Sunday, January 26, 2014

Going forward

A couple of weeks ago my bff kitty Shmoopie left us to go to the Other Side. She was just shy of 19 years old. We shared a lot of ups, and a lot of downs in those years. She and her brother Bosco were just wee little kitties running around the property next door to my old place in San Francisco all those years ago. I had a loose board in my fence, and lured them into my yard with food and yummy treats. I can still see, in my mind's eye, Shmoopie coming up my back stairs into the house the first time. Its amazing how fast that many years can whiz by.

She was galloping around, making her funny throaty roaring noise right up until the day before she got sick. She had one bad day, and a trip to the vet confirmed kidney failure. Usually she bounced back (sometimes a little slowly) from things, but this time I'm sure she just decided it was time to go.
Of course I miss her more than I can say, but also? its OK. She had the best life, and I know she's happy. 

It rained the day she died (it hasn't rained here for eons), and the next day we had fog. I'm sure she went back to SF and brought it here for me, because she knows how much I love it. 

This was the last picture I took of her this last Christmas. I love how the bright lights surround her. I like to think she's somewhere with bright lights now, too.

And life goes on. I've been a little off my game, but am slowly getting back in the swing of things. I have some 'real work', which is nice, and which I of course can't show (yet). 

I've started this little experiment to try out some new paper - Arches Hot Press watercolor paper. I've been in such a rut with Stonehenge, and have heard good things about this. I also want to do more watercolors again, so thought this might be a good paper for that as well. I have tons of Arches Cold Press, which is lovely for watercolors, but way too texture-y for my taste for colored pencils. 
This is 140lb, which is thin enough to see through on a light box. That's essential!

What is this? haha yeah, its a little cryptic, isn't it. Well, it will reveal itself in the next update, hopefully. Maybe you can guess (if you're an artist, you probably can). 

I'm using Polychromo colored pencils for this. I can tell the paper doesn't have as much tooth, and won't be able to take as many layers as Stonehenge would, but I'm liking it so far.

Oh! I almost forgot. A new little fur friend has joined the household. He found our cat door and started coming in to eat the week before Shmoopie left. He's from across the street - the house with people who, let's just say, in my opinion (and yours too, if you could see and hear what I do), should not have pets. He obviously decided this was a waaaaaaaay nicer home, and just moved himself in. 
I have since found out he's 9 months old, neutered, and has had his shots. They don't care that he's mine now, so we're good. I've kind of named him Pepper, but am also leaving it open for something else to sound 'more right'. He's a sweetie. 

And this has happened more than once now - just before one kitty is about to leave, a new one shows up. Things to ponder ...


Katherine Thomas said...

I'm so sorry about your cat, Paula. You've written a beautiful tribute to Schmoopie here. I hope that your loving memories will bring you comfort, and the fact that you gave her a good life with you. About the hot press paper, I'm very interested to know your opinion. I've been trying Fabriano Artistico myself, but I'd also like to give the ARches hot press a try. I'm not that satisfied with Stonehenge, either, I think it was the gold standard for colored pencil for so long that nobody questioned it. But now I'm wondering what else is out there that I might like better. Let me know what you think!

Sarah Melling said...

So sweet...Schmoopie was a lucky cat. And how lovely to have a new cat to liven things up.

I must be more adventurous trying new papers. I'm in a rut with my Strathmore Bristol but didn't care for Fabriano Artistico. I have a couple of sheets of Stonehenge here that I should try again, and I've never tried watercolor paper for drawing, so that sounds intriguing, too!

Ann said...

So sorry to hear about your cat. Our fur babies do take a little piece of our heart with them when they leave us. I am sure Schmoopie had a wonderful life with you and like you I believe she had a hand in selecting your newest kitty.

Whenever I tried arches hp for colored pencil I'd get these little blips of color stuck in the fiber of the paper that were impossible to remove. May be just the way I draw :-) I do really like Rising Museum board for cp though it may not work for your light table.