Gosh, almost a year since I've posted. Thought I'd restart with a painting I had done of one of the wild cats my mother had rescued many years ago. This was Loveye. The first one rescued, and the last of mom's cats to pass away. She liked to sit in the South window tucked between a keepsake box and a childhood photo of my stepfather. She was devoted to mom, and survived through the advanced stages of mom's Alzheimer's. Which, in retrospect, spared Mom some grief when Loveye passed away.
My entry for Angela Elledge's journal for the Flying Moleskin's journal swap. Angela's theme is places. I don't know if it's spring fever or feeling a bit stuck in place or both, but I've had a bad case of wanderlust lately. I started thinking about the places I've felt most content, and realize most of those places involve the sea or companion animals or both.
In the late 90s, lifetimes ago it seems, I helped a friend's mother bring her Alberg 37 from Grenada to Norfolk. We made the trip in one shot, no stops, across the Caribbean and then up the Atlantic. 20 days at sea. It was just the two of us, and sweet Mabel the cat. During calmer weather Mabel would wedge herself between the air vent and companionway hatch, and doze in the shade. During bad weather, she'd snug in the cabin, and during my 3 hour sleep shifts, she'd bunk with me for company. Tropical Depression Danny hit us just before it was upgraded to hurricane status. Gusts to 60 and sustained winds of 45 were a challenge at the helm. The week before we landed the forestay snapped (which holds the mast upright), and we had a thrilling rollercoaster ride down some huge seas while we wrestled the head sail out of the surf and hooked up an emergency forestay. We also hit the doldrums-- endless days on glassy seas. The water tanks fouled, we ran out of propane, and blew an oil gasket that needed repairing. It was one of the best times of my life. Every day was new, and the colors of the sea and sky changed hourly. On calm nights, I'd lie on deck. Millions of stars above reflected in the water, and it felt like floating through the universe. When the wind was fair, and we'd make good headway, dolphins would show up and play around the bow wake. Bliss.
I don't know what happened to Mabel after the return trip, but I like to imagine she's living out another of her 9 lives, belly full of fish, dreaming of far-away lands.
An older work, based on a strange dream I'd had. I put together a small collage first of the elements, and then worked up the larger painting. The cat is my mom's cat, and the shell is another from my grandmother's collection. I don't know who the women are, but rest assured, the one with the egg is not me. Well, then again, it was a dream.
Update: Thanks to Sara Winters for passing along the Kreative Blogger Award. Please visit Sara's site to see a beautiful painting of one of the most creative "castles" you'll ever see, and to enjoy the rest of her fantastic work.
This is Angel. He was part of a feral litter born to a neighborhood cat that no one could catch. One day I heard a kitten screaming, searched the yard, checked under the deck, but saw nothing. After an agonizing day searching, I finally crawled under the deck and looked down a slender standing pipe with a flashlight. A tiny screaming face looked back. A fallen Angel. He was only a few weeks old, and had wedged himself so he couldn't move his paws. In desperation, I lowered a rope with a rag tied to the end. He grabbed onto the rag with his teeth, and I pulled him out. He was one wet, stinking, screaming kitten: scared but otherwise unharmed. From that day on Angel was my constant companion until he passed away at age 14 in 2006.