My big sore nose still hurts. Not a lot, but enough to make me whiney and cranky. And then I was pulling out of my gym one morning last week and saw this:
According to a woman who was one car and two minutes ahead of me, the Lexus SUV didn’t stop to let the truck make the curve; the Lexus SUV driver saw the big truck turning towards her, but she just blew on her horn and rammed right into the undercarriage of the 18-wheeler. This is not unusual for Long Island Lexus people. Long Island Lexus people think they own the streets. However, I never thought that one would be stupid enough to play chicken with an 18-wheeler…but I guess I was wrong.
So that was one consolation for my nose woes: at least there was one other person who was having a worse day than I, and oh how sweet that it was a Lexus person!!
And then it rained for two days; and then we had a house guest for two days; and then we were really tired from having a house guest for two days, and then OMG it has been beastly cold here on the north shore of Long Island this past week. So, No, we have not trekked out to our favorite beach on the north shore of Long Island yet this new year to glorify our drinking habits with a fancy Solstice theme, so, No, I don’t have any pictures of the sun set to show you.
But I can offer you a photo of the Breakfast Club at my house:
That’s my neighbor’s cat, Dennis, second from the left (above). The rest are all mine. I’m rich with cats.
It’s been so cold this week (20 degrees F) that I was fretting about my outdoor cat, Steve. So today I added two wind break/walls to Steve’s little nest under the holly tree by my front stoop, and I piled up lots of additional new straw so that when he steps into his nest, he sinks up to the tippy-top of his ear-tips into a nasty-hamock of cosy, insulated, all-natural fibers:
He seems happy here, and he’s got a cubby in the garage in case he ever wanted to curl up inside an insulated kitty house. But it still doesn’t seem right for a kitty to spend his days and dark, freezing nights outside, but Steve resists all my attempts to lure him indoors so I fret. Yes, I do. I fret.
I also fret about my “job”, which is to paint Claude Monet’s famous garden in Giverny, France. This (below) is the scene I want to paint, a part of Claude Monet’s famous garden in Giverny, France, called The Ladies’ Circle:
These photos are from my 2013 visit to the garden (not my 2015 visit), in May when the cherry trees were in bloom:
No wonder Monet never painted this part of the garden, and no wonder that I have never seen this part of the garden photographed for any of those grand coffee table books about the garden:
This part of Monet’s garden is impossible to portray as picturesque. It’s partly because of the lay of the land — a lawn bordered by flower beds on the sloping terrain — and partly because that huge Paulownia tree (which has a very ungraceful trunk):
I have tried, and tried, and tried agains and again, and failed each time, to paint this place as a Spring scene, so my new strategy has been to try to paint it in Summer, when the tree’s ungainliness will be partly hidden by foliage. I also changed my point of view.
The most crucial part of this painting is the background, which must indicate abundance and frothy greenery without getting specific. On my FOURTH try, I got this:
My favorite way to create a background that doesn’t overwhelm the picture with information, yet still creates a bit of interest, is to let the watercolor bleed into thought-provoking shapes:
That damn Paulownia tree is just too quirky for my tastes, but I have to report it as faithfully as I can since this is for a picture book about Monet’s garden. I just can’t re-invent the bits I don’t like:
I’m hoping that the right crop will bring this pic to life:
OK, painting the flowers was fun:
And then I painted in a little, but necessary, tree and ruined the pic. Still, it was one of the least crappy pictures I’ve painted of this impossible view:
So far, all my attempts at panting this maddening Ladies’ Circle look like this:
But I’m a Capricorn. I’m scrappy. I’m determined. I’m conceited, distrusting, and unimaginative (according to any Air, Water, or Fire sign). Capricorns are not cuddly people.
This pissant Ladies’ Circle will not defeat me.
I’m good for ONE MORE TRY.
Done. Maybe. But maybe not.
On second thought, definitely not. Which comes as a surprise to me, since I only loaded up all these pix because I thought I’d got it, finally. So this is an unexpected twist to today’s blog. I hate when that happens.
I had a short discussion the other day, with Top Cat, about New Year’s Resolutions for 2018. TC doesn’t want to make any, and that’s fine; we usually don’t bother. But we were very stick-in-the-muddish this year and we want to travel more in 2018 so we sat in silence, each of us trying to think of a place we really wanted to go to. Then we had a few more glasses of wine and I got a brilliant idea about what I should do with my life, and I jotted it down, and the next day I checked my scribbles and the message I had for myself for what to do in 2018 was this:
Hang out with owls.
Yeah. I’m going to see if I can make that happen.
Happy New Year to all you Dear Readers, whether it’s a Summer eve or a Winter one — I hope it’s the first day of a spectacular year, feathers and all.
P.S. I think I’m going to take one more stab at the Ladies’ Circle. Any suggestions?