Some odds and ends

I’m still getting used to the new editor on WordPress, It’s been around for while but I’ve been using the Classic option which seems to have disappeared. I have to say, I very much dislike this block editor.

Anyway, I’m still missing Sammy. I think I probably always will. My sketchbooks are full of small sketches of him. I turned one into a small embroidery.

While I’ve been crocheting more than anything, I have also been having fun collecting Victorian drawing books. Many of them are out of copyright and some companies have been reprinting them or pieces of them. I love looking at the old drawing prints. I tend to leave a good bit of white space or implied backgrounds, you know a few squiggles here and there. It’s a bad habit. The Victorians are the opposite, looking at their prints reminds me to fill things in, not every thing but some things.

I started this, which is a fairly small drawing, in a fairly small sketchbook. It’s a tree, thought I’d tell you that in case you didn’t recognize it as such. (I think I’ve using emojis too much, I so wanted to put a little face with it’s tongue sticking out there.) (oh no and then I wanted to follow that parentheses with a rolling eyes emoji!) Anyway, I digress, this tree is enormous, It’s one of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen. You can see in the background what I mean by an implied background, a few squiggly things here and there. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s only that I tend to do that every time.

I’ve also been on twitter too much this last year. Now it’s not what you think, I do occasionally get sidetracked by the political drama for sure but mostly I follow the museums and archeologists and such. They put such fascinating things out into the twitter world. Lately I’ve been looking at old Roman coins. It’s interesting how modern and stylized the designs are.

This is a drawing from a coin that was minted in Lyons around 330-337 BCE. It’s the Wolf with the twins Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome who as infants were sent down the river in a basket to drown, instead they were found by a wolf who suckled them and a woodpecker who fed them until a shepherd arrived and took them in as his own).

I’m going to make an embroidery out of this as well.

I hope you are all safe and healthy.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2021

Sammy Sampson

It’s been a month since Sammy suddenly passed away from an aneurysm.

He was stolen so quickly from us, it came as a complete shock. He had been playing and chasing his toys that afternoon and when he laid down I thought he was simply enjoying the sun. Tallie let me know that something was wrong and he passed away in my arms that evening.

I am distraught and yet I know that as much as he liked Tallie and enjoyed playing with her, he was never the same after Zeus passed away. He loved Zeus and missed him so so much. Zeus was his feather, Sammy could always be brave and big when Zeus was around. After Zeus passed, he was inconsolable. Tallie’s friendship brought back moments of the old Sammy but he never really recovered from his loss.

I am grateful that his suffering wasn’t long. That he had no lingering illness. That his last day was spent playing and tossing toys around and generally making a big mess. That he was able in his last moment to know I was there and give me one last doggy kiss.

When I look at this photo, it makes me smile every time. He was so joyful and charming and stubborn and funny. And that smile. I loved that smile.

I know in my heart that in his last moments, he was at peace and that gives me peace.

But I miss him so much.

Sammy Smile

My eternal gratitude to the staff of our local Animal Emergency Hospital. They were indescribably caring, kind and honest on a horribly difficult day.

Art by the Foot Project

We are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Zeus. We have lost family, friends and pets before as many of you have but this loss was such a shock. We still find ourselves reeling from it. We all miss him terribly.

Poor Sampson is of course devastated. They hadn’t been apart in over ten years. We know it will take him some time to adjust but for now we are taking extra care with him, the poor guy.

I did this acrylic of Zeus, it’s a foot square and will be on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport as part of a community art project.

This piece is also on display. It is again on a one foot foam square. The museum gave each artist two to paint on. This is a mixed media piece with acrylic, a linoprint and pen drawing.  It is the lino print of the north wind but reversed from the one I showed you in a prior post. I added it to a stormy acrylic sky with a pen and ink drawing of the man that the Sun and North Wind were toying with.

I did it at the last minute over another painting so I hope that it holds up on display. I’m a bit nervous about it.

If you’re in the Quad Cities area,  The Art by the Foot exhibit is open and it displays art made by artists of all ages and abilities from the Quad-City area. The works were collected this spring and were required to be made on boards provided by the Figge. All of the works will be on view in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from June 20th to September 1st.

I have to say, I love this idea and I thought it so clever of the museum to give artists this chance. I also love that it ranges from professionals to small children. That sort of encouragement is priceless!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

A Farewell

My little ball of fluff with the big blue eyes passed away Saturday at the age of 23. She died in my son’s arms with Sampson by her side.

Minou was six pounds of dignity, disdain, fury and frivolity. She was so small and yet she meant so much.

Thank you Minou.

Thank you for the years of love and loyalty.

Thank you for waking me up every day. I now have to learn how to use an alarm clock.

Thank you for teaching every dog you met how to respect a cat. When we brought home a 150 pound mammoth of a dog from the SPCA, in less than a minute you taught him to never chase cats again. And he never did. He chased dogs. So that was helpful.

Thank you for your War on Earwigs. It started way back in ’89 and not once was it funded by taxpayer money. You fought well, you fought hard and you never gave up. Generations from now, tales of the Fury with the ice blue eyes will haunt the dreams of earwigs everywhere.

Thank you for eating my brown couch. You were right. It was ugly, it was old and yes, I do keep things for too long.

Thank you for making senility look fun. In the last year, I didn’t scold you for sitting on the dining room table because I knew that in your heart, you sincerely believed that you were sitting on the couch.

Thank you for biting every vet you met. Especially the arrogant young one in Colorado who insisted that it was easy to give a cat a pill. He tried for an hour and he still bears the scars today. He lost his arrogance and gained a much needed respect for small animals. Good girl.

Thank you for sitting with Max that noble dog as he lay dying, you licked his muzzle and you cried. Thank you for taking every puppy and kitten we brought in to your side. You trained them well, scolded them and babied them. And now they cry for you.

Thank you for sitting in my lap, purring and offering comfort when my child was sick, when my husband was at war, when my Dad passed away. I don’t tend to let people know when my heart is breaking. I’m silly, I make smart ass comments, I carry on. But you always knew. You were always there. Throughout the times of joy and the times of deepest sorrow. You were there. A little brown and black ball of fluff with big blue eyes purring and yowling and fussing.

Now the house is quiet and you lie under the purple mums by the forest’s edge.

And I miss you so much.

I will always miss you.

Goodbye my little friend. Meow.