous now, we spent a lot of time today on the patio with the parrots and kitties. We only let Dante out when we are out, so he slinks around the yard acting like we can’t see him. He hides in the bushes, but one loud sound and he is back inside where it is safe. Loki ran around on her branch and flapped her wings and had a great time. The little guys just preen and enjoy the sun.
This week, a little finch is the subject of my pastel pencil WIP. He was so cute standing on the bird bath, he was hard to resist. Everything is pretty quiet now, so he should go pretty quickly! Stay tuned!
Nom Nom Nom!
The Monarch Caterpillar is still nomming on the Desert Milkweed flowers. He is getting pretty big, not too much longer! Hope he makes it before a freeze, or we will have to put a light out with the plant blanket to keep him from freezing. We actually moved him to a bigger plant because he was running out of flowers. It is amazing watching these guys! Can’t wait for the butterfly! I posted some other shots of him on FB a couple of days ago.
Are you lookin’ at me?
The raven is done, de done, done. Oh you want to see the drawing, of course you do. Let’s see where did I put that file, hopefully somewhere the cats can’t find it. Oh yes, I remember now. Hope you enjoy! So I am thinking a colored pencil or pastel on black paper for my next project.
Another birthday gone by. My wonderful family made dinner on Sunday, since they knew I had chemo on Monday. We had a very nice dinner with cake and presents. I now have a collection of hats to wear with my thinning hair. Beanies, Beret Beanies, Slouch Beanies, and a couple of scarves. My head will be among the best dressed this winter. Also some nice warm jammies with nice warm house boots. No chance of getting cold this year! Also another cat added to the household, luckily this one is ornamental and does not need feeding and affection, it was a gift from friends who went to the Tempe Art Fair. It was nice to go into chemo after such a nice day. Had a rough time Monday evening, lots of nausea and filling up a couple of barf bags. Am feeling so much better today. You had better believe all through the nausea, I was saying….it is worth it, it is working! It IS worth it, it IS working. We are halfway through, only six more treatments to go!
Stay tuned, you never know what is going to happen around here!
SO resting week started with a migraine, which has now has subsided thanks to modern medicine, luckily, there is some progress on the raven drawing.
What is is it about cloudy days that make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and just veg. It has been cloudy a total of two days and seems so gloomy that the couch/book idea with a nice blanket, fire, and a warm cup of cocoa sounds awesome. I have access to a ton of new books on my iPad since hubby signed me up for Scribd! Yes, I know it is in the 70’s, but in Az that is downright sweater weather! When this blog is written, you will know where to find me! I am taking my cue from Rusty, he is vegging in his new heated cat bed.
For some reason lately, I have been thinking a lot about transitions. They seem to be hard to handle as an artist and as a person. You would think, since we are almost continually in transition, we would be very good at handling them. As an artist, people rarely talk about transition, but it is one of the very important elements in a piece. How do you go from dark to light, from color to color, from line to line from shape to shape or even from texture to texture?
There are no spoiled cats in this house!
Each element of the art must transition and flow, leaving a path for the viewer’s eye. Focal point, shadows, and complementary colors are some of the ways I cope with transition in my art. But in my own life, it seems like I am always behind in getting the transitions…one day I am healthy, the next day, I am a cancer survivor. Where was the transition? It took me weeks to accept the change, but only seconds for it to happen. Then more weeks for me to even realize what a big transition it is. Ok, so now we have a new normal….has it changed again while I was not looking?
Here is the new chemo hair! Claudine was kind enough to come over and cut it for me. For some reason during the treatments, I sweat a lot, and would wake up with a sweat soaked, smelly ponytail. The fatigue was making it hard to keep up with it so decided it needed to go! It has been many years since wearing it short, so I keep wondering who that person in the mirror is! LOL.
This week’s chemo was merciful! Monday after the three hour treatment, I came home with my pump, knew from experience that the first day is good because of the steroids they add. So I did not go home and pig out, LOL. Ate moderately, took nausea medication and went to sleep. Only had one little bout with nausea on Tues am, started the meds for the cramps, and went back to sleep. Pretty well slept through Friday morning with short breaks for food and meds. SO here I am the week is over, and I am feeling like Rip Van Winkle, LOL.
The rest has helped a lot, I actually worked on the Black Crowned Night Heron today, here is the update. Do not panic, I am just sketching in where water and grasses will be, it is pretty messy right now…but hey! I am feeling like doing art again!!!!! Whooooo Hooooo! Thanks for all those prayers, good wished and positive thoughts!
Hopefully the title of this blog, tells you what it has been like here the last few weeks, LOL. The Kickstarter Project funded, YAY! Several pieces have been in shows, and I am working on getting the rewards together for Kickstarter, framing pieces for shows, ordering cards and Giclees, and the normal business of taking care of parrots and cats. OK, so the parrot – cat thing is a full time job since cats have staff and parrots have slaves…….but I have managed to get a little painting in too, and the Wilson’s Warbler is now done! Fixed a few branches, darkened the moth and fixed the tones of the reflected light on the ventral side of the bird.
The raffle for ” Mingus” is still going on so don’t forget to check out http://the-oasis.org for your tickets….the raffle goes until Nov 3.
One of the local clubs, AABA, raffled off “Too Much” at the Sally Blanchard talk on Saturday as a fundraiser, and it has a wonderful new home with Patrick and Linda Cravens.
Don’t forget to put the Audubon “Gifts From Nature” show on your calendar for the weekend of Nov 22-24!
The weather here in AZ has finally cooled off and we are enjoying a beautiful fall season. Ok, so the leaves don’t turn much here, but it is glorious outside, all the doors and windows are open, and I hear all the birds outside noisily going about their business. Speaking of birds, it is way too quiet in the bird/family room………hmmmmm better go see what they are chewing up now! Hope I still have a room left! Argh – not the door sill – we need to use that door…..um Loki, why is all of your fresh food now on the blinds? Ok, guess I didn’t need those blinds…..you want a nut…… wait you just had one….you want a grape…….the grapes are all over the blinds…….OK…..just a second……later!
As much as I love going on vacation, I love coming home! It is great to get out, hike, kayak, and photograph birds, but even better to come home to my flock! They are so welcoming, even though it is a little noisy…..OK a LOT noisy….but hey, it is a happy noise. Then everyone has to be petted and reassured that we are going to stay home for a while. Then they have to have their treats and some extra scratching…….even the cats are happy we are home. The cat hair and feathers have risen to a new level, as we shovel our way through to get the laundry done and get everything back in order. Our grown up kids have done a great job of feeding and caring everyone, but the birds and cats have assured us that they are starving for treats and affection. Hubby is worn out from travel and has fallen asleep, surrounded by kitties. Yawn, think I will be joining them soon. The Wilson’s Warbler is almost done!
The Kickstarter Project has closed and was fully funded, so I will be getting prints, cards and framing done over the next few weeks. Once again, a great big “Thank You” goes out to all of my project backers!
The painting is progressing. As you can see there is strong lighting, but it is diffused and sent different directions because of the thickness of the foliage. You also might have noticed the little Warbler is in the middle of enjoying a nice lunch. Now, that is not a lunch I would enjoy, but he seems to be going after it with relish.
Even though I am blogging, we are far away from home on our yearly trip to Colorado to photograph anything that moves. We were going to go to Estes Park especially to photograph the elk. This vacation has been a lesson in flexibility! Estes Park is flooded, they are not allowing anyone in, except essential personnel. So we have rerouted to Durango, and have been taking landscape photos instead. Net we will go to Sedona for a day or two, then to Lakeside, and enjoy some of the beauties of our own state. Maybe there will be a couple of critter photos in the offing, but it is looking like landscape, LOL! SO only a couple more days of blessed cool, then it is back to the desert temps in the 100’s. Hey….that is why we live in Arizona! Excuse me a moment, I have a phone call from the parrots……..oh……they are wanting to know how come I left instructions for their nuts to be limited while I am gone…..OK guys, you are getting a little tubby, and I figured you would not scream at my son, he is following orders after all….what do you mean the cats are not on a diet…..they are not as tubby…..DO not eat the cat food…..Quit chasing them around the house….buzzzzzzz…they hung up on me! Guess I had better go check with the son and see if the house is still standing…….stay tuned!!!!!
Help, I am drowning in cat hair!!! Or is that cat fur? OK, I promise, I won’t go on another rant about cat hair, even if I am drowning in it. Hey, it is not like the cats can help it, and it is not like the birds don’t put out their share of feathers. BUT…..cats being cats, I suspect that as soon as I go to sleep, they jump up on my art desk and rub all over my painting in progress…just to get me started. Like I said, though, I won’t go there today and nothing you can do will make me start a rant about cat hair.
Here is the start to the Wilson’s Warbler painting. This is the last of the native bird series for this year. Stay tuned….more to come next year. But have to get a few parrots done first!
Whoooooo Hooooo! My Kickstarter Project is 100% funded now, so the fingernails can grow out again. A Great Big THANK YOU to all of the project backers. ‘Til the next time, may your cat hair brush off of your art easily!