Howie's Fan Club
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Here is a peek at a typical day at Flower Mound Studio. I just finished up the Frito portrait I showed you a bit earlier and have a painting of Rocky and Ruby, two little dachshunds, almost complete. And I've always got a few florals in progress. This is one of my large container gardens. I use the pots of flowers from my deck as my models for my garden series. Where are my assistants? They're all underfoot and lying about on various pillows, waiting for the scrambley egg making ceremonies to commence.
Monday, May 26, 2008
The USDA calls the Texas Thistle a "noxious weed." It's thorny and invasive and hard to control and one of my absolute favorite plants - these bristley things pop up all along the highways and in pastures in the hot months. I gaze at them with longing when I drive home from work, trying to figure out some safe spot where I can pull over and get a photo without getting flattened by an 18-wheeler.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Ah, sweet relief. One paw closer to the buffet table...
I'm just workin on my tan...
Good looks, charm, occasional flatulence...what more could you want in a handsome puggy boy like me?
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Summer Breezes is a painting of a subject I love best, sunflowers. My three sisters and I grew up on an organic farm in East Texas and mom and dad planted rows of giant sunflowers to help attract the insects off the other crops. Dad never let us girls drive the John Deere tractor or operate any of the farm machinery. After he passed away in 1992, I had to teach myself how to drive the tractor and hook up the bushhog to mow the grass in the pastures.
Frito Portrait - Step 2
Frito Portrait - Fini
Mary Fran has taken Frito under her wing, as she has so many other pugs in the Houston area where she heads up pug rescue efforts. This portrait of Frito was completed last night in my studio, thanks to the tireless assistance of my own three wrinklesnorts, Howie, Java and Annie, who have never missed a meal in their entire lives.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Spencer went to the Bridge May 9 after battling health issues for many years. He was a little soul who changed all the lives he touched. He was a master singer of the woo roo roo song, a pug who loved people without reservation, and a little guy who kept his dad's pillow warm and occupied every night. We send our love and support to his family, Lara, Rick and Nutmeg, who are missing him terribly now.
Winnie Wiggles was my constant companion in the studio, and my friend Judy painted this picture from a photo of Winnie that was taken just a few weeks before Winnie went to the Bridge. In this photo, Winnie was sitting by my chair in front of the easel, gazing up at me. You might think that was love and adoration in her eyes and maybe you are right, but there was also just a little bit of the message: "Mommy, can we have second breakfast now?" in her appealing gaze. I can't tell you how much it meant to me to receive this portrait from Judy as a gift.
Today Mister Otis is going in for a dental cleaning. It's risky anytime one of our beloved woofs undergoes anesthesia, but it it especially an issue for Otis, because he has Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). His mom Dori has tried to wait as long as possible to put Otis through this ordeal, but it cannot wait any longer. Please keep Otis in your thoughts today that everything will come out just fine and he'll be home very soon.
My heart goes out to Dori and all the parents of dogs with GME, which is what took my own Winnifred Wigglepants in January. Dori and I became friends through a wonderful support group on Yahoo groups for parents of pups with GME. Let me know if you'd like more information about them. I'm happy to share.
UPDATE ON OTIS
Dori just reported that Otis did VERY WELL today in his surgery - his vet used valium instead of standard anesthesia since the procedure was just a short one. They only removed one tooth, the tooth that was hurting him so much. The little weenie guy is feeling much better now. Thank goodness for moms who watch over their little ones like Dori does.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I am often stopped on the streets and in shopping malls and asked, "Are you the lady who is owned by the famous Howard Pee Pugpants?" Poor Anniebelly and Java Cheesy have learned over time to simply roll their googley eyes and try to change the subject. Living with Howie is an honor and a privilege, except for the times when he is barking at the TV, running out into the yard with his dad's freshly laundered socks, unmaking the bed, or peeing on the new Pottery Barn blanket. Howard has made it a life goal to perfect the art of puggy badness, as you can see on his own dogster blog. If you too are blessed with such a celebrity bad boy (or bad girl!), please share. Enquiring puggy moms want to know...
Whispers is one of my endless exercises in what I love to paint best, geraniums. Our back yard retreat and container garden is in full bloom now that the temps in Texas are up in the mid-90s. I thought it would be fun to paint this pot of colorful blossoms from a birds-eye-view, looking straight down, instead of the traditional format.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Mother's Day was hard this year for those of us who lost furbabies recently. Lena was a tough old broad of a puggy girl, and had about every illness and challenge you could imagine. But she had a strong spirit and was absolutely adored by her mom, Chassity. Lena went to the Bridge shortly before my own Winnie Wiggles arrived there a few months ago. Lena was one of the best loved pugs I have ever had the honor of knowing, and her fierce personality and will to live is a testament to the love she received from her mom, Chassity.
Chassity has written some beautiful tributes to Lena on her dogster page. The kind of love Chassity and Lena shared was bigger than life, and it will not be dimmed in the least by the distance between them now. My heart goes out to you Chassity. I miss her, too.
King's Road is a painting from a street scene in Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg is 70 miles west of Austin and was founded in the 1840s as a German Settlement. It's our favorite place to have a pug-friendly family vacation.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Just a few days ago, Cammie and her family grew by two more four-footed members -- Yogi and Boo Boo. Yogi and Boo Boo, aka "The Bobs" aren't black, but they have fit right in with the Black Seattle Pack. Cammie found them advertised on Craigslist last month and called the owner. The Bobs are two elderly pug brothers who had been living outdoors with their own little doghouse with heated blankets after their family's daughter developed chronic allergies about a year ago. The Bobs' family didn't want them to continue living outside - it gets pretty cold in Seattle! They wanted to find the perfect home for them. Cammie took them in to foster, but decided when she and Ric returned from vacation a few days ago, The Bobs will be a permanent part of her family.
I got to visit with Cammie and the Black Seattle Pack last year in Seattle and she treated me to a trip with the whole gang to Whidby Island via a ride on a really big ferry boat. When we got to the island and she popped open the car's hatchback, all five dogs sat perfectly still, waiting for her command to hop out. I watched people stop dead in their tracks to witness this spectacle of absolute training and discipline. And yes, I have recounted this story numerous times to Howard Pee Pugpants, but none of the lessons appear to have made a mark on my own unruly pug household, particularly Howard, who ran out in the yard three times with Carlos' freshly washed socks yesterday.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Into the Woods was painted on location at the Dallas Arboretum with a little help from a 9-year-old friend. If you notice a particularly gorgeous smudge of dark purpley brown in the bottom left corner, well that was the mark of what will likely be a future Picasso in the making. I never got her name. After she made her mark, she gave me back my brush and began hopping up and down and spinning in circles in her red dress.
We are planning another family trip in June and I can hardly wait to be on the road with the piggypugs. This painting, Indian Blanket, was completed from a sunset photograph taken in Fredericksburg last May.
The best part about traveling to Fredericksburg, according to Howard Pee Pugpants and Java Cheesybritches, are the bites of hamboogers they will get on the way up and back. Howard also particularly enjoys barking at every vehicle that dares to come near us on I-35. He keeps an eagle eye on the rear view mirror to ensure these pesky cars and trucks do not ambush us from behind. Java only howls for the first 50 miles, then drops off into a snoring snooze.
This year will be Anniebelly Bossybritches' first trip with us on family vacation. I'll need to start explaining now that she can't pack all 50 of her favorite toys.
Friday, May 16, 2008
In this second picture, Emmy is pictured below, with his sister Luling, above.
When Emeril "Emmy" came to Dallas Fort Worth Pug Rescue, his skin was in terrible shape. My friend Sherrie took in Emmy and Luling, his sister, as foster pugs because she didn't want them to be separated. It didn't take long for her to decide they would be a permanent part of her family. It's what we fondly call "foster failure." You can see now that Emmy is a beautiful, healthy boy under Sherrie's care. He has grown back all of his fur and has a sparkle in his eye. Sadly, his sister Luling, who is pictured with him, died suddenly a few weeks ago. She was just a young pug, and they're not really sure what caused her to go so suddenly. I dedicate this post with lots of hugs to Sherrie and also to every dog rescuer who has given their heart, time and love to these babies in need. Once you give your heart to a pug, you can never live without one. Sherrie and I both volunteer for DFWPRC - Dallas-Fort Worth Pug Rescue takes in all pugs regardless of medical condition, and is always in need of donations, volunteers, and foster families. You can see some of the puggies needing homes on their web site and in their anniversary video.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Pickles and Peaches, 16X20, Oil
Monday, May 12, 2008
I also received some exciting mail yesterday - the April issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing with my painting, "Bountiful" on the cover. I'm happy to report this painting found a permanent home with a nurse in Buford, Georgia, shortly after the issue was published. Bountiful was a small work done entirely with the palette knife. Winnifred Wigglepants was my primary assistant for this creation, and I recall she insisted on early lunch to celebrate its completion.
Sheri Bartholow's web site has paintings and drawings of her pug, Spike, as well as her figurative and botanical work. Sheri has been drawing and painting since childhood and has her MFA from American University in Washington, DC. Don't tell Howie I said this, but her pug Spike is one of the most photogenic specimens I've ever seen.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Boris was a little San Diego Schnauzer who had a pretty tough life until he was rescued by my friend Mindy. She nursed him back to health, both physically and mentally, and he enjoyed the good life with his pug brother Elvis by his side. As you can see, Boris was quite the dresser. His closet was always full, as his mom has her own business with cool T-shirts and gifts. In addition to taking care of her critters and running her own business, Mindy can play Scrabble in three languages! You can see some of her latest creations at her web site. Her designs on math and autism have gained quite a bit of notoriety on Zazzle. I just ordered a painting apron with a design of Pablo Pug-casso on it and can't wait to show it off at the paintout at the Dallas Arboretum next week!
Friday, May 9, 2008
This is my first plein air painting, completed last weekend at the Mackey estate in Southlake under the watchful eye of Stella the Canine Art Critic. As long as I kept the popcorn coming, Stella had nothing but tailwagging praise for my every move. The front of this painting may appear to be a blue blob encroaching on an innocent batch of giant monster irises. In fact, it is just a harmless ice plant in need of some root structure.