I blogged a while back about an oracle card mixed media piece I did as part of an art challenge. What I didn't tell you could fill another post ... and does as you will see ... ummm, well ... now.
A friend and fellow Sacramento artist, Kathy Blackburn and her musician hubby Byron, had just found out that his cancer has returned on the eve of his 1-year-cancer-free anniversary (literally - the day before). He started chemo Thanksgiving week in order to shrink the tumor(s) to an operable size/location - I understand the growth is near his femoral artery. Out of love and concern, another artistic couple, Mark and Nicole Fox, started a surprise collaboration piece to wish Kathy & Byron "Love, Happiness, Strength, Courage, Positivity, Hope, Friendship, Support and Peace." Nine artist/friends of the Blackburns were recruited and the words used as inspirations for each of the 9 squares. When I saw "courage" was one of the two words remaining when I received the piece, it was obviously the universe speaking to me (see my earlier blog post for details on why).
Participating artists (from L to R, top to bottom):
Row 1: Nicole Fox (love), Jennifer Keller (happiness), Evie "Love" Turner (strength)
Row 2: Krissi Sandvik (courage), Mark Fox (positivity), Jill Allyn Stafford (hope),
Row 3: Jared Konopitski (friendship), Miss Cy Wylie (support) and Char Hall (peace)
Kathy wrote a sweet blog about how much the piece means to them. I feel truly fortunate to have been involved with this particular project.
YES! I've gotten your messages and posts asking about Miss Abby, our newest "fur baby." She's doing incredibly well. She's very healthy, is chipped and THANKFULLY out of heat so that we can play at my town's new dog park (wee!!!!!), at least until she is spayed in a month or so.
As far as our other fur (and feather and scaley) babies go, Mouse is doing really well and Gracie is finally starting to stand her ground and hiss rather than running like prey. However, my big-ass orange tabby, Finnegan, who still hasn't mentally recovered from a dog attack about a decade ago, is plotting and planning Abby's murder. No kidding. He's been stalking her and even attacked her once when I left the room. Abby has been sleeping in "protective custody" in a kennel, but doesn't seem to mind it at all - she gives the kitty much respect and is limiting her Jack Russell spazz-outs to the outside. I have a lot of hope that a cease fire will be reached though I never expect they will be allies. Charlie, who grew up with large dogs keeps saying "HI!" to Abby, who wants to chase and eat him. Oscar just lets out a giant macaw scream. It's horrid. We have to lock Abby up in order to take the birds out to the aviary every day and again when we bring them in at night. Hercules is in hibernation until March or April, but that will involve some coordination as well. Many dog/tortoise owners end up with 3-legged turtles. We'll figure that out when we get there.
Yesterday, Abby had her first girls' day out after a play date at Body Tribe (= Allyson trains me, I work out, the dogs have fun and Chip, Al and I make "cute" noises at the doggies). Allyson's friend Adam called and we all met down at the river: Allyson with Lulu, Adam with Molly -an Irish Setter/Rodesian Ridgeback mix- and me, the nervous new mommy, with little Abby. We walked and talked about dogs, crazy-ass cat show people, local birds of prey, the river, Sacramento and other stuff and I quickly felt at ease as the girls fell into pack mode. It was hysterically funny to watch the three of them play, and a joy to watch Abby run and bark like a normal spastic Jack Russell. I had been worried that her silence and the scars on her neck from some kind of shock collar might mean that she would never bark - even when appropriate. Luckily, she did also bark once when Ron sort of snuck in the house one night, so paired with the happy barking of yesterday, we're good to go on that front.
After our trip to the river, she coated the inside of my car with muck and we headed off to Side Show Studios where Miss Cy fell instantly in love - pretty much like everyone does - with Abby. After our visit, we went next door and I gave Abby a nice warm bath (and dry) at Bath & Biscuits. She's still a bit "skunky" around her face and head from some incident pre-Krissi/Ron, but she's smelling much better and her coat is looking well. In spite of the fact that the sneezing and stuffy head won out over me by about 5pm, it was a great day.
Business has been picking up, which is awesome. There are Skelekitty rubber stamps and prints shipping out this week and orders are coming in almost daily. The original art is making itself at home in my studio, but I'm OK with that for right now. I'm hoping to run through the supply of stamps I have and end up with enough cash (and a great referral to a local manufacturer) to get those darn T-shirts made.
I created two new paintings over the last couple of weeks. One just for myself and one for a show, which though a Post Office SNAFU didn't make it quite in time.
First, my ode to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, 12 Bad Eggs.
One of my friends mis-interpreted this piece as sadness over lost fertility, but that couldn't be further from the truth. This is my way of making fun of the fact that my own body is out to cause me discomfort and plain old physical misery.
I especially like the one flipping off the fallopian tube.
I was also "volunteered" by Nik to participate in a benefit show in Burbank for Kevin Klemm, creator of Girls & Corpses Magazine, who's fallen on some especially rough times. After agonizing and creating non-stop for a day and a half, I came up with "Grinding To A Hault," which I love and I'm pleased to say that Bill from Hyaena Gallery liked it too.
Although I added a little extra postage, this was returned to me ON the day of the show, with a note demanding an extra 80 cents. I'm flabbergasted and so it's sitting in my studio - still in the packaging - awaiting a trip to the Post Office where I will request a clear explanation and assurance that this time it will get to Bill. Grrr. Anyway, this will soon be available through Hyaena Gallery in Burbank.
I am also beginning a new online class with Suzi Blu this week which will take me through the new year, so my creativity may be pushed to the brink and leave me little brain with which to blog. Please offer your patience, which I will gladly accept.
Oh yeah, and Ron and I BOTH have been called to jury duty on the 15th. Luckily, I have multiple offers from folks to dog-sit Abby, who cannot be left alone in the same space as Finnegan for obvious reasons.
So please accept my apologies for being so "quiet" lately!