I checked out for a year emotionally. This is a long post because the entire tale is long. It may seem that it is about a cat, but it is really about self-reflection, humility, and giving up past beliefs and control over Mother Nature's creatures.
This is baby Jazz when we had brought him home. He was what I had longed for in appearance, but just like in Steven King's book, "Pet Cemetary", you can't really bring them back. The tale really began when I was four years old. My family was living in a flat in Detroit. Father had a work sponsor that allowed us to come into this country ( yes, there was NO welfare for political refugees in the 70's) and walked to the bus stop every day to get to work. We were POOR. Anyway, I was fairly lonely then, the neighborhood was not full of friendly kids (I almost got mauled by a dog the kids set loose after me) so I spent all my days inside the flat for the most part. One day, I was looking out the third floor window, and saw to my amazement a lady with what had to be 20 cats on leashes walking down the street. She looked up at me, pointed, and tied one of the cats to the telephone pole, then left. Mom let me take him in, and he became my best friend. He was a peach gray angora, all fur and lankiness, and whiskers (which he tripped over quite often until I thought to "trim" them--for which I was thoroughly chatised, and rightfully so!) We spent a year in that flat together, then moved to Hamtramck. Only a short while had passed, and my best friend came home, dragging his legs with a BB shot to his side. He didn't make it. The bullet took his liver. Fast forward 30 years. I never forgot our love, and kept a magazine clipping in my studio of a kitten that looked so much like him.
Nine years ago, my spouse brought home a tiny kitten for a sweetest day gift. Wow, he looked just like my first cat! I thought happiness and joy are here! He is back! But alas, just like in that book by Mr. King, you cannot bring them back. You can never have back the experiences that gave you so much joy, because time moves forward, and every creature, person, moment is unique, and when it is over it is simply over.
I fell in love with Jazz right away, but I was working 14 hour days, and he bonded with my spouse. No problem, I was happy anyway...until the attacks began. First the dogs, drawing blood, then my legs and arms...for no apparent reason. We took him to our cat specialist. She said, "some are just bad children, live with it or have him put to sleep." Oh, horrors, never! So we found a new vet and he was put on organic calming treats to temper his mood.
I have had cats my entire life, but never one that lashed out for no reason apparent to me. I used to fancy myself a bit of an animal whisperer, but this eight year experience took that right out of me. I saw how happy he was when I wasn't around, fine with everyone but me. Once I began to be home more and more, things got even worse, and I had to "rotate" cats and dogs to keep lamps and furniture from being knocked over. It was very difficult. I was demoralized. I had NEVER been disliked by any creature so much. Personally, I think he could smell my Hashimoto Thyroid disorder, and wanted to put me out of my misery, lol. Animals are very in tune to illness!
He was beautiful, fluffy (which required a great deal of grooming and hence further bloodshed on the part of my hands and arms) and wanted nothing to do with me. He terrorized the other cats and dogs, and had a room all to himself because of it. Well, one day I painfully realized that after 8 years nothing was going to improve, so I set about finding him a new home. Much to my amazement, he passed every evaluation with flying colors, and shed nothing but love on all around him.
While I was waiting for him to be adopted, I shed many tears, visited him often, and interacted with him very cautiously, afraid that if he layed into me, it would be all over for him. Well, he loved everyone at the adoption agency, everyone who visited him, and after four visits a mom and daughter took him home. They had lost a cat earlier, and he became her prince, and she his princess.
I learned a lot about ego in the year and a half that followed, about how wishing something into being may not always make it so. Cherish daily moments, but remember that moments in the past will always stay there, and cannot be recreated. Every living thing is unique and irreplaceable. I am no longer a cat whisperer ( and by the way I used EVERY technique out there) and realize that perhaps I was merely a catalyst so that the princess could find her prince....and thank you for letting me get this story out there, so that hopefully I can move forward in my life. I will always love the life on Earth, even if it doesn't always love me!
Most of us have had this happen. We go to a party and bring a gift, then realize with ever growing dread that someone else brought the exact same thing. That gift registry should have prevented it...but, alas someone didn't bother to check the list and now you know that your hostess will probably be returning two of the three rice cookers...see that robin in the middle? Yes, whispering will ensue.
So I did a little experiment....I gave away random pieces of art for my husband's friends to bring home and keep....and they were thrilled. Over the moon, because each one was real, unique, their very own to treasure.
When you give the gift of an original piece of art, you can relax because no one else will have the same one, ever again. The original, the one with the details that brag this is unique will be theirs!
A unique item such as original art, is a perfect gift for any occasion such as a wedding, housewarming, or simply a thank you for doing business with you. You would be surprised at how special they will feel, no matter what you decide upon!
p.s. below are pictures of the art that was given away in case you were curious!
My father loved pine trees. He planted them everywhere he could. Every summer we would drive up north and toil to water his seedlings. There were well over 50 of them. I think they reminded him of the mountains where he grew up. As I got older I really began to appreciate how they could enliven the dreary winter landscape with their pop of color, and whispering fronds. Alas, a fire took his many decades ago, but I had one in my urban yard that served to honor the memory of what was.
I spent the better part of 2017 fussing over dozens of pine cone paintings. I was grieving the loss of our red spruce. I counted the rings in the stump before they ground it and found that had lived next to the garage for over 70 years. I only enjoyed its beauty for 27 years. It was a piece of northern respite in a seriously urban landscape. I spent many a summer gazing up at its branches marveling at the creatures that flitted to and fro in the branches covered in cones. One of the few things that still connected me to my childhood was gone.
I didn't even realize it was a red spruce until I decided to learn more about the beautiful tree that was lost because of a high wind that nearly uprooted it. It was leaning badly towards the driveway and there was no way to accommodate it. In my online meanderings, I discovered some beautiful things about pine trees. All over Europe they are a symbol of peace. Personally, I find the cones to be a symbol of hope. A promise of renewal. Many species don't germinate until after a fire has ravaged the countryside. Thinking about the fires that swept through California last year, this fact gave me hope that nature would replenish the landscape if we just gave her some time.
All to often we are impatient for things to renew after an event. We want our spirit to heal right away, but it takes time. Nature takes her course and things will be different but life always proliferates and things shall be renewed. What are your thoughts? I would love to know!
This was the week when all of us, no matter our faith, took pause to remember, reflect, cherish each other, and plan for betterment in the upcoming year. Hold on to that which inspires you most and makes your soul sing!
It has been a whirlwind year, and summer is a distant dream in this season of crisp air and falling leaves. Your thoughts are turning toward the holiday season and there is so much to do, and so little free time! Below is a short list of places where you can find unique nature art for gift giving this season. More details on each of these to come soon!
But WAIT. . .you probably haven't even purchased greeting cards! Well, I've got you covered! If you love shopping on ETSY you can find them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FineArt4SmallSpaces
The cards will be live on this home site soon, under the category Greeting Cards
Here is the short list I promised for where you can find unique Art and gifts:
Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens MI 48043
Telephone: (586) 469-8666
Blaufenster Gallery, 17114 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
Telephone: (313) 640-4530
Fairfax Quality Market
899 Beaconsfield Avenue, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
Telephone: (313) 822-7074
See you soon for more information about these locations, and what you can expect to find there!
I finally decided that my art business needed a logo that reflected what my brand is all about. It took two months of revisions to decide on this combination of image and fonts. So many people have asked my why a bird, that I decided to write a blog post to answer that question.
Nature art is more than a landscape, it also speaks to us about the creatures that inhabit the world. The bird symbolizes the freedom and flight that nature art will give you every time you view it.
Many of you have also wondered why cursive letters, when all the world is talking about how cursive will no longer be taught. Perhaps it won't be taught formally, but behind the scenes, a quick search about instructional books for hand lettering reveals that cursive will never go out of style.
Elegant art deserves an elegant logo. Let me know what your thoughts are about the logo and the cursive controversy!
Lift your spirits after winter's sojourn. The Avian Adventures birds have migrated bringing flower blossoms with them in celebration of springtime! Sixteen paintings of birds, flowers and a few waterscapes are on exhibit at Schramm's Mead in Ferndale, Michigan from March 15 through May 14, 2017.
Venue: Schramm's Mead, 327 W. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale, MI 48220
Exhibit Host: Mark McDaniel Burton (248) 259-5330
Meet the Artist: Thursday, March 30th from 6 to 8 p.m.
Venue hours: Wednesday-Thursday 4-10 p.m. Friday 4 p.m.-12 a.m. Saturday 1 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-6p.m.
Where: Level One Bank Community Gallery
22635 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, MI 48220
When: Now Through February 3rd (closing reception on Feb. 3rd from 3 to 6 p.m.
Do You wonder why birds? Every artist has a different inspiration, but mine started this fall, when I became enthralled with watching an airport of different species getting along (for the most part) watching out for each other, and sharing food. World travelers whose personalities I wanted to capture more than a scientific identity, so I painted these from memory...no rehearsals, just letting the visual impressions guide my muse!
When the Grosse Pointe Art Association (GPAA) closed its location on Kercheval, I was at a loss as to maintaining a presence with my creations in the location. Keri Rasmussen and Blaufenster (Blue Window) Gallery to the rescue! She opened her doors right next to the GPAA, but then they moved. It could have been the first art gallery row on Kercheval, but alas she must wing it alone. The space is cozy, with a wonderful ambient light. She showcases many different talents, with unique creations ranging from paintings, to raku, to textiles and beyond. It is worth a stop!
Contact her at (313) 640-4530 to schedule a viewing, or stop by Thursday-Sunday during regular hours! Questions for me, please call (586) 596-0377
These tulips have gone home, as have the three flowers in their German Silver frames, but there are 10 gems left from Fine Art For Small Spaces, and in celebration of our new partnership, they are on special through October. Step in to Blaufenster Gallery and be transported to a world of beauty! The paintings shown below can fit in the smallest of condos, apartments, or those neglected nooks in your mansion!
Here is a sneak preview of just four of 20 walls filled with my creations. Large and Small, priced from $65 to $300 landscape and floral paintings. Who said you can't build a mixed collage wall of variety? As you can see, all these creations go well together, and can stand alone and hold their own, no matter where they find their forever home. Holding a show special, buy any three paintings and receive a 10 percent discount! I will also have greeting card boxed sets and prints from $18 through $25 available! The show is on through June 24th, and if you can only make it during off gallery hours, get in touch and I will give you a tour. Twenty seven other members work will also be represented at the back half of the gallery, so it is truly a feast for the eyes, heart, and soul!