Category Archives: Cats

Daffodils for Maggie

Since I last wrote I had been spending a lot of time with Maggie our lovely 15 year old white tabby. She was dying of cancer and Dennis and I  knew that our time with us was limited.

I lavished her with love, play and attention whenever she wanted it. It was both a sad and a happy time.

Magnoia Rose

Magnoia Rose

Sadly almost three weeks ago she died from a very brief stroke. But she and I had almost two months to indulge in petting, loving, special foods and new games.

To back track, I had received an assignment form a client to do a watercolor for a  very large Daffodil flag. I was alone with the cats for four days while Dennis went to the Atlanta gift show. We usually go together but this time I stayed home with Maggie and Louisa and Buster.

I decided that I was painting these flowers for Maggie. That way I could be thinking about her while I painted and be offering these flowers as a tribute to how beautiful she has been in my life.

I did this sketch for the flag after looking at pictures of daffodils and made some decisions about colors.

pencil drawing for Daffodils

pencil drawing for Daffodils

My first go round was not great.  Then I tried another simpler approach

and liked these better. They were small (maybe 5″ tall) but simpler and I liked them.

small painted daffodil

small painted daffodil

Another small daffodil

Another small daffodil

I also did a swatch chart of all my yellows and then played with them to get used to how they mix, whether they were transparent or more opaque and how they layer.

Mixing is combining two colors while wet either on my palette or dropping a second color onto a wet layer of watercolor. Layering (also called glazing) is basically letting one color dry and then putting another layer of color over it. In all my years of painting I am embarrassed to admit that I had never really done this except spottily as needed. Always too impatient to get right to painting. I discovered how wonderful gamboge yellow is and also cadmium yellow light. They are both transparent and very versaitile. Gamboge has a more orange or peachy hue to the yellow and the cadmium yellow can go from very pale to bright.

Now I had been painting for almost three days and I sent the smaller daffodils to my art director. She liked them but needed to see everything painted injust like my sketch.

Finally round three I decided to paint the flowers really big and use my new # 16 brush. The small ones I used as studies at this point.

 And that was the perfect solution.   It was fun, and much easier I found than painting small. Also I could stay simpler with more ease.

These measured about 10 ” from stem to top petal. it also gave me a chance to stay loose and still do nice detailing in the ceter. Flower centers are truly amazing when you start focussing on them. That was what Georgia O’Keefe was about. Getting us to really see what was there.

.

Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow and orange watercolor daffodil

Yellow daffodil watercolor

Yellow daffodil watercolor

.

After Dennis got back we sillouhetted the flowers and  I also painted some extra leaves. Then I sat with him as we arranged them according to my sketch.

Final flag design

Final flag design

I was tired but happy. Maggie was hanging in there and I had been successful. Painting yellow flowers had been one of the

hardest challenges for me and I had finally figured it out.

Maggie and Me

Maggie and Me

Our friend John took this photo about a week before Maggie left us. She looked like a ragamuffin but she was our ragamuffin and a totally loved cat.She was still enjoying life’s

feline pleasures including her new discovery. The joy of drinking water from the sink and tub faucets.

From now on I will always think of Maggie when I am painting flowers. And daffodils for sure will always be Maggie

k

13 Comments

Filed under Atlanta Gift show, Cats, Daffodils, Flowers, Maggie, Trade shows, Uncategorized, Watercolor

The ball drops on 2013

Wherever you are tonight you may be watching the ball drop.Here in NY Times Square will be packed. Dennis and I will have a quiet New Years at home and tomorrow we’re going to see Nebraska and have some great chinese food on 9th avenue. I’ll do my traditional New Year’s journaling. In a cartoon fashion I map out the year we are leaving and the new year ahead. What happened, what I hope will happen and spaces for surprises. I always leave those spaces. Them there is room for new things to come into my life.A  Feng Shui principle

We want to thank our wonderful licensing partners for the opportunities they have given us and for the great relationships we enjoy so much. Thanks to our colleagues for support, friendship and sharing. It is truly an exciting business, this art licensing and we are very happy to be a part of it.

One resolution: I am going to learn new things about Marketing and time management and how to maximize our on line presence.  I will try a suggestion from our good friend Sheila Cunningham who is a marketing consultant to spend one day a week just doing marketing. I will spend more time painting!!!

Dennis and I extend our warmest wishes for the New Year 2014. Fill it with happiness and fun and work and family and kindness and helpfulness.

Fill it with fun

Fill it with fun

Warmest Wishes

Warmest Wishes

from Andrea and Dennis, Maggie, Louisa May and Buster

1 Comment

Filed under Artists, Buster, Cats, Feng Shui, Louisa May, Maggie, Marketing, New Year's, NYC, On Line Presence, Time Management, Times Square