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.
What a ride the last week has been! Very glad to be out of the hospital and home! “There is no place like home. Tap, tap, there’s no place like home!” The colon surgery went well, they got the original site out and there were signs that tumors had been there, but no tumors! It looks like they had to take the whole right side of the colon out, feels like it too. Whoooo Hoooo! The chemo did it’s job. I still feel like I got “runned over by the damned old train”, but feel a little better each day. Thursday, is the appointment to take the staples out, we will see what is next. Right now just taking it one step at a time.
Before I went into the hospital, I started a new project. I want to do three large dreamcatchers, each with one of my favorite artworks redone on Black Velvet Paper. I am using white charcoal pencil again and am using a fixative to try to help make the drawings more permanent. Of course the first one requires the biggest learning curve. I decided to fix cloth on the back of the drawing, to stabilize and keep it from tearing when applied to the 19″ metal hoop. After several botches, I finally accomplished this task before going into the hospital. I learned…..attach the fabric before you do the drawing, otherwise you have to redraw most of it, LOL. My friend, Noelle, took a photo and posted it on Facebook. But I was really too involved in the whole surgery prep to blog about it, and haven’t felt well enough to follow up.
Now you get the follow up! A trip to the craft store was in order while I still felt like it, so I grabbed the stuff I thought I would need. Found an awesome little hole punch tool by Martha Smith, even though pricey, it works great. Found leather cording and sueded cording. Feathers are in plenty around here, but no black, so I ordered some on the internet. 19″ metal hoops…..check. 23″ wooden hoops…….check. Well, wish I would have gotten beads, but will get them for the next one! Found some really cool little spring coils that crimp on to the ends of the feathers, so they will hang on the leather. Of course that means buying a little tool to crimp them, LOL. Dang it if I didn’t get sucked into the jewelry making aisle and drop a small fortune there. Just in case you are wondering what the final result looks like, here is the first of three – Raven Dreamcatcher! Hopefully Eagle and Wolf to follow.
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?
Weeellllll…….the Audubon show is done, had a great weekend, met a LOT of nice bird folks and it is getting close to Thanksgiving. Where did this year go?????? Apologies for not blogging last week, it was crazy getting ready for the show! But the good news, is………RAVEN update!
SO the eyes and beak are in, a lot of work is done on the body and it is moving along.
Now for a word from our sponsors! There were a few prints and cards left from the show last weekend, so I have put them up on the website on the “Cheap Cheeps” page. Oh, yes what is the website address:
They would make great gifts for any of your other bird friends, they support great birdie organizations, and they support and feed your friendly local blogger!
BTW, I will be sitting the show at Arizona Artist Guild this Sat from 12 to 4 if anyone would like to stop by and visit! Info on the website!
Meanwhile back at the blog! Don’t forget, you can click on the photo to see a larger view. It is hard to see these little tiny squares that fit into the blog page. It makes you think it is time to get a pair of new glasses squinting at this stamp size photo! Hopefully The Raven will be finished this week, before he decides to fly off! See ya next week!
This weekend is the Audubon “Gifts from Nature Show” at the Az Audubon Building, I will have a booth there, so hope to see some of my AZ friends there! Needless to say it is a BUSY week, but did manage to get a new WIP started. This one is a raven, photo taken at Yellowstone, who may look familiar to some of you. Yes, he just has that raven look, so did a watercolor of him, but now am doing a charcoal on back paper. White charcoal, that is, so the challenge is to get the highlights and the mid tones. Oh, you are just so demanding, will post a photo of the work so far…….
As you can see, the lower part of the body is developed pretty well, just starting on the shoulder area. So if you’ll promise to be good tomorrow, I will take you with me to paint, LOL, draw with Candy tomorrow! And whatever you do, please don’t say anything to the raven about “pay raises”!
Til we blog again!