September, 2020 Wow! That was a great three month trip to Australia, but it's always nice to be back home and back in the studio. This month, it's smiles, gratitude, and art.
In need of a few smiles!
It’s been a difficult six months. I’ve maintained a cheerful face here in the newsletter, but I feel it’s time, while staying as cheerful as possible, to recognize the strain that we’ve all been under. My hopes and wishes for you are that you’re as well as possible and taking care of yourself. I believe things will get better. In the meantime, despite the circumstances, each day is valuable and we need to live each one as best we can.
So, I’d like to share two things that absolutely make me smile.
First, we’re feeding the deer during this driest time of year here in the northern California foothills. It’s not always easy to tell them apart, but we know of two does with twins, one doe with a single baby, a few does without fawns, and two young bucks. It’s wonderful to watch them, and a special thing to feed Blossom with her twin fawns. She’s been injured. In the photo you can see the wound on her left side. She has three more on her right side. I can’t even guess how they happened, but they appear to be healing well. Her behavior seems normal and she cares for her babies. I’m happy we can contribute to her well-being.
And, I’m a squirrel mom again! I, as part of Sierra Wildlife Rescue, have been entrusted with two baby grey squirrels to raise and release back to the wild. The boy and girl are not related but are close to the same age, so I’m raising them together. I feed them four times a day with milk replacer in a syringe fitted with a nipple. They’re eager eaters, in fact, I’d say frantic! They’re doing well and it’s a joy and privilege to care for them.
Being around these creatures brings me a sense of calm and perspective, for which I am grateful. What's guaranteed to make you smile?
I don’t quite remember how, but I discovered mixed media artist Laly Mille a month or so ago. I fell in love with her work and was happy to find she had several on-line video classes which I dove into eagerly. I’ve never been tempted by art journalling, but Laly’s changed my mind!
She was scheduled to start an art journalling class in late August, so I decided to make a blank journal with mixed media paper and try my hand prior to the class. A theme seemed appropriate, so I chose spirit animals. The first I focused on was a fox, and I did three spreads. Here’s the third one.
I found a photo of this fox on-line and found I couldn’t turn away from that expression! I knew it would be difficult to draw – either I would be successful, or I’d fail. So, I got out my pencil and paper and started. I must admit there was lots of erasing, but I finally was happy with my drawing and proceeded to use it as a collage element in this mixed media piece. I’ve called it “Winter’s Child.” By the way, the winter theme is why I didn't add any color to the fox drawing.
Hope you enjoy it!
More Art Just Because!
So, after doing three fox pieces, I wondered what would be next. I was doing a little straightening in my study when I came across this old photo of a dog. I remembered it came in a frame that I bought on Etsy, a cool ‘tramp art’ frame. But I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the photo. Now, a few years later, it's resurfaced to find its home. The theme I had in mind for this piece was a dog's loyalty being so much more than we deserve. I found her eyes mesmerizing, but I couldn't quite zero in on what message she's sending. So I found this piece a tiny bit disturbing.
Then I remembered another vintage photo of an unknown dog, a photo that is nothing but positive and a portrayol of pure love. Here's the spread I did with that one. The left part represents the cellular structure of dogs - all heart!
I'm offering you, my precious subscribers, a 20% discount in my Etsy shop, TheFoxesGarden. Any sales from the Bear section will go to Idaho Black Bear Rehab. Everything in the shop is hand made by me. From September 1 to 15, just use discount code SUBSCRIBER20 at checkout. I ship the day after I receive your order, and domestic shipping is free. Click on the image of my needle-felted mice to visit my shop! (By the way, the only item that's not discounted is my book Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor. If I discounted it, I'd be selling it at a loss.)
The News from Milkweed In November 2019 I published my first illustrated fiction book, Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor. This year, I'll be publishing two more, Dark Days at Milkweed Manor (the sequel to Tales) and A Milkweed Christmas 2020. My days are filled with writing and illustrating these books about the animals living in the Milkweed community, and I'm pleased to brings you news from this charming place.
Rumors have been circulating around Milkweed. Rumors about a pair of bats who've flown in from Batvia! Supposedly there were spotted at a pond party at Three Frogs Hollow, but no one in Milkweed proper has seen them!
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Glad you're here!
Comment? Suggestions? Just want to chat? I'd love to hear from you.
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