Friday, May 26, 2006

The Raccoon Report

I just fed our raccoons. In a funny bit of coincidence we had a brand new bag of raccoon chow (i.e. cheap dog food), forgot to close the garage door and also hadn't replenished the raccoon's supply of food on the front porch. Being the clever and persistent not to mention entitled creatures they are, one of them decided to help herself to the unopened bag of food in the garage. She ran when I went out there, but didn't go far. The bag was knocked over and ripped up. It took about a nanosecond for her to position herself on the porch with the new supply of food I put out after righting the bag. This was not "Mama" as we call our original raccoon, but probably one of the four offspring from last year. This year Mama seems to have only one baby, and she has been bringing it out to feed for the last couple of weeks. Quite the little cutie. I walked out the door without giving them enough warning the other day and boy can they growl - baby even louder than Mama. Mama raccoon is a sorry sight at times - blind in one eye from an accident or infection last year, with a slight limp and a kink in her tail. I am guessing she has had a litter a year for several years. We started feeding her and at least a half dozen other adults last Spring. We even have a rumpy raccoon, who lacks a tail from what was certainly a bad experience. Maybe I should start painting raccoons.

I have five paintings up on eBay right now. Naturally my favorite of the group is attracting the least interest. The portrait you see to the right here; I just think this one has a lot going for it, and it might make wonderful stationary. I think they all turned out pretty well and I actually got them all finished before the weekend! Here is the link to all of the originals up right now:
I have several more planned for this weekend, including some more beach scenes and tug o' wars. I also have a wine dachshund in progress. I may not write the tasting notes on this one unless the winning bidder wants them on there. My intention is to scan the finished piece and add the notes with the computer, so I would just be cutting out anything handwritten anyway.
I haven't gone back to my oil paints. It also looks like I won't be able to afford that class, though I am still hoping I'll be able to pay the utilities and take the class. Pie in the sky and all that. Maybe I'll win the lottery as well. When I am feeling ambitious I think that I will paint all day and even paint on canvas with oil or acrylic, and then reality sets in and I realize that with Kelly wanting my attention every three minutes it is unlikely that I will be setting the art world on fire anytime soon.
Kelly has been doing great. I am amazed at how smart she is with her computer games. She has been playing Putt-Putt, made by the now-defunct company I used to work for, Humongous Entertainment. The age group is 3-8, and other than some areas like having to use addition to solve problems she manages them easily; she is one smart cookie. She remembers where things are and how to solve problems and can do the puzzles and games with ease. She is quite logical, but also has a sense of art and whimsy. I notice that whenever she earns enough coins in Putt-Putt Enters the Race she heads straight to the Paint Shop to become a new color rather than buying racing tires to enter the race. Just like her parents, come to think of it. Her priorities are aesthetic rather than practical. I have had to find most of the Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish games through's network of resellers, because when I worked for HE I did not have a child and did not save all of the games. So far she shows no interest in Pajama Sam, one of the company's other characters. She likes Blue's Clues, but I have to say for being the same game company they are far less engaging. Kelly is talking more, though not using a lot of sentences yet. She certainly knows the names of many things, as well as constantly counting things (not always accurately) and pointing out letters of the alphabet (also not always accurate). She has finally started calling my "Mommy" rather than just whining or grunting at me. She likes to call me me Mommy a lot. I have gotten her to say "Kelly" but it is a little garbled yet. She does know all 8 cats by name and seldom gets them mixed up, even the ones that look alike.
That's about it for tonight. I need to ink in the latest drawings. Maybe I'll get 'em done early this week and be able to do some extracurricular drawing. In fact, I have done a number of new non-dog sketches lately and will try to put them in my next post. Ciao!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Deviled Dogs

I have done several new pieces which are interspersed in this post. I hope people will know just to click on them and see the larger versions. I have four new works in progress, two of which are listed on eBay. One is another parody of Raphael's Cherubs, only this dog has devil horns and bat wings. I owe this idea to a lovely customer who suggested a devil dog. The other is another Tyrannosaurus Dox cave painting with a longhaired Dachshund.
I've been off my blog for so long I guess I haven't mentioned my new printer. I was filling two wholesale orders for rescue groups when I came to the conclusion that I would never get through it with my old HP. As much as I loved the print quality, I was having to toss every other print for ink splatter or other flaws. I also timed each print and they were all taking over five minutes a piece for the color print and 1.5 minutes for the Certificate of Dachshundicity. Yipes. So after a lot of research I decided on a Canon I9900, the nicest printer I could afford. The prints are beautiful, though I have to switch to glossy paper because the HP satin matte never dries with this ink. The archival rating is excellent and the prints are gorgeous. This printer takes 8 ink tanks, which in the end will hopefully be more economical because you only replace the ones getting used up instead of buying a single cartridge with all the colors. So far the Photo Magenta and Photo Cyan go out fast while the green hasn't budged. It also does larger format and if I can find a way to mail larger prints I will offer them soon.
In other news I have decided that I want to take an oil painting class. There is one through the Kirkland Arts Center starting in June for $185 plus supplies. I hope I can save enough money to take the class, and that Kirk will be home for the eight sessions; one night a week for three hours at a time.
I bought some new oil painting supplies earlier this week and tried a little oil painting this afternoon. It is painfully obvious that I need to take the class. Also that I need more paint thinner. Anyway, I am really looking forward to learning from a master painter and hope I can come up with the bucks before the class is full. I've said it before - I don't miss working in an office, but I sure miss the regular income. I have noticed checking in on my favorite artists on eBay that for many of them their auction income is also off by at least 30%. Could be tax season, could be something else. The rising interest rates and gas prices aren't helping anyone out there.