I believe that anyone who has ever lost a much loved animal knows that you never cease to miss them. When you have several animal companions I imagine it feels a lot like being a mama animal, always mentally counting noses... Animals may not use numbers as humans do, but their instinctive radar for who is supposed to be there helps them keep track. I feel a lot like that now, as a small feeling constantly tells me "one is missing...one is missing..." Squirrel's absence hits me at odd times as I tick over the lives in the house and realize afresh that she is not here. Life does continue, and I know that she is not suffering, which is a comfort. It is difficult to believe that last Monday night I had no idea that in less than a week she would not be there, trying to lick my arm, reaching a paw out to request more attentive petting. The picture to the left is Squirrel with her beautiful son, Spot.
I have several works in progress up on eBay this week. I would have like to have put up finished works, but I just couldn't manage it. The one at right is a black and tan longhaired doxie with Halloween pumpkins. I have outlined the picture in paint. This has been my preferred technique lately. I sketch it with a hard pencil like a 3H, then paint the outline with a very small brush (my current favorite brush in the world is a da Vinci Maestro size 1 followed by a Daniel Smith 44-14 Kolinsky Sable #6 and another Maestro #3 for those who are interested). I used to outline first with one of my archival pens, but I find painting the outline allows me to change the image a little as needed during the paint process, whereas once the ink is down there is not changing anything. I have tried from time to time not to outline in ink, but for me the image never looks complete until I have done that, so I guess that is just my style. Anyway, on the left here is another work-in-progress (WIP) of a pair of weenies on the beach. Many of the upcoming small paintings I do are going to be testing the waters for my calendar illustration ideas. The wine dachsie on the right is one I have had on the drawing board for months. I took a chance and put in the text - I am not a skilled letterer by any means. When I use this one for prints I will use computer fonts for the text. On the left again is another small painting WIP of a weenie roast. This one is definitely a test run for one of the summer months of the calendar. Those are the paintings this week on auction: http://stores.ebay.com/Wiener-Dog-Art-by-Terry-Pond_Original-Watercolors.
Last week I managed two paintings, already sold now, and the week before I had some others, interspersed in this post. I also had two mis-fires - one a a longhaired red Dachshund on a square board that was to be painted in acrylic I had to pull from eBay because after Squirrel's diagnosis I knew I wouldn't have a chance to finish it. Look for it some other week. Another a smooth red dachsie looking at a heart I pulled because I hated the lettering I did on it in sharpie pen of all things. I've already painted about 8 layers over the text and the sharpie still shows through. I may have to just throw this one out. Never, never think you can cover up a sharpie mistake. I draw an illustration on each envelope I send with art purchases and I love them for that. But never again on art!
Well, it's 1am here and Kelly is still running wild. I'll try to get her up before 9am and perhaps she'll take an early nap. I would hardly call myself an optimist, so even I don't believe that. Kirk has been able to call from the boat a couple of times. They are not getting a lot of good video apparently. I put him on speaker phone for Kelly to listen to the other night and that was a big mistake, because moments later it hit her that Daddy wasn't home. She began to cry and ran and got her socks and started yelling about the green car and daddy - meaning we had to go get in the green car and go get him. It was difficult to calm her down, and explaining why daddy wasn't there was impossible.
Kelly is making great strides in her speech and using more complicated sentences in an attempt to communicate. I am hopeful that she will soon catch up with her peers in language. She has gotten a little better at behaving when we go shopping, although we got the evil eye at a concert recently when a couple and their children sat near us and they clearly did not approve of Kelly's exhuberance. They kept an iron hand on their little girl who obviously thought that it would be fun to play ball with Kelly. What is wrong with these parents? They are so rigid that their children are supposed to be little robots, and woe to those of us with free-spirited little ones.