Howie's Fan Club

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Breezes

Summer Breezes, 16X20, Oil

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.

I'll never forget the day I was mowing around one of the giant oak trees. My hat got snatched off by one of the branches and when I looked up to grab it, one of the tractor wheels caught the base of the tree and the tractor started climbing up the tree. I yanked (that's a Texas term - yanked) on the steering wheel and turned it to the right as hard as I could. For a few minutes, it was a tug of war between that big ole (another Texas term) tractor wheel and me. Fortunately, the wheel let go and the tractor did not flip over on top of me. I think Dad was keeping an eye on me that day, and I could just hear him say, "Nanny, now THAT'S why I didn't want you girls driving the tractor!"

The Transformation of Frito

Frito's first picture when she arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth
type 2 cancer and other health issues.

The transformation of Frito under the loving care
of Mary Fran Burke, Houston pug rescue coordinator.

Frito Portrait - Step 1

Frito Portrait - Step 2

Frito Portrait - Fini

You may be wondering how a puggy gal with such class and distinction ever ended up out on the streets. Frito battled more than neglect when she was brought into Houston pug rescue by Mary Fran Burke -- her health issues were substantial. She had surgery this week to have two small cancers removed, and is doing well for a senior puggy gal. She insisted on greeting everyone in the waiting room when she returned to the vet for her re-check yesterday. Frito's before and after photographs were featured in Dallas-Fort Worth Pug Rescue's anniversary video celebrating 10 years and 3200 pugs rescued.

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.

Mary Fran is hoping Frito will be ready for the summer social season soon, so Frito can wear her new Hawaiian ensemble - a pug-sized grass skirt and a tiny coconut bra. Mary Fran you are an angel on earth. We can hardly wait to see pictures of Frito in her grass skirt.