Monday, January 2, 2012

A Week to Savor

The week just after Christmas and before starting into the New Year is one of my favorite periods of the calendar.  It is a time that I put down my "to do list" and indulge myself in art, movies, books and quiet reflection.

Yesterday was a wonderful New Year's open house with dear friends and today is just quiet... a time to practice the art of doing nothing or barely something....a rare treat for any of us.

WE have been having such beautiful winter days here on the Cote d'Azur  that we don't often want to hunker down in a warm robe or cozy sweater.  But today, a rainy Monday,  I find myself not wanting to go out, but just enjoy my home, my husband and the visiting kitty.... casual and comfortable.

Yes, a neighbor family who is away has left their cat to fend for himself this week .  He is a very companionable type , not very old and prettily behaved and we can't resist helping him out while his people are away.

 He has begged some tasty scraps from us and I can tell now that the food that was left for him has run out or been consumed by other animals.   He is much more insistent when we open the door in the mornings and I have only cans of tuna and a few other tidbits, no kibble on hand.   We are happy to help out and let him inside for a love fest ( he has a mighty purr)  or for a cat nap from time to time.  He sits quietly in "his" chair and goes out when he starts to feel frisky.

   I  strongly disagree with this idea that domestic cats should suddenly go back to the wild when it suits the owners.  Worse still are abandoned pets.  But I am pretty sure that the neighbors will be back tonight as tomorrow is certainly a work day.

But today, with a cat, a winter lunch of pea soup and some new music from Santa,   I was more than satisfied with just "being" for a while......

But  I don't do "stillness" very well.   So after lunch I descended to my studio to touch up some scraps that I have in a remnant box from past projects.   Its been a long time since I had a paint brush in my hand.

 Here is what I came up with.   I added a few more splashes of gouache and ink to these monotype print scraps to give them a bit of structure.   They are still abstracts but I see images now.

     Untitled             17x24 cm, Gouache on paper

    Untitled                17x24 cm, Gouache on paper

I just need to put a large white pass-par tout around them to bring them forward.   Do you see what I see?


  1. Ok, I sent the pictures to my artist girlfriend in Tulsa, to see if she saw things in your 2 abstract paintings, and she says both look like first snow on leaves or flowers. I agree, or like first frost. NOW....tell us what you are seeing..


  2. I actually am seeing some lemons or limes and leaves... but digitally on the blog, I do see more of the snow affect they were talking about. Thanks for your feedback, Iris.


  3. Mary, What is a goache painting? I'm not familiar with the process. It is very cheerful and jolly.


  4. Gouache has more chalk in with the pigment and is usually used in its thick, opaque form. It is a water based paint, but is not used like watercolor which is translucent. Gouache has gone out of favor these days. But it is a great alternative to watercolor if you like the matt effect. Thanks Joanne, most people like these wild colors.


  5. Happy new year, Mary! I love the paintings! They would be great to live with, one of my criteria for great art. That is a very cute champagne cat who is with you all. Karen Victoria xox

  6. Hi Mary, These are great! I'm not sure if you got my last comments. I can see the snow, especially on the second picture. But they both evoke nature. Martha

  7. Thanks ladies, for a change, I think these pictures are better in the "flesh". I am surprised how much the white pops out with the photo and kind of overwhelms the rest.