Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Olivia's Present

While little Olivia dreamed of salmon treats and chasing mice, the UPS man delivered a large heavy box to our residence.

 "I don't know what's in it," said the man in brown. "But it is heavy!"
Oddly enough, I didn't have to sign for it and admired that big box for a bit.
A good friend of mine had thoughtfully purchased a cat tree for Olivia, but I didn't expect for it to be so huge...

And one that must be built.
I'm not a construction, hands on genius, but thankfully Rob was there to help assemble the big tower of cat scratching and infinite play time.

With very basic instructions, we were good to go.
Except the manual at times left off things that we had to figure out on our own or we had to use judgment.
A bit of easily resolved frustration.
Leaving things out of the equation- mainly the fuzzy cylinders and two medium sized scratching sticks, not everything was going to be screwed into the cat tree.

We "finished" it.
The cylinders are not screwed in any place, but it still looks pretty pleasant and the light beige doesn't clash with the simplicity of the white walled kitchen.

Two hours of hard fun labor without orange caps/hammers/nails and at almost seven feet (yes, it's taller than Rob!), the cat tree is prepared for one little kitty to play about in.

Avidly curious about her new furry surroundings, Olivia takes a peek inside and out!

Of course, the blue bell ball keeps her company.

All that's missing is a "Home Sweet Home" sign to hang outside of her "door."

At the very top, I caught her in motion!
She's the queen of her domain.
That was until she cried and told me to take her down.
I wasn't expecting her to be afraid of heights...

She looks so merry.
As she should be.
Rob and I are very touched by this courteous gesture and are beyond appreciative.
It is truly commendable to have such a wonderful, very generous, loving friend that gives a gift that means a lot to many, especially a pet who has warmed our hearts immensely. A little kitten who has overcome much in a short amount of time. She probably didn't expect something so large scale and grand, but she deserves it and more.
Sure Olivia has her toys, her food, and her treats, but to have this perfect tree is surely the tip top of her expectations.
I am forever thankful to my bestest pal in the whole entire world for making this possible and I love her very much! She's one amazing lady and I'm glad to call her the rarest of gems. <3

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Miss You: The First Commission of 2012

Not just in heart and spirit, Meano was to be forever immortalized in art.
Yes, I've drawn and painted him several times over the years, but this was different. I was asked and approached to create a piece about a wonderful, good dog friend.
With him being gone, I wanted to make it even more special, invoking every last aspect of love.

I had been given free reign on size and medium.
On black matboard, I began layering the oil pastels on thickly. (I only use my Holbein! Best pastels ever!) Yellows, oranges, browns, greens, reds, and blues built up a joyous, tongue dripping, rich butter faced dog.
For hours, I worked in various places- bedroom floor, living room table, in my friend's classroom, and at Starbucks. Such an honor, hearing compliments by family, friends, and strangers as I progressed.

I wanted the pastels to stand out, but couldn't leave the background black.
Didn't want to think of him in a dark, miserable place lacking sunshine and positive energy.
Doggy Heaven had to be a golden, vibrant magical world of lush, green grass for him to roam around free, happy, and wild.
Using Liquitex's Basic Gold and Golden copper acrylic paint, a wide brush painted thick application of a shimmery, beautiful atmosphere.
The warping only minimal, the matboard went back to flat.
Green grass was next.
Lots and lots of green, brown, yellow, red horizontal lines of pastel strokes.
Last step- a generous spraying of Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish Spray on all pastel work.

Here's the finished piece.
Meano paused in the brink of joy.
And I'll always remember him looking that way.
From atop of his favorite tree stump in the backyard.