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The Beginner's Guide to
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Courage! Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

Courage! Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

 

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So. How long ago was it that I got sick from my acrylics?

I know: A billion years.

And all this time I have been promising you panting hounds the long, cool drink of knowledge:

Just what the heck is Harmony painting with these days? What is this masked mystery medium she’s referred to? And how about that curious cardboard box, too?

 

daisy and box 2

 

 

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor

 

Hey, neighbors! I’m Harmony’s courage, your leader in low-priced snacks. And I’m here to tell you that I’m now in stock! Yours for the low, low price of your attention — Harmony’s courage!

 

And Now Back to Our Regular Programming

Ahem.

Yes. Yes, of course. You were wondering about paint.

And I have meant to tell you about it for months.

Except that somehow, in the intervening months since my Acrylic Angst, in the dramas and traumas of this summer, somehow in all this, I lost something important.

I lost my dash, my daring. I lost nerve.

 

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I have planned a post in my head now for two months now, introducing you to my new medium — both of my new mediums — and to many charming paintings, but somehow, somehow, that post never gets written.

Again and again, the writing doesn’t occur. I don’t do it.

Finally, though, I’ve noticed the pattern, caught it in my gaze as it tries to melt back into the woods.

And I know: When something does not happen again and again, it’s time to dig to its roots.

 

But First, Another Word From Our Sponsor!

 

Back in stock and braver than ever! Harmony’s courage! Fill it to the rim with courage! Eleven courageous herbs and spices! It can be yours, too, for the low, low price of courage!

 

Ahem.

I think I’ll need to have a word with that sponsor soon.

 

Now

It’s late afternoon. The day has been full with conversation and quiet. The autumn sun hangs ripe in the sky. I hear the sounds of hammering from a rooftop. Everyone is preparing for the storms to come.

Twenty minutes ago, I sat here at my computer, my socked feet propped up on the table legs, and stared out at my greatest confessor: the blank page.

And suddenly, this happened:

 

Four out of five dentists agree on Harmony’s courage! Good to the last drop! The sweet you can eat between meals! Missing your moxie? Try Harmony’s courage! Now at a blog near you.

 

My brother-in-law, born in the 80s, told me recently that he was raised by television. If he was raised by TV, then I was raised by commercial announcements.

 

Courage: The Breakfast of Champions!

Break me off a piece of that courage bar!

Courage: It’s what’s for dinner.

I can’t believe it’s not courage!

C-c-c-courage. One of the all-time greats!

 

As I sat in the glow of my monitor, as the hammering sounds echoed across the rooftops behind me, as Miss Addie stole into my office and wrapped her tail around herself for a nap, old jingles and advertising slogans pranced through my mind.

 

My courage has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R!

Nothing outlasts the Couragizer.

This is your courage on drugs. Any questions?

 

After a lifetime in consumer culture, when advertising opens its gaping maw to speak, I’m well-trained to listen.

Here’s what I hear:

The moment I settle in to write a blog post about paint, when I have only shared one painting (sweet St. Francis) in recent months, when I am at the far edge of frustration about my recent block on sharing artwork, when I’m clench-jawed and ready to white-knuckle my way through this, just then, the vast storerooms of my subconscious mind begin to speak.

 

It’s courage, the San Francisco treat!

 

When this first skirled through my head, I thought it was just a clever way for me to hide my feelings.

Hey, says my good ol’ subconscious, let’s be clever. Instead of writing what’s real, we’ll just mis-quote commercials! We’ll be much more popular this way.

(Actually, that last part is probably true.)

Now, though, I’ve purged my system of most of the slogans, and I find that a greater truth remains:

Courage wants my attention.

 

 

From where I sit, I can see four kitty paintings that I haven’t shared with you.

I can see a colorful collection of paints, a palette open wide, a brush dangling off a table’s edge, a block of paper having drifted to the floor.

I can see drawings I haven’t shared, notes on stories that haven’t seen light, and a near empty easel with a canvas askew, with just a few lines suggesting the kitty to come.

I can see the computer that hosts the first draft of something of exhilarating fun, which also causes me to tremble in my variegated socks.

Despite the traumas in the last few months, my world has truly burst with creativity. I have burbled with new ideas, guzzled new knowledge, bounced with anticipation at what’s to come.

I just haven’t found the courage, in the past couple of months, to share much of it at all.

Now, though, it’s time for courage to return.

Yes, courage has called. It’s mine for only a penny and I can cancel anytime.

Check back here for it soon.

 

 

Happy St. Francis Day! An itsy bitsy watercolor celebrating the celebration of animals

Happy St. Francis Day! An itsy bitsy watercolor celebrating the celebration of animals

 

 

Once upon a time, back in the 13th century, back before the 21st century was even a glimmer in our ancestors’ eyes, there lived a monk who loved animals. His nickname was Francis.

 

 

st francis day

 

 

Let’s follow his lead and celebrate our spiritual connection with animals — the animals we love, the animals we don’t, and the soft animals that we live in, our own bodies.

Happy St. Francis Day to you, and to your furry/fuzzy/scaly/feathery/exoskeletony friends.

 

 

P.S. I am practicing imperfection. (Yeah, yeah, like I need to practice. Nonetheless, practice helps.) ;-) So the little painting above was done in an hour, and published in the blink of an eye.

Someday, someday, I will dig through my trunks of old writing, writing I’ve sat on for twenty years, and share it with you here. But I can guarantee it won’t be as cute as Francis, or his little dog Toto too.

 

 

P.P.S. A little quote attributed to both St. Francis and Louis Nizer for all you artists reading this (and I know that all of you are artists, even if you don’t know it yet yourselves):

 

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

 
 

Miss Addie’s Sunbeam: A Furry Photo Festival

Miss Addie’s Sunbeam: A Furry Photo Festival

 

 

It’s time for celebration. Luckily, Miss Addie got the memo. So did the sun.

Yesterday afternoon, a serendipitous sunbeam shot across my office, catching this beautiful cat in its glow.

 

Addie 1

 

 

I grabbed my camera, swiftly swapped out memory cards, and started clicking away, as Miss Addie purred in the sunlight.

She drools a bit when she purrs.

 

 

addie with drooly whiskers

 

 

 

Addie truly loves being the center of attention, having her beauty photographed for the world to see. But I rarely catch her in light that shows her beauty well.

This time, I caught her.


 

Addie 2

 

 

We mustn’t forget her goofy side. After the next shot, the rest of my photos were blurry for awhile. Hello, drool-on-lens.

 

 

addie nose

 

 

And hello, drool-on-blankie.

 

 

addie drooly blankie

 

 

Of course, she’s not the only one who’s goofy. There may have been a Cat Mom Photo Bomb. Maybe.

 

 

cat mom photo bomb

 

 

There was definitely a Tiny Pink Tongue involved.

 

 

addie tongue 2

 

 

addie tongue 1

 

 

addie licking

 

 

At one point Addie shed a whisker.

 

 

addie whisker 1

 

 

I tried to put it back, but it didn’t work.

 

 

addie whisker 2

 

 

Then it was selfie time.

 

 

addie and harmony 3

 

 

I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with taking selfies with my animals.

 

 

harmony and addie 2

 

 

Just the weensiest bit of obsession here, that’s all.

 

 

addie and harmony 4

 

 

A day later, and it was time to blog. Addie helped.

 

 

addie touching the website

 

 

Together, we found another glamour shot to share.

 

 

addie glamour shot

 

 

 

And, finally, we found a video, ten seconds that capture how Miss Addie felt about being in the spotlight.
 
 
 

 
 
 

Well, perhaps she was the tiniest bit tired of the camera by then. But that drop of drool on her lip is priceless.

Purr on, my friends, purr on.

 
 
 

Come, Autumn. Come, Harvest. Come, Joy.

Come, Autumn. Come, Harvest. Come, Joy.

  The truth is, I don’t want to write this. Or anything. The truth behind that? I really do want to write and share. It’s just hard right now. It’s been a very hard summer. All of the stress is catching up with me, and I have been shrinking back into my shell.   Beginning It hasContinue Reading

It’s Benign! It’s Benign!

It’s Benign! It’s Benign!

  Good News! Good News! Daisy’s tumor is benign!     The vet called us just minutes ago. The lab results were in. Daisy’s growth — that lump on the side of her face, which the vet removed a week ago — was benign! It was, though, still a tumor. That thought on its own is chilling.Continue Reading

Our Veterinary Whirlwind (plus a big surprise box that came at the perfect moment)

Our Veterinary Whirlwind (plus a big surprise box that came at the perfect moment)

  We’re in a veterinary whirlwind. Tucker, our big orange monkey boy, was recently diagnosed with chronic renal failure.     It’s not as bad as it sounds. I feel positive that he has a few good years left, with a lot of care. But still, his diagnosis weighs heavily on my heart. Tucker is underContinue Reading

My First Teeny-Tiny Oil Painting! “School Picture”

My First Teeny-Tiny Oil Painting! “School Picture”

    I’ve been waiting and waiting to show you something… I have been tapping my toes for six whole weeks, just waiting for this certain little something to dry… Now, finally, it’s ready! I present to you “School Picture,” my very first teeny-tiny cartoon oil painting!     I’m in love with this orangeContinue Reading

My Acrylic Angst: Getting Sick from Acrylic Paints (with a pit stop for cat pee along the way)

My Acrylic Angst: Getting Sick from Acrylic Paints (with a pit stop for cat pee along the way)

  I haven’t painted in an ice age — a week, at least, if not more. Slowly, the gloom creeps over me. What’s an artist to do? Last week, if you recall, I reported (sadly) that I seem to be having a reaction to the fumes of the acrylic paints I so love. What kindContinue Reading

Twenty-Five Thousand Words in my Introvert Bubble (No, You Do Not Have to Read Them All) — Oh, and a Chemical Swoon

Twenty-Five Thousand Words in my Introvert Bubble (No, You Do Not Have to Read Them All) — Oh, and a Chemical Swoon

  Big family visits. Big community gatherings. A big memorial for a beloved community and tribal leader (who was our in-laws’ close and dear relative). An upcoming scattering-of-ashes for two friends who killed themselves last winter. All of this, on top of the logging next door (which, thank you to all heavens, is over) andContinue Reading

Teeny Tiny Golden Retriever: A thus-far hidden eensy-weensy painting (great for a tired week)

Teeny Tiny Golden Retriever: A thus-far hidden eensy-weensy painting (great for a tired week)

I have so much to share with you in my artsy, animalsy world: A long little doxie painting! A très-squee orange kitty painting! A weensy little butterfly collage! Since my last post, I’ve had daring adventures in scanner technology (note: trust the auto settings), have created cartoon kitty family portraits (complete with cheese-eating grins), and have embarked on aContinue Reading

 
HTML Online Editor Sample

HTML Online Editor Sample

 

The Beginner's Guide to
Animal Wisdom

is a little ebook that will help you listen to your animal pals.
Want the book & occasional newsletter? Sign up below.

(Or visit this cute little page to hear me fizz about why this book is fabulous!)

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