(At the end of this blog entry, you'll see the paintings I made about our new puppy, Libby Spooler. This is a detail of the one I'm keeping.)
The first thing I airbrushed yellow was the bucket of wooden spoons. I love that image, as it reminds me of the Little Owl pub Rita Scannell and I went to, after taking down my solo show at the Festival of Quilts in August.
I usually start painting in my colors with yellow, because everything else will go over it and change it. It's the weakest pigment, no matter what paints you're using.
Here's the whole piece with yellow on it, waiting for the next color.
Back to the puppy caper: On last Friday, October 8, we got to go down to Yesteryear Acres and bring home our new puppy, Elisabeth Rose Evangeline Spooler - Libby Spooler. Her name Libby is a dedication to our friend Libby Bruch, who was an angel of a kind and passionate woman, who lived near Wooster and founded Quailcrest Farm. We'd like OUR Libby to be as wonderful as was Libby Bruch.
In the photo above, Renee Sigman, the breeder, is handing Libby to me officially, so it's the doggie handover.
As soon as we got Libby, we drove her to our friend Mary Helen's studio in downtown Newark, on the way home from the breeder's place, and introduced wonderful Mary Helen to sweet little Libby. Mary Helen is great woman and a great artist, whose joyful essence blesses anyone fortunate enough to be near her. So we thought Libby deserved some of that good energy to get her going on her way!
Back at the painting: After yellow, the next color I used was orange. I guess you can see from this, that I'm thinking of having more cool colors, as not much has been colored with yellow and orange, and I don't use much red. You can see Libby Spooler down at the bottom of the painting. I drew this piece way before we got Libby, but I had seen her pix on the internet, so I know sort of what she would look like. And I knew I wanted that little doggie in my piece, as I'd be writing about her on it eventually.
Jimmy came into the painting room and took a couple of pix of me putting in the red.
This painting drapes out onto the floor, and that makes it very hard to airbrush. You can't really turn an airbrush down, so that you can aim at a flat surface with it. But I tried to outsmart it, by just tipping down the airbrush body and keeping the paint jar level.
With the red painted in, I again took a hiatus, because we at this point had Libby at home, and everything was turned upside down, as we began to get used to each other - an 8 week old doodly dog and Jimmy and me!
Here's Libby Spooler, taking her very first nap at our house, on the front porch of her doll house (her cage.) Afghans made by my Aunt Pauline, Candy's mother, are keeping Libby warm and fluffed. Candy wanted us to have these for Libby, or I wouldn't even think of using family treasures like that!
Libby at 8 weeks, on Sunday, October 10, sitting on the desk chair of my computer, while I sit next to her on a kitchen chair. Letting her have the fluffy chair is my way of keeping track of her.
Here, for scale, you can see how big Libby is, compared to one our cats, Otis Earl Hawkins. By the way, he still doesn't like her. But he will, because Otis is very much a nice guy. And his sister Ome (Cleome) keeps trying to lick Libby, like she wants to mother her. But Libby keeps playfully chasing after Ome, so the deal falls apart, so far.
So just yesterday I got my act together, put Libby into her doll house, and had another big painting session on "Kitchen Tarot Café." Painted in the green ...
Then I put in my blues, both dark and light, but both pthalo blue, like my green was pthalo green. Something exciting about that work that needs a couple more good vowels, but whose colors are mighty fine!
So that's where the painting is right now. It's light enough to suit me, since all the airpen writing with black fabric paint will dull the piece down some. If I decide later that I want more fancy painting in it, I can put it back up on the airbrush room wall and add more colors or some big words. Maybe big words here and there, to punch out from all the tiny airpen writing I'll be doing at least for the next month. I've got the piece heatset, so am ready to load my airpen and start diary and current events writing. That part isn't a bit exciting to watch, except for the actual process of airpen work. So the next time you see it, "The Kitchen Tarot Café" will be quilted. Give me 2 months, max, I hope. :)
Libby likes to lay on my clothes. And since she doesn't shed, I let her. Couldn't do that with Hattie Spooler, our black lab dog, the last of the three black lab girls we had. You just looked at Hattie, and she shedded all over the place! But then, we didn't have to groom her, like we're doing with Libby, fussing over her hair, keeping it untangled and clean. We now have both grooming scissors AND a really fancy doggie clippers. We're not going to poodle cut her, but want to keep the hair out of her eyes, etc. We are very new at this kind of dog coat care, and are reading up a lot on all kinds of other puppy info, too.
Me holding Libby in Jimmy's leather shop one night this week. We now have two cages for her, since friends lent us theirs. One's now in Jimmy's shop, and the first one is here in the former diningroom, now computer room and photo shoot place. Libby sleeps in her diningroom cage, her doll house, at night, and wakes us up at 5:30 every morning, like clockwork.
Here's Jimmy holding Libby this week, sitting in his Archie Bunker chair, watching a movie together with me. I think it's "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" with Richard Gere, 2009, recommended by my pals Lee and Kate Freed-Simpson.
Libby's had lots of adventures in her first week here. She and I walk every morning early, though I carry her, put her down to walk, carry her again, put her down to walk again, etc. She's met lots of our neighbors and their dogs, all of whom she likes. We walk in the morning with Maggie Mae, Jerry's bichon frise, Jerry, and me, and in the afternoons, she walks with Jimmy and me. We're using alternately a regular collar and a Gentle Leader collar, and Libby's getting pretty good at walking, though I think I wear her out, so she often just stops. That's when I pick her up and carry her.
Libby's been to my artist group WAGE meeting (just to the start of it) and now to my yoga class (for which I smuggled her in, in my sweater, and Jimmy took her home, before class actually started.)
Having the runs has been Libby's main problem, though our vet Dr Joe examined her and sez she's fine, just adjusting to all the changes. She was too sleepy and underweight, so we're giving her an extra meal each day. And last night I discovered the home remedy online, of giving puppies with diarrhea some canned pumpkin with their food. Not pie filling, but straight pumpkin. This is helping a lot, so Libby is now an official Pumpkin Eater!
Our cats Otis and Ome don't trust Libby yet, but their four day hunger strike is officially overwith now. I think we're all getting used to each other pretty fast, all things considered. I'm holding Libby a lot, since she's supposed to reach 90% of her adult weight in 6 months! She's 5 pounds now, and the story is that she'll reach 50 pounds. So that's ten times what she weighs now! I think I can watch her grow, when she's holding very still!
This is "Libby Blessings #1," one of three paintings I made on wooden kitchen cupboard doors and finished in time for a Habitat for Humanity auction this Saturday. This is the one I gave to Habitat. It's 13"h x 21"w.
This is "Libby Blessings #2," 12"h x 22"w. This is the one I'm keeping, I think.
"Libby Blessings #3" is 17"h x 22"w. All three of these paintings are made with acrylic paint, hand brushed on over gesso, with paint markers and ink, then sealed.
OK, I guess this blog entry is done now. Libby's sleeping next to me on the desk chair, and I'm going to put her in her cage, coop, doll house, whatever it is, so I can take a shower and get ready for us all to watch the last half of "Hachi." Tomorrow I'll start airpen writing on my "Kitchen Tarot Café" piece.
Take it easy! Thanks for reading and looking at my pix.
Wonderful story! I love that puppy. She is changing your life already, I can tell. She is going to grow fast. Enjoy puppyhood!ReplyDelete
That was a brilliant post, loved watching the airbrushing grow and looking forward to seeing the finished quilt. Libby is delicious and makes you want to cuddle her so no wonder you keep picking her up, I would too. Enjoy.ReplyDelete
Great post - It's got the two best things - art and puppy!ReplyDelete
I've always loved your art but have to say Libby overshadowed your artwork today!ReplyDelete
We could never get a puppy because Bhu would NOT allow it! He would hiss and scream and honk and snort and just make a terrible fuss. It's him and me and that's all it is to be! Ms. Libby is a cutie pie, though. xxooReplyDelete
Hi Patty. Wait! I thought Bhu was a cat! Now it sounds like Bhu's a goose. What is Bhu, anyway??? :)ReplyDelete
Susan, what a great story, complete with pictures! Libby is so lucky to have found you and Jimmy. Loved seeing what you are doing with the painting on cabinet doors, too.ReplyDelete
Such a nice story and a sweet puppy. And I love seeing your work. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Cute puppy! I'm so jealous.ReplyDelete
That is one huge painting, too.