Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am Not a Hoarder

Looking at my still lifes, one could be forgiven for believing I am a hoarder.  I am not a hoarder.  I am a plenitudian.  I know that is not a word (my autocorrect spelling tells me so). But it should be.  There must be others like me.  People who are only psychically happy when they have enough supplies to carry them through a prolonged emergency (with electricity intact, please).  The larder is stocked.  My freezer is packed, probably with inedible meat from 2002.  I have enough art supplies to stock a minor university.  I have never run out of gas.  I maintain a pile of books that I am eager to read.  Videos to watch and 14 days worth of songs on my ipod.   For the record, I am not piggy, I am prepared

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sam versus the Buddha

There is a scene in Eat, Pray, Love where the protagonist meditates at sundown in India.  Mosquitoes gorge on her flesh and yet she is able to maintain the perfect peace of her meditation.  I thought about that often this week.  Sam, my son's whirling dervish, was visiting for the week.  I usually meditate in the morning. The first day Sam slept beside me under the comforter. I was able to maintain my concentration even as he shimmied to the bottom of the comforter to escape.  It was the whining after he exited that ended my efforts.  The next day he wouldn't settle down, opting instead to chew and rip the down comforter.  Most of the week went like that.  If I put him outside the bedroom while I tried to meditate he butted the door. My husband erected barricades at the bottom of the stairs but that just made him angry.  Did I mention he excels at baying mournfully?

Sam is not a creature of  half measures.  He was outside stripping the tomatoes from the vine, I was inside reading.  When he decided he wanted in, he didn't bark or paw the door.  He didn't sit by the glass door and look longingly.  No, he hurled himself up in the air and planted four paws on the glass before thudding to the porch floor.

I love Sam. Really, I do.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baby Blue

The above photo is of my brother's five and a-half month old bulldog Tucker in an oxygen cage.  Tucker, who couldn't be sweeter if he were made of gum drops,  developed aspirational pneumonia and nearly died several times last week. He is now through the worst of it, we hope.  I can only imagine the vet bills. Catastrophic in many ways.   It didn't use to be like this.  When my black lab had an ACL surgery in the mid 1990's the total bill, including anesthesia, medicine and two nights stay was $180.  When my yellow lab had the same operation ten years later the bill was over $2000. And that doesn't include treatment for the subsequent kidney failure that resulted from the pain medication.  It can't just be inflation.  America is pet crazy. And I say that as one of the deeply crazed.   Vets just happened to be the beneficiaries of our madness.  Anything is possible now, transplants, cloning, the sky's the limit.  Three years ago my vet was stunned by my refusal to put my 12 year old lab through chemotherapy. (In fairness, if Clio had been young at the time I might have been tempted.)  This pretty young vet told me, in all earnestness, "Old age is not a disease."  Ha!
Canine allergy tests start at $600.  My god-dog Sam went through a battery of them when the kangaroo and red lentil diet proved futile.
Sam is staying with us while my son and his wife enjoy Napa Valley.  While I was at work yesterday Sam discovered a wicked, horrid monster cleverly disguised as a 6-foot bath mat.  Sam to the rescue.  He dragged the 'monster' down the stairs and thrashed it soundly, whacked it against furniture and water bowls.   He seemed to expect some reward for his efforts.
Sam has developed a whiny quality that I thought only existed in pre-school children.  Whatever we are doing for him it is apparently, not enough.  The house is littered with his toys and bully sticks (for those happily unaware, a bully stick is a dried bull's penis) but he wants to munch on my collection of vintage windup toys.  He wants to chew the down comforter.  He wants the monster/bathmat released from the closet, where apparently it is issuing a siren song of taunts.  He just whined at my husband who  commented: "Oh for heaven's sake.  He has a bull's penis, what more does he want?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Measure Up!

Sometimes when painting a piece, I can feel that it will sell.  One such piece sold off the easel.  Several that I know will sell are still waiting for their owners to claim them. Or to be born...   Then again, sometimes I know when a painting  will not sell.  The above, "Roman Love Triangles" is one of those.  It is from a photo I took in 2002.  I loved the dragon in the balusters staring at the the oblivious couple.  I doubt many people will share my amusement, but that's okay.  There's still room in my basement.
But I am baffled by consumers who buy, not because they love the painting, but because of its inches.  I was in the Torpedo Factory studio when a couple came in and pulled out a measuring tape.  They held it up against several of my partners' pieces and mine as well.  Then they left.  An hour later they came back, measured again.  I wondered if they would pull out fabric swatches to see if it matched the sofa.  They left again.  When they returned they settled on a piece that was 24 inches tall and was mostly red and yellow.
People should buy art that they love.  Repaint the room or buy a new couch, if necessary.  But love the art.