Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sam's studio zinnias and other mysteries

Every time I go over to art/friend/neighbor Sam's house, I find something else to poach that I want to paint. This time it was three zinnia flowers in a vase. She was nervous about lending them to me, because they were sentimental, having been given to her by someone else. Of course I assured her nothing would happen to them. Brought them over to my studio, painted them late last night, finished at 2:30 am (that's pretty normal for me; I'm a total night owl).

Went back into the studio today to take a photo of this painting to post...and gasped as I saw that one of the zinnias--of course, the biggest and most vividly colored one--appeared to have a broken neck! It looked awful. Strangely, the whole stem (neck) of it seemed to be thin and a zinnia-hungry chupacabra had been at it in the wee hours.

I felt so bad, I gave her the painting, so she could have some more "zinnias" to look at.

That's Miss Lemon on the left, and my girly-girl, black Cleo on the right. She's developed a really strange habit this summer. She brings these big green pods into the house (see bottom photo). I don't know what tree they're from, but what weirds me out is what must go through her mind. She drags them in from somewhere outside our property (because we don't have any trees like that), all the way back to our house, then through the little cat door, then she drags them up the stairs and leaves them for me, one at a time, next to my bedroom door. It started out several weeks ago as maybe twice a week, and has increased to the point where it's about four times a day.

God, cats crack me up.

More art on my website:


Anonymous said...

i love your colour combinations here: vivid yet muted. your box of paints looks as chaotic as mine except i don't get little presents from cats:)r.

Anonymous said...

i love your colour combinations here: vivid yet muted. your box of paints looks as chaotic as mine except i don't get little presents from cats:)r.

Sandra Galda said...

nice art and cool cat story,,,,our outside cat, a stray we feed and water, recently brought us a dead chipmonk....not the first time. Some times she only "half" kills them. gross...and sad. I like the kinder action of your kitty.

Samartdog said...

The zinnia did not look "awful"; it looked dead. The other two were fine, so I tried to leave them there. But Jala was convinced I had put a hex on them and wanted them OUT. Hey, if a hex gets me a painting like this, I'll put more muscle to my mojo!

Btw, the "pod" is from a catalpa tree, which is in fact a giant bean plant. You can see the beans in the pod, magic beans just like the ones for which Jack traded in his cow.

Janelle Goodwin said...

I really do find your latest paintings to be especially appealing, Jala. Wow! That seed pod looks like one of the "cigars" from our Catalpa tree. Funny, funny.

Gwen Bell said...

Love this entire series of pastels, Jala. Great color and texture. The little squiggly lines inside the flowers add a nice contemporary feel to them.

Thanks for all the on-going photos of that precious kitty!

Karen said...

These are really great to see, Jala. I love how each time I come over here you are working on something new. And that inspires me, a lot!!
I mean, that pitcher below, what a beautiful painting, and then into these pastels.

I love the peapod mystery, and I loved reading about your Morocco adventures (crazy!). Glad your husband didn't sell you. :)

L.Holm said...

Am loving your pastel explorations. I didn't know Mark Leach, so am happy to have someone to look up.
These are really fun, and gorgeous use of the medium.
As always, love your cat pics and video. Particularly love the paws in light.

Anonymous said...

Great painting... I love the bits of magenta and those bright lines on the leaves. Seriously, it looks like you got a whole new box of colors!
Just be glad your kitty is bringing you catalpa pods, and not dead birds...

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi all, thanks so much for your comments!

I in fact have a complete set of Unisons. Maybe it seems like a whole new box of colors, Donald, because I normally just use my favorite ones. ? I donno.

I am not so fortunate as to escape being brought dead or half-killed wildlife by Cleo, as well. Unfortunately, it happens. The pods have been a really nice substitute most of this summer!

It's interesting to me how most of you are really finding the new "series" (unintended series) of pastels really appealing. I'm enjoying doing them!

Anonymous said...

I've come to expect kitty angles and antics.
But what always surprises me is your unexpected and fearless use of different mediums and color palettes.
These last few are really grabbers Jala.
Smart neighbor to play on your guilt.

Love your work- all of it.
And your animals know they struck it rich.

Jala Pfaff said...

Thank you, Bonnie. You are too sweet, as always. How is that little Piggymuffincloud of yours doing? I'm waiting for your next post w/lots more pics of her!

I am trying to become fearless about art. It's strangely difficult.

r garriott said...

Mmmm... I don't think it's a catalpa pod (we have seven catalpas and believe you me, I am Very familiar with what the pods look like!)

I think this is actually a bean pod from a locust tree. Maybe a honey locust. We had at my grade school.

Patrice said...

Jala - long time no comment!! I lost you.

I was gonna say it was a catalpa pod - but as usual my doppelganger beat me to it.I've been cruising your wonderful cat photos and the "crushed" video is da bomb!

More art to check out..