Archive for July, 2012

About a Pug

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Before I met my husband I was working in the Bay area as an apartment complex manager. When tenants moved out I was required to inspect the apartment for damage and cleanness. One time, while I was inspecting an apartment the lady had a friend helping her with the last minute details and the friend had a friend with her. It was a baby pug. I could not believe my eyes, I had never seen a baby pug, they kind of look like aliens with their big heads and pop eyes!
balthazarbaby

I just about died from the cuteness and vowed that if I ever got out of my apartment living I would get a pug. Fast forward five years, I met my Jerry and we got married and got a house and within a month we had the pugster, my Balthazar. At that time my husband was working very long hours and often over seas and out of town and all I had was Balthazar so of course, I doted on him like a child. Dressing him up and taking him with me every where. After a few months we decided that he really needed a play mate since he had so much energy and that was when we decided to get Sassafras, long for Sassy since she was such a spirited little girl when we picked her up in the parking lot at the local Safeway. I literally squealed when I saw her she was soooo tiny sitting on the pavement in that parking lot that I almost didn’t see her at all! Oh she was such a cutie pie and we took her home to Balthazar and he cried he was so excited! he did not know what to make of her, she was so tiny next to him. What a fun moment that was. They have been together ever since.

Two of my fur children
I remember when he was a tiny pup I would carry him in a little purse like carrier with his head popped out at one end. I took him like this when we went to the SFMOMA, he was asleep and I guess they thought he was a stuffed animal because they let me through with him and I got up to the third level before one of the guards realized I had an animal with me. HA!balto

Shortly after acquiring him I quit the job I was working at as an after school program director because they would not let me bring him to work. I had been told prior that I would be able to have him so I was angry they reneged, and I am just not the type of dog owner who can leave a dog home by itself for 8 or 9 hours.

I use to call him “King Tut” because he had this big dog in a small body thing, he was quite the alpha male, so full of personality. When I would pick him and put him on my lap, he would promptly turn front sitting up on his hind legs like I was his person doing what I am suppose to be doing, holding and doting on him!

Of course he loved his walks and he loved his baths. Not so much the washing part but the drying part. he would roll around on the towels and stretch making the funniest I feel good noises and then in appreciation he would jump up at me with kisses, with his big oversized tongue that always hung outside his mouth cuz it didn’t fit!

He was a very emotional dog too, if he saw me crying or heard me yelling he would bark and cry out also. It was very touching.

He so adored getting in the pool and jacuzzi with us. If he were inside the house and he heard one of us in the pool swimming he would bark like crazy and stare out the window door pacing back and forth and he would not even be distracted by food or treats. If we were in the jacuzzi he would bark and cry till we took him in with us, and he would race across the thin ledge like a tight rope walker, we marveled at how fast he was and he did not fall down! When people were over they would get such a kick out of Balthazar jumping on my back for a piggy back ride in the shallow end of the pool, oh he was in heaven those days!
Swimmer pug

Every time he went out into the back yard he would stare at the pool. Even after he went blind. He would go right to the ledge and look down, he knew the water was there.

Balthazar

About five years ago he became diabetic and in less than a year he went blind. I will never forget the look on his face when I went to throw him a treat and he could not see it and I realized and he realized that he could not see it. I felt helpless and sick about it. But for about four years he could still see shadows and shapes and get around, he actually did quite well. But about 6 months ago the blindness increased severely and his world went completely dark. His demeanor and disposition changed dramatically. He became very insecure and wanted me around him constantly. If I left the house he would howl relentlessly, it was awful, and heart breaking. He would spend most of the day like a little bumper car, bumping into walls looking for me. It was stressful being needed so intensely and quite painful knowing that his quality of life had diminished even further. It has been a series of problems since as he continued to deteriorate and his liver became enlarged and he could not eat or hold down food or water. Today, we had to let him go, he was suffering and I really could not bear it. His last week at home was one of the worse weeks of my life. I had hoped for a miracle. But there was not a miracle in sight. You may think, he was just a dog, but I couldn’t have felt any worse were he a person. Love is love whether it be person or animal and I loved him so deeply and I miss him so much. It was such a relief to euthanize him because I know his body had turned on him completely. I was glad he would no longer have that ravaged little body and his beautiful spirit could be at blissful peace.

blindI am so grateful for the cherished memories, the 12 years of unconditional love and fun. What a blessing he was, making our every day so much richer and joyful.

balthazar
RIP my beloved Balthazar

Its Humid Out…

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

title suggestions?

There is so many social networks that I actually forgot to post this to my blog :b

Oil on canvas, 16 x 20

Finished! Memory Lane

Sunday, July 15th, 2012


oil on canvas, 18 x 24

Off the art topic and on the life topic

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Because life and art co-mingle like besties:D
We moved out to Ojai in January (in case you are not a regular follower of this blog) into a real “fixer upper”, both the property and the house had barely been touched for some forty years. So, we knew we had a challenge on our hands and because the house hunt and then the moving in process and then the fixing up process usurped so much of my time I have only recently been able to start making art again and that has been like “going home”:D

Now I’d like to share the story of our back yard.

When we first moved in back in January it looked like this:

The terrain was very rugged with mounds of dirt from all the gopher tunnels, there must have been 40 gophers until the hub aka Jerry gopher hunter spent weeks eliminating them. As cute as they are we still could not have them because they destroy all manner of growing things and we have a vision for a yard that is full and thriving.

The ragged terrain also had many weeds and under the surface besides gophers we had wasps, and jerusalem crickets aka “Ninos de Tierra” ( Children of the earth) which give me the heebie jeebies and nightmares. CrEePy!!

Before we dealt with the ground we had diseased trees removed and all the other trees pruned, as they were completely over grown because they had not been touched in so many years. Then we had the ground tilled and graded to even out the surface and create an area for water run off.

The dirt was misery making, as it was very light and with the slightest breeze dust would rise and there would be dust layers on every single thing including the inside of the house where windows were open. The dirt would stick to the soles of our shoes and we would carry it indoors and so I was constantly, all day long laundering throw carpets and towels.

During a particularly stormy day the fence on one side of the property fell down!

So, we had to put up a new one or contend with the neighbor’s dog Thor coming over and doing his biz 😀 HA, anyway, it really freshened up that side of the property 😀

The redwood fence is so pretty!

We also put a new fence on the side of the house where we can drive a vehicle through and a shed because there is no garage.

here is a pic of the fence ‘before’

We had a sprinkler system installed and several stations for hoses with twice the amount of water pressure, now we can keep everything green!

We chose flagstone where the brick path use to be. We both love the colors in the flagstone.

section with spread out pieces of flagstone.

Section on opposite side of the house leading to a shed.

the back yard now, pretty yes?

During the past 7 months, our blind pug has had a hellacious time adapting to the dirt as the area for him to do his biz. So, he would not go until he absolutely could not hold it, during the middle of the night inside the house. He is accustomed to doing his biz on grass. It has been miserable for the both of us, all of us!

Look at him now!
Grass worshiping!! LOL As soon as he steps on the grass, there he goes!! yipppppeeeee!!

We have plans for jelly bean pebble border with maybe rosemary and Mexican sage.

The hub built two fantastic raised beds

(we clearly need to replace the back fence). With the left over sod we created a special pug patch for both the pugs to do their biz. 😀
And so a garden is in the near future, better green living, and a potting shed and composting bin. I also see more fruit trees, rose bushes and lots of flowers. It will take time, but I will enjoy the journey.

Hope you liked the story about our backyard and how meaningful a little grass can be haha..

Dress, on watercolor paper

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

dress

I’m experimenting with watercolor paper since I have a big pad of it. It is 24 x 18

art doll swap

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Back in January (oh my its shamefully long) I agreed to do a swap with the sweetest ever friend Anna O’neil, (no link she is taking a break from the internet for a while) and I finally got around to finishing it. I have been so busy with moving etc and then finding myself fussing so much over this piece (just wanted to be sure I liked it enough to send her on) that it has taken that long.
art doll

I have been uploading work to my etsy daily (well for three days so far) because I have quite an accumulation of work and partly because I am a procrastinator putting off uploading stuff in favor of making more stuff. So, I am listing original works at reasonable prices.

In other news, its finally HOT in Ojai, and our backyard is almost ready for sod (oh joy joy)

Lalala…

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

what I am working on
lalala

friend Sam Morrison does some wonderful bubble videos.

Injection, study for a painting

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“Contained” for Kaleid Gallery

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Kaleid Gallery (San Jose, Ca) invited me to participate in their “Exquisite Corpse” exhibit opening July 14th. I was assigned to do a torso. We were also given specific parameters for the type of paper and dimensions. Since I do not have the proper brushes to do a water color in my typical low brow style I decided to do a mixed media somewhat abstract. 😀 I started out doing a drawing with prismacolor pencils, one of my favorite tools but given the size of the paper and time constraints I ditched my first efforts, I did cut it up into bits and pieces for some future endeavor 😀

Check out Kaleid Gallery on facebook
and their website.

In other news I finally saw our neighbor the peacock! Stunning! I could not get a good close up of the plumage but you can still see enough…

Also, we made a visit to the Santa Barbara Botanical gardens and I couldn’t resist photographing one of my fav flowers, gigantic white poppies, I will be planting some!

I so adore this poppy!