Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Actually I goofed yet again, because this is not the work I meant to post (or maybe it is - I'm really tired). We've had so much rain and gloom until yesterday that Cassie's marks haven't been recordable, so when the sun finally came out, every time a beam hit the door I was there with the camera. We have so many trees out front that the light is really fleeting on that door. The trees do make some interesting colors in the background and make a nice contrast for the strokes, so I'm not complaining. The title of this one could be Sunbeam, or maybe more appropriately, Ray of Hope, considering the beginning of a new year in a little while. Here's hoping that 2009 will bring better times for all!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Work 4

If you've forgotten Winter Work 3, you should scroll down and find it. This is what was added when Sammy came to visit! Yesterday morning, we had other guests: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer - and maybe Vixen - all munching azaleas at my Jeep out front. It was totally wild: Cassie was bouncing off the furniture from window to window and door and back again, and this time I got it on video! Finally, I caught her in action in full cracker-dog mode. Watch for "PiCassieO at Work", coming soon to a computer near you! Also, Winter Work 5 is now on the storm door, thanks to those deer. It's about time to clean that door and let her start over, but it's really interesting to see what develops.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

About That Rice Bag....

Serves me right for thinking I could remember the measurements on that rice bag in the previous post. My apologies - the final measurement after sewing the sides should be 6" x 20", with 2 1/2 pounds of rice! Hey - it's not rocket science; you can make all sizes for different purposes and just use your own judgement as to how much rice it needs. Just test the final version in the microwave to gauge how long it takes to be comfortable without being too hot. So what does this have to do with art - not much, unless you're an artist who's short on cash. My last minute shopping plans went out the door when I got to the country store and they were closed for Christmas! So, I wound up at the Dollar Tree, got some great little frames for mini-PiCassieOs and some other fun stuff, and beat it for home to avoid any more traffic. The economy would really collapse if it depended on my Christmas spending. Now I need to work on rice bags and prints, so

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We made it through the shortest day (whew!) and by a few nano-seconds a day the light is increasing. At least that's what I'm told; so far I can't feel it. We had glorious sun yesterday and part of today, but those clouds have rolled back in and the warmth is a memory already. At least I was able to photograph Cassie's west window efforts just as the sun was going down Sunday, with that wonderful blazing orb warming up the cold landscape colors - the promise of better times to come. A good thing the camera was handy, too, because overnight it got so cold that her drawing "sweated" right off! She's already at work on another masterpiece.

Our friend Sammy came back for a visit yesterday so the front door took some serious licks. She worked over what was already there - I'll post that one next.

I hope everyone is not as far behind as I am on the Christmas stuff. Tomorrow will be my first (and only) shopping trip, probably to the local country store and maybe the grocery store. Need a quickie gift (besides a PiCassieO or something from our store)? Fold a 12" x 16" piece of fabric into a rectangle 6" x 16", sew the sides leaving a 1" opening for turning, fill it with about 1 1/2 lbs. of white rice, stitch up the hole, and voila - you have a wonderful present! When microwaved for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, it makes the greatest heat pad (and comforter) since you can shape it to whatever part needs it. Makes a good ice pack too if you put it in the freezer. That's why I need to stop in at the grocery store, for a cheap bag of rice. Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Work 3

Here we go with another dark winter work, which I like anyway because of the rich, subtle colors. It just occurred to me that it's not even winter yet - yikes. Actually, the winter solstice is coming up Sunday, I think, which is cause for celebration since we start getting some of the light back. Assuming, that is, that the sun is still out there somewhere! That's a slight exaggeration of conditions here - we did get some glorious sun and wind yesterday to dry things out a little, but today we're damp and cloudy again. That's OK- there is finally a Christmas tree downstairs to decorate, which will warm the atmosphere considerably. I'm hoping Cassie and Pookie (the cat) will be on best behavior so that the tree will stay vertical.

About that Flip Mino I promised at : the design aspect is proving to be a challenge. I'm working on it - just keep checking!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Work 2

Winter Work 2 is another lively effort from Team PiCassieO; not quite as dark as the last one, but still chilly in spite of the passion! Boy, I wish the sun would come back and dry us up. It's not cold enough to freeze the muck, so the seasonal sport is mud-sliding. Not my choice of fun things to do, for sure, because you don't exactly get to choose when you want to play!

I'm in the process of adding a high tech toy to our Cafe Press store: the "Flip Mino". It's a 2" x 4" video recorder, and I guarantee that the PiCassieO version will be the coolest! Keep checking; it'll probably premier in the next 24 hours! That's at:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter Work

This odd one must be tied in to the short days and too-early-darkness. We've been unusually cold here for a long stretch, which is making me want to hibernate. Cassie is on the injured list; we had to pay another visit to the vet Friday and she'd had quite enough of that from the previous week, so she turned into a tap-dancing octopus when the tech attempted to take her temperature. Her back and hind legs are really sore and she's not her usual hyper-dog self, which sends me into hyper-worry mode. We both need a nice, sunny, WARM day to relax; if that's not possible I vote for sleeping until spring.

Back to the art: I actually like the extreme contrast between the background and the strokes, and the way the colors turned out. If I ever get more ink, this one should be really interesting in print.

Speaking of prints: they're still available at the lower price ($30)! Email me at to order. Oh yeah, while I'm advertising: don't forget our store at !

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shameless Commercialism!

OK - here it is, another plug for our store! Pete's Fairy has gone solo for the holidays to spread a little holiday magic. We have three dated ornaments in red, blue, or purple, plus four other undated PiCassieO ornaments, so get busy and deck those halls with our art! Remember,
it's . There are also lots of neat gifts for everyone on your list (including canines!). Happy shopping!

We will continue to offer PiCassieO prints for $30 until Dec. 31, so take advantage of the lower price while it lasts. We will donate 10% of print sales during the holidays to PetSmart Charities!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dog at Work

Cassie has been hard at work at the east window again. The deer seem to be out there all the time now - including late last night, when I was noisily trying to shoo them away from the fence before letting Cassie out. Evidently they are too accustomed to me to be afraid - the biggest one came closer to the fence to check me out! Thier eyes are so big that the reflection off my flashlight beam looks like headlights out there. Finally they moseyed on out of range and Wild Dog could come out and roar for a while. This is the same dog that sent me further into bankruptcy Thanksgiving night when we made another visit to the Emergency Clinic (her tummy aches usually come on holidays). At this point she feels much better than I do!

Finally, I think I've figured out how to place the pictures! A real break-through for this technodoofus. Anyway, this is version two of the previous work, from the right corner of the window. It looks too dark at the moment, but I'm experimenting with the colors. Fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hot Off the Window!

I've been busy getting ready for an art sale with a friend, and just this morning took a closer look at what Cassie's been doing on the east window. There have been deer out there for several days, with the usual ferocious reaction from my woolly partner; unfortunately she took such a flying leap into the blue chair that it slid almost into the window (inspite of rubber grips on the legs!) so there hasn't been a lot of "nose art" on it. She finds it hard to work well in such close proximity to the pane (gives her a pain). Yesterday I moved the chair back into position, and found her latest effort this morning. Looks like I'm going to need to just glue the chair in place and be done with it.

I see a lot of possibilities in this image; the one above is the first version, which may look totally different to you. My monitor is badly in need of calibration; actually printing the image is now necessary to see what I have, and boy does that get expensive. It reminds me of a young friend who crashed his bicycle and threw the steering out of whack. He had to turn the handlebars to the left to go straight. That's about how it is with me and the colors at this point. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Close Encounter

OK - we're back to "duckies and bunnies", just for fun. This little giggle was back in the files and I found it while assembling a "PiCassieO" catalogue. I remember wondering how on earth Cassie made the marks in the upper left. They stood alone for a while, and then she added some more swipes and suddenly I was seeing a weird little UFO and a chipmunk, checking each other out!

While I'm thinking about it, Cassie and I send thanks to our friend Moira at "Dog Art Today" for the great article about our art! If you want to take a look, the address is: . The entry is for November 10. Any dog lover will enjoy Moira's site!

Reminder: "PiCassieO" prints will increase in price after December 31. Contact me at to order now!

And don't forget our store - lots of colorful, joyous art on gifts for everyone, at .

Sunday, November 9, 2008


As soon as this one took shape on the screen, it reminded me of a Chinese New Year dragon or some other mythic monster, writhing and spewing fire. It's been in the file and mostly forgotten until yesterday, when I watched a rerun of "NCIS" which had the Gibbs team on a spooky ship called Chimera. I remembered the "dragon" and decided to give it a name, so here it is in it's present form (subject to change when I have time to play with it).

Cassie and I had a game of tag with one of the does and her twins yesterday - what a hullabaloo! The babies ran off into the woods, but Mom decided to have a leisurely snack, oblivious to my baying, screaming dog. I had a real workout holding onto her, but finally got Cassie pointing back toward home. Unfortunately she kept looking back, and then the babies decided to come out and play in the road. I got dragged to the end of the road while the deer finally went into the woods; just as I thought the situation was under control, there they were again. No fear at all. It took about 20 minutes to get Cassie calmed down a little, at least enough to get her back on course in the other direction. We walked up to the paved road, a little reluctantly on Cassie's part; when we turned back her pace picked up - she was ready for another go at those critters! By then it was getting too dark to see well, and I got spooked by another "chimera" : just a glimpse of an unidentified something running by at the curve. That was enough for me; I told Cassie, "We're OUTA here!" I think she understands that phrase from some of our previous adventures, so we made it home PDQ. An unsuspecting friend is coming over to walk with us in a few minutes - she doesn't know yet that she's the designated deer shooer! Here's hoping for a peaceful walk (and no more chimeras!).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The Dance is still a work-in-progress, but it seemed appropriate for my mood. With great joy I congratulate Barack Obama on his victory last night! Wow - at last I backed a winner!

Now, about that puppy he's getting the kids: Cassie and I think it should be an Airedale. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It Happened Last Night

Last night I had a few minutes to play with Cassie's latest effort on the west window, and boom, Confetti appeared! It's a really joyful explosion of almost-Pointillist color (due to all the dust and grime on the outside of the window), with Cassie's wonderful marks shining in the foreground. I haven't printed it yet so there may be further tinkering with the color. This process is a lot like doing ceramics - you apply the glazes, but don't really know what the end result will be until that kiln is open. Colored light on the computer screen is never quite the same as ink on paper - but I keep trying! The results are always gratifying, nevertheless.

Now, for a commercial: I am no longer offering "editions" of PiCassieO works, since they are actually one-of-a-kind due to being printed one at a time. Ink levels vary, cartridges are changed, and new paper comes along. I will continue to sell them at $30.00 each until December 31, 2008; then the price will be $50.00. To purchase works shown here, contact me at .

And, here's another: don't forget our store ( )! Some of our brightest and most colorful art is offered there on a bunch of fun stuff! It's a good remedy for gray days and tough times - check us out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Picasso!

I almost forgot - today is Picasso's birthday! That's "Picasso", not "PiCassieO"!I've gotten so accustomed to the latter that it takes an effort to write the former.
Anyway, in tribute to an artist who was almost as energetic and playful as an Airedale (!), we give you Jumpers: not Guernica, for sure, but one of Cassie's better ones, IMO.

It's also International Artist Day, so if it's not too late where you are, go find an artist to appreciate!

And, it's late on Saturday night and I don't know how to fix whatever is going on with the type arrangement here, so I quit. Good night. Cassie and I are going outside to chase things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Underwater World

Maybe this one should be titled The Under Sea World of Cassie Cousteau! As I've said many times before, I don't write down the steps involved in making these images, so I'm clueless as to how the colors happened (hey - it was last year, anyway!). Cassie must have hit the window full force to make some of these marks. Her nose is really tough.

As a kid, Jacques Cousteau was one of my idols (no rock stars for me). Vicariously I traveled the seven seas with him and fantasized about being the "cabin girl" on the Calypso. That didn't happen, but I did finally become a sailor, and have spent many wonderful hours on (and in) the water. Since my territory is the "Inland Sea" (aka Lake Norman), I'd just as soon not see what's under the water. Who knows what lurks in the "Hot Hole" where the water from the cooling towers at the nuclear plant comes into the lake - maybe something akin to Cassie's critters!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Green Spot

I can't believe I missed this one - it was from last fall, when the sun is so nice coming through the west window. Cassie usually starts the morning sitting on the back of the couch, looking out that window while I'm getting ready to go downstairs. Unless I get out on the roof to clean it, the window accumulates dust and waterspots on the outside to serve as background for Cassie's markings on the inside. The green spot was actually a sunspot that showed up unexpectedly. There was fall foliage in the mix too, so I got a lot of interesting colors and shapes to work with.

The light is right at the moment to photograph Cassie's latest effort - she's outdone herself, this time! I'd better get on it, while the gettin's good. And then I think we'll go out and enjoy that wonderful light firsthand.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"What Sit Means to an Airedale"

I think I mentioned this the last time, and actually found it again. For a good laugh from Cassie and me, here's the link: . Enjoy!
As soon as Cassie moves out of that sunny spot on the couch, it's mine. Having a nap attack, here! Hope your Sunday is as bright and beautiful as ours.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crazy Quilt

Back to new stuff: this came from Cassie's favorite window (the one with the blue chair in front of it, for her viewing pleasure), looking east towards the pear trees. I call it Crazy Quilt because it reminds me of that type of quilt, with bits and pieces of colorful cloth sewn together at random angles. The colors are brighter and more distinct in the printed version, but you get the idea. I like it so much that I'm using it on a bunch of new items in our store (yep - still pushing it!), including dog tees (are you 'dales out there listening?). I did design for many years, so this new venture is really a lot of fun for me, especially since most of the "PiCassieO" art can be resized without sacrificing the artistic quality. There are four or five different versions of Crazy Quilt, including one for a clock face which is really eye-popping. It'll probably show up there tomorrow if I have time to work on it, at .

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sit! Stay!

Not in the mood for "serious" art today! This is another of those funny characters that appeared on the west window. At first I called it The Prophet, since it looked a little like a hooded figure warning of impending events. The texture and color in the background were appealing, even though they originated from bad cleaning on the outside of the window! Sometimes the transformations are truly amazing. Anyway, the quirky little figure seemed too whimsical to be prophetic, so it became a dog trainer instead. Cassie and I do "Sit, Stay" pretty well, for a few seconds! Sometime I'll have to go back and find a hilarious essay titled "What Sit Means to an Airedale".

Oh, yeah -in case you haven't visited yet, I need to put in a plug for our store ( ) . We now have three ornaments and some really wild pet bowls and baby bibs, in addition to all the other stuff. If you happen to go there and find all the print blacked out, try again in a little while. I hope to get everything organized into sections sometime this week, but there's a bug in the system that blacks out the print when changes are made, so the template has to be reset. Very aggravating, as is almost anything else involving a computer, but the end results look great!

Well, sometimes they look great. When I published this entry, it looked fine on the preview, but good grief- I apologize for the really loooong spacing up there - don't have a clue how to fix it, so it stays as is.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pete's Fairy

OK - here I go, back to seeing "cloud pictures" again! This time I was really playing with the colors and separating shapes that were running together, and lo and behold, "Tinkerbelle" was right in the middle! Maybe it's like that old poem (in one of my musty childhood books) says: "There are fairies at the bottom of our garden." Probably close to the pear tree, where the deer hang out!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Found It!

This is Rising, which is what I meant to post the last time. It has either an airy appearance or an underwater effect; I can't quite decide. The colors were a surprise - sort of fall-like, around here anyway. It should be lovely in print, when I get more ink!

Cassie is having a "fuss-budget" day - I think it's insect-related. We either have a UFC (Unidentified Flying Creature) in here, or the fleas are driving her nuts! This time of year is the worst for those little pests. She probably doesn't have more than three on her entire body (I've only seen one); that's enough to make her miserable. I don't like to use pesticides on her but am about ready to drag out the spray. It seems like using a sledge hammer to hit a fly, but you do what you have to.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Ascending got selected by accident; it's one of the older ones. I was looking for a new one called Rising, which I evidently forgot to blog-size yet. Anyway, you can see what you want to see in the work: this was back when I was looking for "cloud pictures" in Cassie's strokes. I imagined floating, Chagall-like figures, rising towards the central form whose arms appear outstretched. Getting quite metaphysical here... but I like it.

In the beginning (of the work) I did a lot of cropping, which resulted in very small files, even if the resolution was bumped. Works like Ascending can't be enlarged successfully; this has definitely been a learn-as-you-go process!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shoo, Fly!

I can't believe I didn't post this one already. It's one of those that I actually saw Cassie working on, because there was a big fly in the window. It's a wonder her nose survived the incident: she was hanging over the chair, furiously snapping at that bugger on the sill. "Renfield" scored on that one! Beats me now how I processed Shoo, Fly!, but it did turn out well - looks like a screen print. I don't write down the steps taken because a formula approach would considerably affect the discovery process in this body of work, but gee - I'd be in a mess if ever asked to talk about specifics on how it was done. To write or not to write...uh, what was the question?

Interesting note: I had lunch with a friend and was showing her our blog, and was really shocked at how differently things look on her monitor! Believe me, our colors are brilliant and rich; if they don't look that way to you, your monitor needs calibrating - or you need one of our prints to fully experience our efforts! Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Really "Different Strokes"

This has been one of those days when I should just leave the computer alone. I managed to make a mess of our store ( ) by adding a few words, and had to redo it (so check it out!). Then the two works I planned to post here were misfiled (by guess who?); I found one, and then the upload was not working, and now it's past time to TAKE THE DOG OUT!! This one came out really different - I'm not through adjusting the colors for printing, but it looks pretty interesting on the screen. When I start from the photos of Cassie's marks, I never know what is going to happen, but 95% of the time, it's really exciting! We won't talk about that other 5%. Can't win 'em all.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Black Web

Here's a new version of Totally Fauve: in my other life as a painter, I love to use black in most of my work, because in art school where there should have been few "rules", it was frowned upon to use BLACK (not neo-impressionist enough). After I graduated, I used it with regularity. It prints beautifully - velvety and mysterious.

Here we go again - we survived fireworks season, and now it's hunting season. Last Labor Day weekend, it was three straight days of shotguns nearby, and Cassie and I wound up at the Emergency Clinic again: stressed-out dog with an upset tummy. It's a little quieter this time - maybe the doves have wised up and gone elsewhere. Cassie is nevertheless reluctant to go out for a walk. Too bad, because the weather is finally nice after more than a week of hot stickiness. I actually bought her some earplugs, which we're going to try in a few minutes! I decided after lunch that it was just too pleasant to stay inside, so I went out to check on my boat and then tackled the neglected flower beds. In less than 20 minutes out there, I managed to cut my finger and got stung by a couple of wasps, so I lost my enthusiasm for fresh air and came in. Now it's time to go out there again, with a throbbing hand and a "chicken" dog, and hunters all around. Ah, country living....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Do You See?

I call this little number Blue Strokes, but my friend Pam (in Maine) told me I should rename it. Funny thing is, my mom saw the same thing that Pam did; somehow I missed it! So, if anyone out there is paying attention, what do you see?

We've been having heavy rains here for two days now, which will probably bring the box turtles out of hiding. Could be some interesting art in the making! Cassie actually caught one last week; it was so big it almost got stuck in her jaws. I managed to get her to release it, with some difficulty. The baby deer were out playing yesterday, and she badly wanted to catch them, too. It's not smart for me to let my mind wander when we're outside; you never know what might show up!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mostly Cassie

In the beginning of the "PiCassieO" project, I was mostly letting Cassie's strokes be the main focus, and if I found a critter or flower or something else recognizable, I zeroed in on that. Over the months, she has gotten a lot bolder with the "brushwork" (maybe she skidded the chair further into the window so she really scrubs her nose on it!). I liked this composition so much that I went back to my earlier approach and didn't add any color to it - just adjusted the contrast and used a filter or two, and it came out really well. Quite subdued, compared to our usual results, but I like it. The window was finally cleaned Friday and she's already at work on it again. Her enthusiasm is boundless!

We're pleased to report that our work has been selling in Maine, thanks to our good friend Pam! She'll continue to do the Stonington Farmers Market on Fridays, so if you happen to be in the area, look for her. She has wonderful crafts, in addition to the "PiCassieOs". And we're still donating $5.00 from each sale to homeless dogs and horses (Pet Smart Charities is getting my part of it).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Secret Language?

This one is pure Cassie, with no help from me! Any 'dales out there who'd care to interpret the meaning of the symbols?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Direction, Continued (I Hope)

YES!! It finally worked! This is the B & W version (no title yet).

Version 2 has transparent color overlays...

and Number 3 has "Nose Garden" colors.

(Read previous entry "Old Friend, New Direction" for explanation if you haven't already done so!)

Old Friend, New Directions

First, the old friend - this lovely "Mommie Deerest" sent Cassie into a hissy-fit last week as she sampled the pears in the side yard. I sent "The Mouth" upstairs, grabbed my camera, and went outside to find the doe casually strolling through the wooded area at the front. She struck a pose and let me get close to take her picture, and then walked across the road and disappeared. I keep waiting for her to come back with at least one baby. The day before, another doe appeared with twins! They were playing around like big puppies - a joy to watch. Good thing we have enough pears to share, unless the groundhogs get greedy.

Now for new directions: with all the wildlife hanging around, Cassie's nose is taking a beating on that east window. She is keeping me supplied with art out the wazoo. These new ones were obviously from the same photo; I was experimenting with different techniques, starting with a black and white version that I really liked. In the last one, I pulled up "Cassie's Nose Garden" and used the colors on the new one. Can't remember now exactly how I got those colors in the first place, but the combination pleases me.

Well, wouldn't you know, the upload won't work now and I'm out of time. Tune in later, maybe the glitch will be fixed and you can see the work. It also won't let me change the font - grrr....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Totally Fauve

Totally Fauve is a good description for this one! The "Fauves" were the "wild beasts" in French art who slapped paint about with wild abandon and great exuberance. That pretty well applies to my dog and her "nose goob", especially when the wild beasts are in the yard! I get crazy with the colors, after she's had her fun on the windows.

We survived the 4th of July (and the 5th) in our bunker in the guest bath downstairs, with the radio blaring to block out the fireworks noise. Cassie went to sleep (!) and I sat there in that tiny claustrophobic space playing games on my cell phone until it was safe to come out. Only for the love of that dog.

We also survived another hit by Thor's Hammer! There were storms for several days in a row, including the 4th, but now I can't remember which day it was. You sort of get "shell-shock" after a while! Anyway, Cassie was doing her usual roaming and destruction routine and I was watching her, when there was a tremendous POW. I saw fire as I blinked from the jolt; since I was still alive and the power was on, I figured my neighbors got the worst of it. Then later during the heavy rain I looked out at the back yard and noticed a dead tree with an orange stripe running down the trunk! The lightning had hit it and knocked bark all over the place. Whew.

One reason I haven't posted lately: we now have an online store! Visit us at . I'm adding more items ASAP - hope you will like what I've done with some of our work.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wild Blue

Wild Blue has almost all the colors for the Fourth of July! Count the white background, and we look patriotic. Actually, I always dread this week, because Cassie is terrified of fireworks. Two years ago she got physically ill from the stress from one of our neighbors' two-hour extravaganzas. Last year I dreaded it so much that I got sick from the stress of trying to keep her away from the noise. We wound up having a good time anyway, walking around Davidson, NC, and visiting Ben and Jerry's while the neighbors had their blast. Got to come up with a plan quick for Friday (and Saturday).

Cassie didn't use to be such a jellyfish about noise, until 2003 when we took a terrifying hit from lightning. It struck a tree, jumped to the barn and set it on fire, then traveled through the wiring to the house and knocked everything out here. It was so loud I could feel it in my dental work! We had to get out of the house until the fire department got here since there was electrical smoke (from a blown switch, it turned out). It was sort of funny: the volunteer FD got here fast and were checking the attic and house, and one of them asked if we had a crawlspace. I told him it was around back, so he went to check it and came tearing back yelling, "The barn's on fire!" Fortunately there was no occupant at the time. The guys got it under control so the damage wasn't too bad, but Cassie was really traumatized (me, too!). I'm supposed to reassure her now that storms are OK: not easy to do when I want to curl up in a fetal position in a dark place and suck my thumb until it goes away. Two jellyfish, here.

For the record (anyone listening out there?), fireworks are illegal in NC!!! Yeah, I know, there aren't enough cops to arrest everyone - but there's a stiff fine if you do get caught. Something to think about.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Primary Colors 2

This is one of those images that won't come across on the web anywhere near what I'm seeing on paper here. I am well aware that anyone with the right technology can make a passable version of anything I post here, but keep in mind the concept of "artistic vision". You won't actually get the real thing unless it comes from me. So there. Oh, yeah, while I'm on my soapbox - since each of my prints are done individually on demand, even though there may be 50 "copies", there are bound to be variations which give them uniqueness. Lose a pixel here, change a color there, but each is lovely to look at! Trust my eyes to give you the absolute best.

Cassie is back at work on the windows again. It's been so hot here that most of the wildlife is hiding, but last night a lone deer strolled around the edge of the woods and she went into full-blown red alert, roaring through the house from window to window and really raising Cain, while my mom was on the phone. Bad timing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting Behind

"PiCassieO" is still working, but we've been busy helping a canine friend of ours find a new home with one terrific human (you know who you are!). I am having a dickens of a time trying to do these posts, so just enjoy the art and forget the boo-boos.
My camera tends to go out of focus when the batteries are failing (or maybe it just gets tired after taking so many shots). I couldn't resist playing with the really fuzzy ones; the top one is tentatively called Fuzzy (duh!) and the bottom, Primary Colors. At some point I need to have a "Name the Art" contest, because I'm running out of good titles. Untitled #1234 is just too confusing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gone Wild!

The colors in "Gone Wild!" are incredible in print - I don't think web color is anywhere near the real thing. The "PiCassieO" work has been an on-going learning experience for me; I'm now taking a second look at some of the earlier stuff and exploring it further. This particular composition came from "Six Deer on Monday" (in archives). Wow - what a difference! Cassie is continuing to provide me with new material, too. I think if I'd move my dry-docked boat she would be more inspired; right now it's blocking her view of the pines on the east side (the view from the blue chair). She still goes into cracker-dog mode when the bunnies are out there, but there's nothing like a full-blown deer alert.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Where the Snow Hides"

This was one of the first "PiCassieO"s, but it's still one of my favorites. Not exactly seasonal around here, though, since yesterday was in the 80's. There was a turtle cruising by the back yard this morning, so Cassie should be having some fun at those windows soon! I'm not sure what it is about those critters that makes her so crazy - probably they're just so slow they stay in view longer.
Anyway, there is a story connected with "Snow" that departs from the usual. A friend of mine was getting work for an art auction at her church. It happened that the study for the month was on the book of Job (in the Bible). The challenge was to match some of my dog art to an appropriate scriptural reference from Job. Not so hard, really, since there are so many passages about nature, including one about "where the snow hides". A perfect match, here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Serendipity Strikes Again!

During the late fall Cassie was working that west window a lot. She sits on the back of the couch and looks down from the second floor to the yard and woods, and yowls at the squirrels that have invaded the shed near the bird feeder, so the markings were pretty heavy. Then the weather finally turned really cold, which made the windows sweat. It created a great effect on her work as the condensation ran down the window. It looked like water lilies or some other floating plants after I worked it up. Odd that something so tranquil could come out of my wild dog's rantings and the freezing weather.

Before I forget, thanks a bunch to Scruffy, Lacie, Stanley, Noah, Randi, Blue, and the others who responded to our article in Sunday's Charlotte Observer. It can still be viewed at ; it appeared April 13th, so it will probably be in the archive section by Thursday. It was a fun experience, although Cassie decided to take a nap in the middle of the interview! She's hard to impress.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

East Window, November

Yesterday I realized that there are now almost 100 of these "photo-paintings" in my computer. Some of them need more work before anyone sees them, but there are many that I'm (or should I say, "we're"?) ready to share. This one is from last fall, when the slanting sun is perfect for capturing Cassie's marks. The colors are spectacular on the monitor, and actually print almost as intensely. It is interesting to see how the work has progressed from a sort of novelty "dog art" to something of higher purpose (IMO). On a less serious note, it's really great to collaborate with an artist who is satisfied with "Goldfish" for payment! She likes the baby-size cheese variety.

Monday, April 7, 2008

West Window

The west window of my studio is where the light comes in best. Cassie was working overtime on this one; so far there are five different versions of it. This is #2, I think. It looks like an Impressionist salute to spring; maybe I'd better quit telling people that she's an Abstract Expressionist! What's in a label, anyway? You either like it, or you don't, regardless of what "-ism" it might be.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cassie's "Inspirations"

The sun's angle hasn't been cooperating lately through Cassie's favorite "studio windows", so we haven't been doing much art this winter. Slowly the light is changing and the animals are roaming; we should be back in business soon! In the meantime, I thought I'd post these shots of some of her quary.

Several weeks ago I was teaching a painting class upstairs, and happened to gaze out towards the woods. There were three or four deer moseying through, so I alerted my students and grabbed my camera, being careful not to alarm my napping dog. The first ones we saw went off in the woods, and then came back (I thought). There were adults and juveniles, two of which split off to investigate a crow. We watched in delight, and then in amazement: suddenly the whole yard was full of deer! Evidently the herd was on a field trip; they checked out the fruit trees and the rest of the garden area, and then as if on cue they started off in an orderly wave across the road and into the woods. It was pure magic. If Cassie had been awake, I wouldn't have these pictures!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cassie and I hope you all have a lovely day!