Monday, October 11, 2010

My trip across the country to a new location

First of all, if you'll check my posts a few down, you'll see that I had the care of my 9-month-old granddaughter a week before the move and then had to fly with her cross-country to our new destination in Florida (from Oregon).  The week without her parents started off really rocky, and by the end, we were perfectly intertwined and had everything worked out perfectly!  Then the dreaded flight!  We had to be at the airport before dawn and had one layover in Denver, so we already had a couple of knocks against us (I had to get her up at 3 am to leave for the airport).  Then, after we were through security and were waiting for the plane to board, I decided to give her a little breakfast.  I rummaged through the diaper bag, and NOTHING!  There was not a sign of the food, including the formula I had so carefully gotten her used to instead of mom's milk.  I was horrified!!!!  What was I going to do?

I went to every shop that might reasonably have some formula - nothing!  I contacted airline personnel, and they pretty much told me I was on my own.  So, being the rather resourceful person I am, I went to a news kiosk, bought some crackers, a packet of cheese, some orange juice (she can't have cow's milk), some water, some cookies -- and we "made-do."  She was an absolutely perfect baby!!!!  I'm not kidding!  In spite of the huge change in her diet, she willingly and bravely accepted all the "goodies" I offered her, without a single complaint.  She never cried once, slept through almost the entire first flight, and played quietly through the second.

Fellow travelers were in my opinion priceless, too.  My seatmates on both legs of the flight were men.  The first was a gem, never complained, rolled his eyes, etc., and even offered to help.  The second fellow, on the other hand, did a lot eye-rolling, a lot of "why me" sighing, etc., but in the end, he turned out okay, too.  I had to change her diaper on the plane only once; and as it was an older plane (aren't they all?), there was no changing station.  So the well-seasoned flight crew,also resourceful people, offfered to help and laid out a padded blanket on the floor of the galley and were cheerful and upbeat as any "village" of people could be. 

All in all, other than being exhausting - and traumatic when I found I had lost all her food - the flight was a great success.  Would I do it again soon?  No way!

A Lab Mix Custom Painting I just finished

This is a painting I just finished for a client.  Her name is Molly, and she is a beloved family member.  The green faceless frog to her right is her favorite toy - hence, the lack of facial features that she has lovingly, I'm sure, removed.  It was a really fun painting, one of those that nearly painted itself.  Just for fun, I've also attached the photo I worked from.  You can see the black lines at the bottom of the photo where I'm adding in the rest of her face just for a better composition.  Also, I changed her body entirely to make for a cuter composition and "story."  So, as you can see, I work closely, but not slavishly, with photos.  Creativity must be a strong component of artwork.  Otherwise, it wouldn't be art, would it?

I'm currently working on two more commissioned paintings for a client of her two sweeties, a weimaraner named Henry and a Rhodesian ridgeback (one of my favorite breeds as I've had two myself), named Matilda.  I'll try to include their photos and maybe some interim shots of the paintings, too, just so you (and I)can see my painting process.  (I just know there's some sort of method to my painting style if I record the process often enough!)

Regarding my recent move - obviously, off the subject of this post and even of this blog - but I just want to talk about it a little, anyway.  I'll do so in the next post.