Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beautiful Distractions

So... I had big plans to spend lots of time in the studio today tidying up and starting some new artwork, but there are baby juncos outside. How is one supposed to stay inside when THIS is going on right outside the window??

Susan Branch made me feel a lot better with her post today. She was having the same problem. I felt a lot less guilty about my messy studio and lack of paintings, but then of course I started missing Cape Cod again (She lives on Martha's Vineyard and I've been having beach blues since getting back- more on the trip later!). I am loving her blog.

Engine had a far more productive day in the studio. He is Chief Hummingbird Swatter. He spends quite a bit of time staring at the feeder and jumping at the window. This is funny once. Well, ok, maybe twice.

I also did some reading with Bandit and Cinders (also known as "The Old Man" and "The C".) But I did not one thing in the studio. And I am forgiving myself for that- no, I am COMMENDING myself for that. It was a great day. And I do have something to show you that I just finished recently....

You can see my faithful subject asleep under the easel.

Almost finished...

A few days it was cool enough to paint outside. I liked the picture below because Bandit is sniffing the air just like in the painting.

And there it is...

I titled it "Stories Told on a Warm Breeze". A long time ago before I even had Bandit, someone at a park told me that you have to be patient while walking your dog when they constantly stop to sniff things. "It's their version of reading a book," he told me. I never forgot that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Traveling with me...

I love Martha Stewart. I love her crafts, I love her magazines, I can't get enough. So of course, I am a frequent visitor to The Martha Blog. For about a year I have been thinking about how funny it is that she seems to do the same things I'm doing at the same time. Of course, not exactly in the same way. When Martha does things she is efficient, organized and she does things on a much grander scale. When I was visiting some local garage sales, she was hunting for bargains in Palm Beach. When I purchased and planted a couple of trees from a local nursery, she started a reforestation project. See? Same thing, just on a different scale. It's crazy.

A recent entry that Martha posted was titled “What It's Like to Travel With Me”. She starts out talking about how she met her hair stylist at 8 am AFTER a vigorous workout. Her housekeeper makes her a lovely breakfast while she has a cappuccino, and her wardrobe stylist packs her outfits. If you click through the photos, there's a picture of G.K. her Chow, who has been beautifully goomed for her departure. She leaves her property director with a list of things to do as she climbs into her brand new SUV where her driver will be taking her to the airport. Here she boards her private jet and flies in quiet comfort to her destination.

When I read this, I was in the midst of getting ready to leave for a week long trip to Plymouth and Cape Cod, and this is when I decided it was time to start posting my "Just Like Martha" series. Like most things that will show up in this series, traveling with me is a far cry from traveling with Martha, but I have fun making the comparisons anyway.

My travel morning starts out with me scrambling out of bed and scrubbing down my shower for our house sitters. I do this while showering to save time. Then I put new sheets on the bed and vacuum the house for the 14th time in two days. It is still full of pet hair. I start some kind of petty argument with my husband because he doesn't seem to care that we didn't wash the windows or dust the piano, even though our house sitters will see this and know I am not Martha. Plus, I am really irritated that he is already finished packing. Maybe he has a wardrobe stylist that I don't know about! In between checking my list on the computer, I hop over to the Martha Blog to see what she's doing and I am surprised to see the travel article (even though it was reposted from an old entry, I still find this uncanny). There is no time to sit down for breakfast (even thought there WAS time to check the Martha Blog) and plus we are out of milk, so I eat a granola bar while I am unloading the dishwasher again for about the 4th time in two days. I am still trying to figure out how two people generate so many dishes.

Dan complains that the only thing he didn't have time to do before the vacation was get his hair cut. I restrain myself from reciting the list of things I didn't get around to, only because there isn't time. We cram our luggage into our rusting Subaru that has recently begun making strange and unidentifiable noises. We do have new bikes that we are excited to try out, but the bike rack is designed for mountain bikes and may or may not hold them. We go ahead and strap them on hoping for the best. The car so full there is barely room for the dog, who did not get groomed before our departure. He is sporting a big yellow stain on his currently off-white coat where we gave him his flea and tick meds, and he appears to have small mop heads attached to his feet.

I leave a list of instructions for my aunt and uncle who very generously offered to stay at our home while we're away. My aunt is deathly allergic to cats. We have three. We leave an hour later that we were hoping to, and I realize about 6 miles from home that we forgot to bring something. But, we're on our way and we're not turning back. I prop my feet up on the dashboard because there isn't room for them on the floor, pull out the old lap top and start typing. Ah, Martha. Could we be related somehow?