Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fox Tails and Cat Tails and What's Brewing in the Studio....

Forest Abstraction

The forest clearing is rather full of foxes these days.... We've been hearing them calling in the night - distress calls, young foxes barking, and intense screams. One especially active night, I saw foxes dashing this way and that throughout the evening while peering out to investigate a sound here and there. A young fox climbed up on top of the wood pile and was not far from the shed roof. I looked out in time to see it yowl and scramble down into the night. They have surely gotten my attention, and Pasha cat's as well. He has been meeting them while minding his own business in the driveway - the first time that happened I came out to the screams of the male fox. The fox and a VERY puffed up and pointy cat were a few feet away. Nobody made any contact, but the screams were frightening enough. Since then, Pasha seems to have met with a few more here in the clearing and off in the forest, I hear the screams and then Pasha appears looking slightly stressed. Yesterday, a young one and Pasha surprised each other in the garden, today they met on the path. So it seems they have claimed my garden as their territory, poor Pasha is doing his best to stay close to home and keep alert, but now that the young are out of the den, everyone is out and about all the time learning survival skills. Luckily Pasha is a big cat, and not interested in fighting, but afternoon catnaps in the garden are not quite as sound as usual, and I'm wondering how long this will last!

Fox after the first encounter with Pasha

Maybe I'll get a snooze in, before they're back!

Jumping into work after a bit of time away takes discipline. After moving all the tools out and cleaning and reorganizing the studio, it was time to begin. Where to begin was the question. I started with a series of drawings playing with bleeding. I have learned much from this practice over the years. I've always loved working with bleeding and did many such ink drawings before the knowledge of the technique ever became useful in my watercolors. Now I employ what I learned when painting trees in the landscape. I take a  heavily laden brush and work it into a wet wash, the resulting bleed becomes trees and tree lines. ("Pines" and "Pines and Dark Sky" to the right are good examples of this) It doesn't always work, there is a delicate balance I must achieve between all the elements, too dry and its over... But today I could just play, explore and learn. Listened to Japanese Shakuachi flute music and frog sounds from the forest and out of the meditation came these...

Meanders and circles have been in my consciousness since I began 
painting stones....

And in the garden, after the foxes departed and kitty was sleeping, I wandered around to see what was blooming - a lovely woodland wonder - the Jack in the Pulpit.   


  1. Lots of fox activity! It's so interesting... I keep thinking about our sighting of the mama and kit the other day. I like how you caught one on camera. Thank you again for a lovely meeting. I'm looking forward to spending more time with you!

  2. Hello, I love your images and your studio below.

  3. Kim - yes... nice meeting, glad that to be working together and look forward to seeing your new work!

    Acornmoon - thanks for the feedback... its so interesting to me to see where people create, wonder why. I'm always curious... wonder if you've shown your studio on your blog? I'll do some perusing over in your world...

  4. i love the feeling of the meanders. like walking along a stream bed. the feeling through your wrist and fingers as you make them is really nice also. steven

  5. yassou valerianna
    I enjoyed scrolling down this page, the bleeding paths and the meanders on stones. I have snakes in my stuff, lots of foxes this year
    there was a barking match earlier with a neighbours dogs. the wily fox knew they were behind a fence...
    the samos post left a poignant taste
    pleased to meet you!!

  6. steven, yes.... rivers and flow and such. Guess they are kind of Andrew Goldworthy-esque!

    Manya - thanks for stopping by...! I just had tomato/feta salad... horiatiki... miss those Greek tomatoes - and... oh... so much!

  7. Lovely ink paintings... I love it when watercolour and inks are allowed to do their own thing, move and bleed and blend, its what makes them so exciting to use(or terrifying depending on mood!)
    Great shot of the fox too, sounds like you have a lot of them!

  8. HI Swan Artworks... yes, love letting the medium do its thing... and yes... FOXES! But, last two days things seem to have calmed down. I think it might be the neighbors who are seldom here- vacation house - who had a dog and weed whackers and all kinds of things. The foxes are scarce at present. We'll see if it continues to be quiet!

  9. oh i am dreaming of bleeding lines like that.
    your forest looks cleansing
    and i adore that you captured
    the fox! how lucky is that!!!
    they are so sneaky those padfoots
    xoxo ♥

  10. great blog! I love your meanders and circles! I will have to be back to visit often!! thanks for popping in at my place! ciao!

  11. faerie finder - yes, mostly those foxes are sneaky, but I've been nose to nose with them this spring and was wondering if they would be moving in to sit by the wood stove in the cool months ahead! Not that I would mind that much, as long as they continued to find food on their own!

    La Dolce Vita - thanks for the feedback... and I loved taking a virtual tour of your studio yesterday... what is it that's so engaging about seeing where art is made?

  12. so beautiful and inspiring! Love the way you let the medium to its thing, so alive, like magic! Thank you for sharing :) I love the forest and hope to move far into it soon.

  13. Beautiful pictures!!stumbled on your blog! How cute is your cat!! I miss mine :/

    lovely blog!

    Cheers, Jesa

  14. Thanks for commenting on my garden blog - if I see another (metal)cat, I'll grab it for you :>) Thank you also for sharing the fox photograph - it's excellent! I tried to view your blog before but wasn't able to, but I'm a blog-dummy. Success this time - glad to meet you. I'm in Southeastern Mass. If you like animals, maybe you'd be interested in my other blog, The Animals Magic Shop? Or maybe not, don't mean to impose :>)

  15. Jesa - glad you stopped by... and I'm missing my Sophia kitty... over a year and still hard sometimes.

    Lisa - glad that you found me... yes, do grab a metal cat and not the furry kind! Nice to meet you as well.

  16. WOW what a discovery- I love your blog! Sticks and stones and animals and feathers and fog. It's all so beautiful and comfortable!

  17. Hi Linda Sue - thanks for your enthusiasm!

  18. beautiful effects with the paint, i love it! fancy having so many foxes, we have them here too, but seldom hear them.

  19. lovely water colour sketches and I also love your dancing maple.
    M xx

  20. Hi ruthie, YES, we were quite overrun for a bit with foxes, they seemed to have moved on now. Thanks for the feedback on my work, I plan on working this way for a bit when I get back into the studio next week.

    Kayla coo - thanks for visiting and commenting!

  21. poor Pasha!
    I too love those swirly , looping lines :)

  22. Hi Danielle - Much quieter here now... Pasha is much happier... though a bear or two have kept him on his toes of late, but nothing like the high screams of the wiley foxes!

  23. V...thank you for coming by WindThread...and i very much enjoy visiting your world here, your paintings are very sensual and so tell much about the land...
    thanks, grace

  24. I love your site. And how old is your kitty? I have a kitty, too. And his name is Beau, and he is about 14 years of ago. It seems like he is getting old....Thank you for the beautiful site. And your inspiration today.


I love reading your comments and sometimes I'm good at responding right away, sometimes not! Glad you had a wander here, I hope you found the mossy path soft on your feet and heard the call of the Raven.