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February 24, 2009

What Is It With Cats?

Need to catch a cat? - lesson #1
Place some clean laundry (you don't need much)that needs folding on any surface, a bed will do. Turn away for just a second. Voila! A cat will be sleeping on top of the pile when you turn back.

Speaking of cats, English artist Judith Glover just sent Tizzy, Fred and me this charming piece from her new collection with Paper Rose. 

February 19, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast

Fred at 4 mos.

Frederico Feliney is 6 years old. 

Freddie is a very sweet and helpful cat. 
He taps me on the knee or arm when he 
wants my attention. 
If he draws blood and I leap out of my seat, 
I also know his nails need clipping. 

Many mornings at 3am he'll gently tap on 
my shoulder, asking if I'm not quite asleep 
might I rub his belly? He walks round and 
round till he finds the right position to 
flop down, over and belly up. Too funny 
and sweet. OK, so he's trained me perfectly!  

Fred is also interested in Physics. 
Not a day goes by that he doesn't 
experiment with gravity, pushing 
objects off flat surfaces with his nose,
filling the newly created vacuum 
with himself. He will also go to any 
lengths (and/or heights) to explore 
the mysterious moving light reflected 
from my watch face in late afternoon 
when the sun is in the west window.

Freddie is modest. Never seeks 
the limelight, just a few Whisker Lickins 
crunchy snacks. When not in scholarly 
pursuit he can be found sleeping in a 
window high above the city or beneath 
the fold where the bedspread meets the rug. 
His retreat revealed only by an exposed tail. 

Buon Compleanno, mio gattino!!  =^..^=

February 18, 2009

Pam And The Tizman

Speaking of my talented friend, Pam Newton and portraits........

I love this portrait she did of my boy Tizzy Cat.

February 17, 2009

Just One More..........

I really thought I'd come to the last of the P-J Redoute portraits, when this popped up. Haven't yet identified who painted it but this one is from Redoute's home town of St. Hubert, Belgium.
It is hung in the Centre Redoute across the Rue Redoute from a small empty lot where Redoute's childhood home stood until 1944. During the Battle of the Bulge, Americans fired on the German headquarters. Missed by about 200 yards leveling the Redoute house.

Redoute's childhood home
drawn by Abbe P. Chalon

Feeling I ought to apologize, I was assured
with great bonhomie that we had been forgiven long before.

The Centre Redoute is now housed in
the old German Headquarters across the street.

One of the best "portraits" of Redoute I found was in the person of the town historian, Abbe Prosper Chalon. Abbe Chalon, my guide, a Roman Catholic priest, art historian, artist and a descendent of Redoute's mother's family.

. Remarkable resemblance.

See What I Mean? (see Jan 25, 2009 post)

Portrait of many (but not all) of Napoleon Bonaparte's
artists, painted by and including Louis-Leopold Boilly
as well as Redoute, Gerard and Isabey.

I rest my case.

February 16, 2009

Tricks Of The Trade

Early in elementary school, my favorite (and ONLY) niece, Anna asked me how come her water color paintings got all wrinkley while mine were flat? 

So I introduced her to good watercolor paper, coldpress (rough texture) and hot press (smooth texture) and showed her how I tape or staple gun down the edges to a board before beginning to paint so the paper dries tight like a drum.

The only kid in her class to know how to stretch watercolor paper.

Nothing's too good for my favorite niece. ;-)

My illustration from Questions, by Lee Bennett Hopkins,

February 15, 2009

A Love Story

Spent Valentine's Day at a Memorial Service for noted Children's Book Illustrator and Teacher, Beth Krush. 

A sad way to spend the day set aside to celebrate romantic love. However, the day turned out to be a profound celebration of enduring love, romance and devotion between Beth and her adoring husband and professional partner of 66 years, Joe Krush. 

Joe, in his inimitable way, told of their romance from when their eyes met the first day of art school in 1935, the first time he kissed her (on an outing to paint watercolors near the Delaware River), through 66 years living and working together, raising their son, Jay, then kissing Beth for the last time February 2, 2009 the day she died, age 90. Emphasizing many fortuitous coincidences in their lives over the years, ending with this farewell service on the most appropriate Valentine's Day.

Not a dry eye in the house.

February 11, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

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Trying to tie up loose ends, I suddenly ran out of January.
So, before February disappears under similar circumstances, I am sharing this Valentine I made a while ago, but still like.

Love, C