Tuesday, September 30, 2014


 A week ago yesterday marked the second anniversary of Cassie's departure from this world. I say she left, but that's not really true, because I still see her everywhere in my memory and in the art we made. I am continuing to create from her "notes", which is therapeutic in that it reminds me of her wild enthusiasm for life and makes me laugh to remember, even when tears are falling. 
 In the work above are some of her last marks on that storm door that was her favorite "canvas"; in the original print, the background resembles a beach and clouds against a deep blue sky. The elements had a glowing edge, and the total effect suggested a farewell, with the cryptic marks ascending toward the sky and clouds. I never was satisfied with the composition of those elements, however, and tried to tinker with it with no success, so I did a cut-and-paste with just her strokes to try them with a different background. This photo was in a screen saver file - it was amazing how perfectly the marks fit to give me the ethereal effect I was searching for. The original title was "What She Said" - I see it now as a message of hope instead of farewell.
I will love you forever, Cassie girl - wait for me, I'm coming!
In loving memory of Cassie (aka Cassandra Queen of the Universe) - 
April 12, 1999 - September 22, 2012

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Different World

Been meaning to get back here, but it seems I'm still doing more epilepsy research than art lately. I wondered why I am having difficulty connecting with Calli art-wise, and have concluded that the seizures have something to do with it. A friend recently made the remark that she thought Calli was "two dimensional" - not meaning Calli is flat, but that she exists in two different dimensions, one being "reality" as we know it, and the other, wherever she goes when she has a seizure. Several months ago a former painting student of mine started doing "animal communication"; knowing her to be a very honest and loving person, I decided to throw Calli at her and see what if anything she could find out about this strange little dog of mine. I didn't mention any of Calli's problems, but when Kim called me to report, the first thing she said was, "Calli has seizures - she goes away and then she comes back." I was almost speechless at the simple explanation of her illness. The big question was, where does she GO? No answer for that, but the "2-D" remark reinforced the idea of an other-worldly aspect of Calli's personality that makes it difficult for us to communicate sometimes.  She rarely pays attention to what's going on outside; usually the only time she marks the door is when she's "gone away", or in a rush to get out for potty break. She is very quiet and solemn most of the time, without the overflowing joy and exuberance that was Cassie's hallmark. The art I've made with her is totally different from what Cassie and I did, which makes me think I should leave this blog purely PiCassieO and start another one and call it "CalliGraphy - Notes from Another World." Thinkin' about it...

"Calli Makes a Pi"     CalliGraphy by Beth & Calli

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life Goes On, Sort Of...

I am surprised that I could remember my PW to come back here, it's been so long. What I didn't tell in my last entry (way back in July): six weeks after Cassie died, an 11-month-old Airedale puppy came to me from rescue. That would have been enough to keep me busy; unfortunately, she also came with previously undetected epilepsy, which has made the last year very difficult and downright exhausting. Until July we were usually up three times a night with seizures, and more in the daytime. She was on so much medicine that she couldn't walk without falling, so I called a halt to that last January and started pursuing alternatives. At least we're getting a lot more sleep now, although she still has multiple seizures most days. Old-timers would call them "running fits" - not typical epilepsy. Calli is her name, and in spite of the problems she is funny and mischievous and turning into a good little artist as well. Who could resist that adorable face, especially those eyes with their two-inch-long lashes? Not me. She has brought me great joy with her shenanigans, as well as great sorrow due to her affliction. Everyone tells me she's here for a reason - probably to take up where Cassie left off as my teacher. Student is ready...

                                  Calli, Nov. 2012                                                 

"Happy", CalliGraphy by Calli and Beth