Sunday, December 30, 2007

Whoa, Horse!

December has been too full of holiday stuff and a new project that is taking most of my time, but I had to work on this funny little fella. My sister saw an earlier version on the computer and said that was what she wanted for Christmas: it reminds her of her horse "Raymond". I had to play with it some more because the colors were a little weak. When I hit "invert", BOOM: there it was, just right
since purple is Rachel's favorite color. It looked great framed; she was really pleased.
Cassie got a squeaky tennis ball and a recycled sheep from last year, which she tore up again so it's back in the cabinet for repairs. Now she's after the stuffed Santa on the fireplace. If she tears him up, we're both in trouble. "No" means absolutely nothing to an Airedale!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Orange Alert"

This one could have been titled "Red Alert", because it happened when one or more deer took a night time stroll through the yard. Cassie must have hit the window full force to make a blob this size! The first version was trashed when a friend commented that it looked like "a LOT of dog slobber" - which it is, but I'd rather it weren't so obvious. I keep finding new ways to process the images, which is a good thing because I discovered that the winter sun has dropped too far to let me photograph Cassie's current efforts on all but the west window. It's frustrating; however, by taking a second look at previous work I hope I'm learning to make better art. Got to make the dog proud!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Six Deer on Monday!

We finally got some rain, so the deer have suddenly reappeared in abundance. There were six of 'em parading up the side yard last Monday so Cassie had a very productive session at the window. It's a wonder her nose wasn't swollen, she banged it on the glass so much! The parade consisted of three does and three spotless fawns. The last doe was limping; later I found out that my neighbor heard a commotion previously and then the cable TV wouldn't work. When he checked his dish (mounted on one of our pasture fence posts), he discovered that it had been knocked askew, so we figured that the gimpy deer had gotten tangled in the fence there.

The rain also brought out a box turtle, who decided to call at the front, so Cassie has been painting the storm door heavily, too. More from that, later.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Here it is - Cassie's Halloween "spook"! This is the second version; the first one looked like a purple elephant with a trunk deformity. I was about to delete it, but then decided to play with it some more, and this little monster appeared. I definitely don't want to bump into it in the yard!

RE: the glowing eyes in the yard, mentioned last time - it finally rained the next day, when I was all set to go critter hunting, and I haven't seen anything looking back at me since. The speculation around here is that they were (a) aliens; (b) dust fairies; or (c) an indication that someone's medication needs adjusting.

Friday, October 19, 2007


This is one of Cassie's most "painterly" works; I should be so free with my strokes. It was down in the corner of the den window, done during a period when we were having plenty of rain and lots of wildlife traipsing through the yard at night. If this drought doesn't end soon, Cassie's art may dry up as well. She's just not getting inspired since there's not usually anything large enough to get her attention out there.
There is some mysterious activity in the grass, however. The past few nights, my flashlight has picked up these brilliant, glowing, unidentified eyes, staring back at Cassie and me. They blink occasionally and move around a little. The first time I saw them, there were only two pairs and I thought they might be mice or shrews or some other tiny animal. Last night, I decided to check the other side of the yard where the septic tank lines run, and discovered the grass was full of those little diamond eyes! Definitely not that many small beasties in one spot - I think it's some kind of insect. Tonight I have to decide whether to take a trip outside the fence to get acquainted. Not exactly sure I want to do that, but I probably should check 'em out before they decide to come inside the fence!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


This one came from a period of intense activity at the front door. The first version had some strong color, but the forms were mostly blobs due to my processing. The more I work with these images, the more I discover in the way of possibilities; this one rated a double "Wow!" when it appeared. Now, if I can just make myself get in the habit of writing down the steps...but I don't want to get into a formula approach, since what works for one image doesn't necessarily work for another.

The weather is so dry here that most of the wildlife that inspires Cassie has temporarily disappeared, though a box turtle was seen last week beating it through the "desert" on the east side of our yard. I had to go out and assist it to the woods so Cassie would stop shrieking. Turtles really make her crazy.

As for the "angel", it would be nice to think that we have one of those watching over the front door. Just wait for the Halloween special that came from the east window - not going out there at night any more!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cassie's Nose Garden

This is getting to be more fun all the time! Over the weekend I discovered yet another filter in PhotoShop and got a whole new look. I call this one Cassie's Nose Garden, but I suspect she got in at least one lick along with all those nose swipes.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I laughed out loud when this one showed up! Maybe my imagination is running totally wild here, but to me it looks like a worried little critter fleeing from a gang of other strange life forms. It was tagged "Pursuit", partly for that reason and partly because I think it came from Cassie's energetic pursuit of a fly that was buzzing around in that window. There's another one that I call "Gonna Get That Fly!" which will show up later. By the way, one of Cassie's nicknames is "Renfield".

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hard at Work

Original photo

Looks like Monet to me!

Cassie has been working overtime on the front storm door. It's a challenge to photograph that one - I have to put up a backdrop on the porch to block out all the stuff out there, in order for her strokes to show. Having to do that gives me the idea of using different materials for a little variety in the background. Anyway, here is one of her latest, along with the original so you can see the transformations. Name that painting!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flower on Red

This little jewel was up in the corner of Cassie's favorite window in the living room. I almost missed it because the rest of the window was so "busy", probably the result of a few deer passing by outside.

There is a blue wing-back chair in front of that window. When Cassie is on red alert, she hits it so hard that it skids into the sill. Some of her best art is made then, because her nose is smashed right into the glass! Once I put nonskid pads under the chair legs, which proved to be a mistake because I saw her keep going when the chair didn't. She almost did a flip over the back of it, so the chair is now free to slide. Better a bumped sill than a broken dog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Creature from the Green Lagoon

Don't ask me how Cassie did this one! It's sort of like a fish, and sort of like a snake. Maybe I should be more careful in the yard, if she indeed paints what she sees.

She does some of her best work at night. Before we go out for our bedtime "constitutional" I have to check the fenced area in the back for stray rabbits and reptiles and other critters that might have wandered in, so Cassie sits in her favorite chair in front of the living room window to see what's out there. Sometimes I hear her "critter" bark and will hear her hit the window, which usually means there'll be some interesting art to see in the morning. If she really wants out, she'll come to the dining room window and chew on the sill to get my attention. Over the years Cassie has worn her bottom incisors to nubs, chewing that sill. She just can't wait to get out there and bite toads and chase rabbits through the fence!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

About "PiCassieO"

My Airedale Cassie had been painting the windows for years before I finally became aware of her talent. One sunny afternoon last year I was looking out one of her favorite "canvases" upstairs and was amazed at what she'd done with that big nose of hers! There were graceful spirals, swirls, and waves that were beautifully free and well-executed, all in response to whatever she saw outside. I finally figured out how to get the images on paper (good digital camera and Photoshop) and have been playing with "PiCassieO" works for some time now. Her "brushwork" is a real marvel: how does she make those lovely marks with her nose? It's always a treat to see what she'll do next! She paints with a joy and freedom that I envy. It is a privilege to be her interpreter.
The work above received the title "Cosmic Event" at first. Then I decided that "Cosmic Surfer" was more like it. Probably Cassie would call it "Panda's in the Yard Again!".