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2/25/10

My apologies-

I have no idea if the problem is with blogger or google groups, but I have now received 3 email notifications from the same post.

I am disconnecting the link to see if that stops the emails from going out. My apologies if you got too many as well.

Bo's Back in Town



Bo came in for his next vaccinations today. He's the little King Charles Spaniel that you first saw about 4 weeks ago in this post.



He's grown a little since that time. Here's a few seconds of video as well.


video

2/24/10

Missy, Pebbles, and Finished the Caperneum Church


While watching and listening to the Olympics last evening, I finished the painting of the Church with the Pink Roof.

I had to go back and look at the title of the reference photo. It wasn't Greece as I had originally though. The Church is the Orthodox Church of Caperneum in Caperneum, Israel.

Here's a second reference photo that I didn't show the other day.





It's a small painting- about 6 x 7 inches. I ended up scrubbing out the bouganvillea (sp?) bush, and leaving out some of the detail towards the bottom left of the reference photo. I thought they would draw attention away from the pink roofs and the blue sky.





On the Animal front presenting-


Missy, a Golden Retriever, was in for her vaccinations today along with a tummy rub.

video

and Pebbles.



A little Yorkie who was in yesterday to have some lady parts extracted. She grins at you, baring her front teeth. Which looks a lot like a snarl, but minus the growl. I didn't have much luck catching it on camera unfortunately.


video

2/22/10

A Work in Progress- Pink Roof of a Church


It has been forever since I posted a work in progress. It has been forever since I painted on regular watercolor paper. It has been forever since I painted an architectural subject.

Let's combine all 3 for maximum pressure, shall we? HaHa.

Here's the story behind this painting . . . .
One of the artists forums, that I used to pop in more frequently than now, is WetCanvas.com. The Watercolor Forum.

Over time, you meet other members, and recognize their avatars. Some you might now better than others, some you might know in real life.

Olga Moore was one member. She and her family lived in the Netherlands. I remember Olga as being very helpful when people had a problem with a painting, quick to encourage people with their paintings, and shared her reference photos with everyone else through the Reference Image Library. Great photos- many from her travels all over.

The forum recently learned that Olga had passed away last summer after a rather lengthy illness. The illness had kept her away from painting and the wetcanvas forum for some time prior to her passing.

In a thread of condolences, I had an idea to remember this special lady. She left behind almost 850 photos in the reference image library. I suggested people paint one of her photos and share them in a thread in her memory. WetCanvas agreed- with a date of completion by the end of March. Here's the thread, with a link to her photos.
Some people have already posted photos, but do bookmark it and check back at the end of March to see all the images.


It was tough to choose just one. They are that good. But I decided to pick this church in Greece, I think, it might be somewhere else, I need to look up the name.


So last night I started on this little painting, just laying in the first glazes of color. It's a small painting, just a hair over 5 x 7 inches. I changed a few things. I wanted a vertical format. So I cropped the image, and moved a dome. Because I can.

I wanted to incorporate that bougainvillea. (Try to spell that without looking it up!) But on the other side of the wall. . . maybe. I'll probably add or change a few more things as time goes along. But here is where everything is at this point.




Stay Tuned!

2/19/10

Saying Goodbye to Barney

Today I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite patients for the past 10 years. His owners called yesterday afternoon to say that it was time.

I would like to say that I like all clients and patients equally. But that isn't always the case. There are some patients that hate having their toenails trimmed (Lily) and I don't like having to do them anymore than she likes having them trimmed (Lily), and we just come to agree about that, and get done what we have to get done. (Me and Lily). (Seriously, Girl doesn't like those toenails trimmed. Otherwise, she's a sweetie. From a distance.)

And then there are patients like Barney.


If you watch my video for Jerry's Artarama, the link to the left, you saw Barney. I shot his segment around Thanksgiving I think. The photos are from last summer.

Barney first came in as a patient about 10 years ago. His owners found him living at the trash dumpster as a puppy. Lab mix? something 'nuther? He was probably between 6 months and a year old at the time. He's been mostly healthy- had demodectic mange as a puppy that took a little while to clear up. Sometimes had a lick granuloma on his toe that he wouldn't leave alone.



Got snake bit on the nose one year. Still has a scar from that. That just made him more popular with the ladies.



Barney came in about once a month for his bath and his heartworm prevention. Jethro loved Barney. Loved him. He had a Bromance. Barney didn't know he was a dog though, and paid Jethro little attention for 6-7 years.

Often, on his bath day, Barney would get to the office before Jethro. And Jethro would dance around in the kennel when he realized that Barney was here. Much like Snoopy dancing around with his food bowl in the Peanuts comic strip. Even Jethro's bark was different as he barked at Barney from outside of his door.

After awhile Jethro wore him down. Barney would play with him when he boarded here while his owners were out of town. Barney lived out on the way to Lake Russell and the state park. A few times, if I was headed out there with to meet my Brother, SIL, and nephews with their boat, Jethro would get dropped off on the way and have a play date in Barney's large fenced in back yard. Barney wasn't a house dog, but he had his own room in a closed in patio. Had a platform bed out there with a heater in the winter. A fan in the summer. Barney could come and go out the doggie door. Jethro would have no part of that doggie door though. Someone had to actually open the door for him. Sort of a big chicken- that Jethro was. He had no snake bite scar to impress the ladies with.

For the past year or so, Barney had slowly gotten a little more confused it seemed. I noticed it when he boarded. His personality had changed. Didnt seem to be his old self. He started to have a few seizures now and then. His bloodwork (liver, kidney, and blood sugar) all seemed to be fine. So he started taking phenobarbital for the seizures. Barney seemed to get lost in his yard, not recognize people sometimes, displayed anxiety at times, and obscessive-compulsive tendencies at other times. Like pacing around the well house in the backyard for hours at a time, and yet, he quit wanting to go for a walk with his owner.
It was almost like he was developing alzheimer's. And for his age you might expect that a little. Barney was close to 11 years old. For an 80 lb. dog, that puts him at about the equivalent of a human between the ages of 72 and 77 years old. We tried him a month or two on a medication called Anipryl without much improvement. . It's made for canine cognitive dysfunction disorder.

For the past 2 months, his owners have debated about having to have him put to sleep. Not so much that he was painful, but more about his quality of life. Just not a happy dog. Depressed, tired, and lost is how I would describe him. Even today, he wasn't happy to come into the office. The old Barney would have bounced right in- overjoyed to see me.

Deciding when it was time was a difficult decision to make, I'm sure. It's only in hindsight do you seen Barney's mental decline. During the 2 months, one can't see it- one day he's better, one day he's worse. When you look back, is when one sees more bad days than good days.
It's never easy to put one's pet to sleep, but I do think it's sometimes easier when the decision is partially made for you- like knowing that the pet has cancer, or is in kidney or heart failure. Behavior or mental issues are more of a grey area and not so black and white.

I would have loved to have seen a Cat Scan or MRI of Barney's head. It wouldn't change anything in the end, as one would still have an older dog with a mental declining status. Scientifically, it would have been interesting if there was possibly a brain tumor there, causing his seizures and mental issues. But not necessary. Cat Scans and MRIs can cost around $500, and $1500 respectively. So I understand not wanting to pursue that, or put Barney through that, if it isn't going to help him in the long run.

Thanks for the memories, Barney. I'll miss you.

2/13/10

Yay! SNOW DAY. . . No School!




Oh, Snap!

Wait. . . Never mind. . . .

We might get 1 or 2 days of snow every winter. Or every other winter. Enough to play in, but gone by the next day or two. So not such a drag. No snow shovel needed. Although last year, I did have to try and hoe snow out from under truck tire to get out of the driveway.

But this time, I think we got between 4 and 6 inches. Have a gander.

Here's my front yard. And my 1972 Ranch Style House. Still complete with 1972 dark wood paneling. Painting over it is still on my "things to do before I die" list.


Across the road from my house once was a field, or a pasture. Now it's where the Elberton campus is for Athens Technical College.



The road to my house is a dead end street with only 3 house on it. So it's a bit like being both in town, but in the country, as well. The Technical campus is in the city limits.

So when I left the office yesterday a little after 6 pm, the roads were starting to get a little icy. Temperature was hovering around 32 degrees. . And when I turned onto my road, I sort of had to imagine where the road actually was, since no one had been driving on it.

This is a problem for 2 reasons. One, my pickup truck is only 2 wheel drive. And 2 the road slopes down to my house. So if I get to my driveway, I might not be able to get back out, and back up the hill, until some of this melts.



So being the genius that I am, I parked my truck at the top of the hill. It's that little snow covered blip at the top of the hill.

I was able to get out about 10 this morning. The roads weren't too bad. Here's a photo from the office. Where I am holed up presently with Daisy, the cats, coffee, and diet coke.


My little point and shoot digital camera batteries were dying when I got back to the truck at the top of the hill, but people were out sliding/ sledding beside the road going down to Athens Tech. Cute that you could hear kids laughing across the field.





Blogger seems to not be showing the short video on my browser. If it's the same for you, try this Link instead.

Where ever you are, I hope you are enjoying snow day as well.




2/9/10

oops- Sorry about that.

I apologize if everyone got 3 posts earlier. I did.

Not sure what is going on with blogger. You used to be able to edit a post without it sending it again.

I'll be more careful in the future.

Chloe and My Blooper Reel

First, here's Chloe. She about an 7-8 week old Boxer puppy that came in for her puppy shot yesterday. She's not the healthiest looking little puppy. Her owner has had her for about a week. She's wormey, had lots of fleas on her.

She just isn't doing normal puppy things. Not wanting to eat very well. If is just the worms and fleas, she would be doing better, but that might take a few days.



I am sort of worried that she is coming down with Parvo or something like that. I did vaccinate her yesterday. So we'll see. Her stool is a little loose, but not bloody. yet. If she isn't better by tomorrow, she's going to have to hang with me here at the hospital.






My Blooper Reel of Outakes

As promised, and before I chicken out, here's the link to my blooper reel of outtakes with Tank from my Jerry's video. If you still haven't seen the finished video, there is a link in the sidebar at youtube.

It mostly me stammering over one word after another. Trying to remember to talk, think, wonder what Tank is doing, think some more, remember to look at the camera, wonder what Tank is licking, wishing I had hit the record button, etc.

One section was too dark, it looked okay on the monitor until it was played back. Some segments used the microphone on the camera. I don't have a wireless microphone. Yet. So I tried to use a wired microphone that would reach a few feet. Well it was closer to Tank than me, so all you hear in parts is Tank panting into the microphone, located just out of the shot, haha.

I wonder if Spielberg needs an assistant. . . . cuz I got mad recordingz skillz.

Here's the Link to the Blooper Reel. Enjoy.
And remember to watch the real video in the sidebar. ;)



2/5/10

Harley- Cocker Spaniel Puppy


Harley came in for his puppy vaccination today. He's about 8 weeks old. 5 lbs.



Got a little sleepy towards the end of our interview.





Y'all turn out the light when you leave . . . . Z Z Z Z Z . . . . Z Z Z Z . . .


Have a Nice Weekend, Everyone. Hope you win
lots of money on the Super Bowl.
Or figure out LOST . . . whichever.

2/4/10

Hooch Update

Hooch came in today for his last puppy vaccination. 5 months old, Boxer. Weighs about 30 lbs.

Out of 4, I only got 1 decent photo. But such is life-


At first, I thought, he hasn't changed much, but whoa, was I wrong.
Look at his introduction back in October. Click here.

2/3/10

Cosmos- Watercolor on Yupo

*Yawn*
Is it Spring yet? What is that saying- April Showers bring May Flowers? What do they say about Feb. showers? Mold and Mildew?

I was searching through the WetCanvas Reference Image Library and found this pic of a White Cosmos by Stephie from England.
Pretty, isn't it?


So, I decided to paint it.



5 x 7 inches, watercolor on Yupo board.

I tried to scan it, but scanning these white flowers lose something as the light or the reflection washes out some of the midtones. So I photographed it with my digital camera and it's a little better. The original has midtones that a little darker, and a little more grey in color, along with the yellow and purple shades as well.



The values and the colors are a bit off, compared to the original photograph, but I am fine with that, as there is some pretty color bleeds there.

$95 plus $6 for shipping
Ships flat in priority mail envelope








2/2/10

Jerry's Artarama- My ArtStars Entry


My friend Stella from California sent me a link on Jerry's Artarama website back in October. It was for a video contest they were having. Stella knows that I bought a video camera back in 2008 as I wanted to try recording a painting, and put it in a time lapse video. Mainly as a promotional tool . At the time, I also thought it might be fun to record a painting and put together a kit on dvd. Include the line drawing, a grey scale image, so people could follow along on dvd.

Well, I never got around to getting very far with that. I paint flat, so I can't point the camera at an easel. You oil and acrylic painters have it so much easier. :) I have to figure out how to suspend the camera over my painting table. And that involves wire closet shelving, a gorillapod to hold the camera, and 2 light stands to support the wire shelving. But I got it.

So back to the Jerry's thing.
photo from Jerry's Artarama website.

Two things popped in my mind when Stella showed me the link.

The first one was that I need to drop about 20 lbs. BEFORE filming anything on camera. *sigh* And if the camera adds 10 lbs. then I need to drop 30 lbs. to look like I lost 20 . . . *heavier sigh* . So I started eating a little healthier, a little more green food than brown (a salad once a week wasn't considered all the necessary vegetables for that week), and lost about 10 lbs.
Then came the holidays and gained back about 4. Damn pumpkin pie.
The deadline was the end of December. Who put the deadline during my holiday weight gain?

The 2nd problem was my going to be my "slight" Southern accent. It's as thick as Molasses and sometimes even thicker than that. Oh, what a blessing it would be to have a suave British accent at this time. Why couldn't my parents have moved to England during my formative years? We could have moved back by 3rd grade and I probably would have kept it. haha. But. . . NO . . . .


The requirements for the video were as follows.
1. It had to show an art technique. So I choose to demonstrate how I mount and varnish watercolor paintings. It's a question or email that I get asked a lot.
2. It had to talk about your painting background.
3. It had to show examples of my artwork.
4. And it had to be under 8 minutes long.

I heard last week that my video made it into the final round. It's up on youtube for 90 days starting today. So, enjoy. While it makes me cringe to watch and listen to it, I did enjoy putting it together.

If that Southern drawl makes your ears bleed, or
If you consider taking up knitting before I can finish a sentence, or
you wonder how does anyone insert 5 extra syllables into a 2 syllable word, or
you wonder if closed captioning is available for your monitor, so you can understand what the hell is being said, I apologize in advance.

You can blame my parents too. :)

My Video Entry on Jerry's Artarama channel at Youtube.

2/1/10

Dakota- Great Pyrenes Puppy


This is Dakota. She came in late Friday afternoon for a booster shot. She was given away at a convenience store. She appears to be about 5 months old according to her teeth. Her adult canines are just starting to come in.

The family that had her, lives above the gas station/ convenience store. Not sure what happened but they didn't want her anymore, or couldn't keep her, something- so a customer took her home with them.

She weighs about 47 lbs. She'll slow down on the growing soon.




She's a bit timid and quiet, but the person had just gotten her, so she's still adjusting.

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