Floating Belties and Strong Daisies

Why has one of my latest paintings mysteriously changed position in my art bin? Floating, so it appeared to be, instead of sitting in proper position with the rest of the paintings.

“Hmmm.  Did Charlie (cat) jump into the bin and snuggle under the painting? I hope not!”
I investigate the other paintings. No paw prints, no chewed paper, not cat fur. That is strange. I adjust the painting so it is now standing as the others are in a vertical stack.

English: Belties at Old Bridge of Urr Belties ...
English: Belties at Old Bridge of Urr Belties (belted galloway cattle) in field by B794 above the hamlet Old Bridge of Urr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hubby walks in from his office. “I have to tell you, Hun, your latest pieces are really interesting. You are really good at revealing relationships in your paintings.”

“Thank you. I didn’t think you liked the last two.”

“Oh, no. They are really good. You’ve captured the feeling. The relationship between the two belties in your water color. You can see the affection shared between the two in your composition, and the posture of both cows. It really like it.”

I look over Hubby’s shoulder as he edits his latest letter to all his friends and relatives. He loves writing. Been at it for years. In my former employ as a teacher, I used to mail his stack of weekly letters as I arrived at work. I’d hand the collection with handwritten addresses to the receptionist  “It’s nice to know someone still writes letters,” she had smiled.

“Here, review my latest letter,” Hubby turns in his seat.

As I sort through the four pages, I am shocked to see my two latest paintings in his current letter.
“You photographed my paintings?”

“Yes. They tell a story. You captured the subjects and expressed more than the image.”

“Thank you. But you never asked.”

Hubby’s smile disappeared. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know it would be a problem.”

“I thought the cat had been in my bin. But it was you.”

“Uh, yes. Is there a problem?”

“Well, no one has seen my latest work and now you are dispersing an image of them to several people who either won’t care or will share it with others. That is not fair. You must ask first. If Jamie Wyeth’s new creation were shared that way, you would be sued. There is such a thing as copyright infringement.”

Silence.

“Why did you photograph the daisy as well?”

English: Daisies
English: Daisies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hubby, smiles. “You captured something I didn’t notice. As we worked at logging, moving the branches out of the way, piling the logs and cutting some into firewood, you found a little daisy struggling to survive through the disruption we imposed in its environment. You plucked it up, placed it in a tiny bottle and gave it another life.

“Then you painted it. You captured its inner being, wanting to survive, reaching for the sun. It demonstrated strength. It spoke to me. It is a simple painting, but it caught my attention—I had to write about it. You have to keep painting because you are good at it.”

Silence.

“I hope it is okay to send the letters as they are.”

Hubby’s words soothe and encourage me. They were simple paintings, not complicated as some seem to be at times. I am my own worse critic…isn’t every artist?

The printouts don’t really do justice to the colors used in the original artwork. But that is the printer’s fault. Too many browns I told Hubby as he first tested our new printer. He likes brown, I suppose.

“Okay. But ask me next time. Also, I recommend you crop the daisy better. You left one border in the painting. It distracts from the subject because it is not part of the composition.”

“Thanks, Hun.” Hubby happily edits his narrative.

“Charlie. You want some milk?”

“Meow,” the cat smiles. I swear it sounds like ‘Meowilk’. Charlie is almost human. Therefore, he wouldn’t nap in my art bin. My artwork speaks to him too: He’s afraid of cows. :-)

What’s A Cat For?

For people.  :-)
Cats have been around for a very long time. They have been around humans for about 9500  years. Can you imagine the fleas?

A Maine Coon cat.
Charlie

When I adopted Charlie, one of my colleagues warned me, “He won’t last the six months at your place.” That disturbed me because I had lost three cats within the last three years. I hoped it wouldn’t happen again for Charlie loved to romp and hang around the woods outside our home. Ten years later, he still does!

More than once, I’ve searched for him at night or early morning if he hadn’t returned home by dark. He usually comes home when it was safe (I believe). He is a great hunter and a very wary traveler. That would account for his survival. He is a Maine Coon cat, which gives him  coloring that blends into our surrounding. He wears camouflage!

Our property is part of a forest. Wildlife from owls, hawks, coyotes, bears, fox and raccoons roam at different times looking for a meal. We found animal tracks in the snow around the perimeter of our house in 2009, identified as mountain lion. A neighbor photographed a mountain lion in our neighborhood that same winter. Another watched a lion in his back yard drag a deer off in deep snow. Scary. Now, I fret at letting Charlie out or before I go out at night.

I walked up to a black bear this last summer. He was more frightened of me than I of him. However, I know he is only about a year old. I watched momma bear and her three cubs the previous summer as they caught Charlie’s attention at the living room window. They were picking berries right by our door. The cat was ecstatic. The bears were so cute. But leave them alone and all is well.

American Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Réserv... 
My Black Bear friend.

My bear friend and I had unanticipated meetings this past summer, I felt he was obviously not accustomed to nor totally aware of his surroundings and unsure of what is perceived as a danger.

The bear and I had met about four times. Each time he seems to contemplate what to do next. Finally he remembers what mom said before he last departed to venture on his own, “Stay away from two legged animals who live in strange caves.” So he clumsily turns stumbling and crashing through the woods. If I walked up to this same bear and he were older, would he turn and run as before? I hope so.

Two days ago, as I walked our half mile drive, I heard a sudden crashing to my left among the trees at the edge of the drive. From the sound of each step, whatever it was, it was heavy. I stopped, anxiously determining what it could be. Then I realized it was my friend the bear. No other animal was as clumsy and noisy as he. I think we both kept an eye on each other. I had to return after retrieving the mail and there was no sign of my friend. He was probably up a tree like his mom taught him to avoid humans.

My cat, Charlie is still part of the family. I believe he thinks himself human. He understands some of our words and we understand some of his. Between his purrs, meows, growls and body language, I know when he is hungry, happy, angry, wants a treat, wants us to accompany him on a walk, doesn’t want us to leave or wants us to go to bed by 9:00 PM. He jumps on our chest in the AM telling us it is time to get up and be about our business, which is to feed him and let him outside! If we don’t feed him on time, no worry, he finds food for all. He meows while carrying a rodent in his teeth. As he approaches the door he indicates, “I know you are out of food, so come eat. I’ll share.”

That’s my Charlie cat.

Yes, cats are for people.

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