Rumination on Dogs, gardening, and painting

I’m having house guests next week which is requiring a kind of cleaning and rearranging I haven’t had to deal with in more than a year. It’s probably a good thing (guests and cleaning). Yesterday I hauled all the finished paintings (well packaged) out to the garage and pondered whether I’m likely ever to get on my bicycle again. I don’t know, so the bike stays. Other stuff out there? There’s a lot of brand new stuff I doubt I’m going to use — a tree saw with clippers, you know, the 8 foot tall kind? A bike rack for a car I don’t have any more?

It’s probably time for a yard sale or time to put all that stuff up on Facebook to sell.

I also found a box of books — nice books, books I actually like except the books of erroneous history (grrrr…) my books of Chinese fiction from the 20th century, the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and one from the period of the Cultural Revolution. Also a couple of Pearl Buck books that I decided to bring in with me so they can nestle in my Chinese cabinets for the nonce.

The dogs got into the garden yesterday, and the frost took three beans last night so… It’s OK. It was an experiment anyway. I have six beans left (hopefully) and more seeds. I have also ordered a more substantial fence that will really keep the dogs out, again, hopefully. I was pretty angry at the dogs, but, they’re just dogs, and a little research showed me what had motivated their trespass. There was a desperate need to bury an old rawhide, something that could be done a lot more efficiently in soft dirt.

I “met” another artist yesterday on Facebook. She’s a younger woman and has a huge portfolio of work. Western artist in Montana. I thought about all that last night and in a way I wish I’d started sooner (and I have kind of always painted) because my “body of work” isn’t very large (thank goodness; this way it fits in the garage). I think I have three good paintings, but that isn’t strictly true. Some of the work that has been sold and is gone living in distant houses and (I hope) appreciated is good. I looked at some of the old work (photos) and thought about what I learned and loved painting some of them. Here’s a little gallery of small paintings I loved painting.

The Berkeley Pit mine is a painting no one will ever buy. Who wants a painting of a toxic pit mine? But that day in Butte, Montana was important to me. I was with my niece, from whom I’m now estranged (not my fault or desire), and we were on our way to Billings. I was sitting in our rental car in Butte when my Uncle Hank called to tell me my Aunt Martha had died. It was kind of an intense moment, and I liked the city and found the mine site fascinating.

The dandelions were in my back yard here in Monte Vista. The cornflowers were in my front yard in Descanso.

The green oil is a trail was on a small mountain in California where I hiked once with Dusty in spring. I wish I had that painting, but I gave it away when I moved to Colorado. Another painting I did that I loved painting is a water color of wild plums, but I sold it years ago. It hangs in a house in Colorado Springs. And, of course, I love all the cows I’ve painted.

So I had to ask myself, do I paint to have a portfolio or why? Well other than it giving me the opportunity to send $75 to obscure small towns in Texas.

25 thoughts on “Rumination on Dogs, gardening, and painting

  1. I guess I’m a flower girl because those two flower paintings beauties. And the cow painting. Are they not going to refund your money? Shame.

    • I think people look at paintings and say, “That’s just dandelions” or “That’s a cow.” I realize many people don’t look at or into a painting the way I do which is fine. The cow is on the wall of the home of a cowboy and his family, people I really love. ❤ So far they haven't refunded my money. I don't expect them to, but I had to try.

      • The detail in those flowers is what I love–I am a detail kinda gal, so I looked at these not just as ‘flowers.’ I’m happy the cow has a good home. He/she looks so content and has such a pretty face.

    • …”A completed online form and non-refundable entry fee (U.S. funds) must accompany each entry. Entry fees are $25 per entry submitted and must be received by Tuesday, May 11, 2021. You are free to submit as many entries as you wish, but each entry must have an accompanying $25 entry fee. When you complete your entry submission, the confirmation page will allow you to begin the payment process.” Non-refundable is underlined.

  2. I love the dandelion painting and I think all you need is a reason to paint and not necessarily for a portfolio

  3. Rawhide! I am sorry but lately I have been struggling with my mental problems and I have not been keeping up with my friends but reading you now I am better! Gracias Marta tus ensayos me ayudan bastante. Por favor nunca nunca MK deja de escribir ya que lo hace tan bien! Martha I need a partner either human or dogs dogs preferably but retired life is kicking me out daggers

  4. I like the cornflowers. I think the best reason to paint is if it makes you happy but I realise that doesn’t help when the garage fills up with paintings. Still people like your work and you will probably sell or give away others in the future.

  5. Commissions are always difficult. My mum has painted a number of commissions and a number of paintings that she felt might suit a particular market. They are not her best work. You were so lucky that those illustrations you recently did were also of a subject you loved. So yep, I think love has to come into it. I love all your paintings here, Martha. The toxic pit mine is my favourite! :0

  6. Lovely painting in that gallery. I really liked the dandelions, the really dark green and the bright yellow flowers. I can see that the pit mine won’t sell. There are many photos which are my personal favourites, but no one else likes.

    • Thank you. I was just in my back yard, looked down at the ground and thought, “That’s amazing” and it was just dandelions. A gardener friend bought that picture. 🙂

  7. Your flower paintings are exceptional… I love the detail! The cow is beautiful too and so are all your landscapes. I think we put so much of our heart into our art that some people don’t appreciate. If you paint what makes you happy then it doesn’t matter if it sells or not! I learned long ago to make pieces that I would display in my home. If I don’t love it no one else will either!

  8. Paint for you. If it sells because someone appreciates the beauty of your effort and you’re willing to part with it – bonus!

    It’s never too late to develop a portfolio 😉

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