Friday, January 2, 2015

A Warm Studio & Rhu's Winter Adventures

What better way to celebrate a working heater in the studio,
than to invite folks to come for a visit? The day before Solstice, 
I hosted an open studio, a wonderful way for me to engage 
once more with my work and see some local folks.  

I showed my newest paintings and also some older drawings that will most 
likely appear in my Etsy shop sometime soon. 

After not having painted in such a long while due to the lack of heat 
in the studio, I felt a bit rusty doing a painting demo, but I seemed 
to pull it together. Here, I am demonstrating how I use a very sharp, 
wet brush to pull tree and branch shapes out of a wet wash. 

Here, I am adding a layer over a dry wash. 

Here, I am answering questions about my work and 
generally looking teachery, I think. 

Thanks to my former and VERY talented student, Olivia for 
the painting demo photos. Go HERE to see her amazing jewelry.

I printed calendars to sell at the open studio, and they are 
now listed in my Etsy shop if you are interested. 

Little Rhu Bear has settled in well to life at RavenWood, a little wild 
as kittens will be, now a master at climbing down trees without falling. 
However, poor little guy met a porcupine in a tangled root-cave at 
the bottom of a fallen tree, and, clearly, the porcupine 
didn't want to share her den. 

Of course, it was a Sunday, so, when I'd finally managed to 
gather up the wildcat (with the help of a student who'd just arrived 
for a lesson which never was), I whisked him off to the Emergency 
vet for some help removing the barbs. 

Turns out that its a rare event, indeed, for kitties to get quilled, so the 
vet asked permission to do a Facebook story on Rhu - he's a famous little 
guy now. A few other names have been added to the ever growing list 
of kitty names. Lately, he's been going by Sir One-Sock due to his neatly 
shaved leg post vet visit. Auto-correct changed his name to 
Hu Ear in a comment on the vet's FB post, hehe, though I 
may not use that one much.  

Rhu's adventure didn't seem to phase him much, and he was out 
the door and up countless trees the following day, though, thankfully, I 
noticed that he avoided the fallen tree under which the porcupine might 
still be sleeping.

We had a bit of snowcover for a time, much to my delight as I 
wandered in the late afternoon on Solstice to greet winter
and sing to the trees and the dreaming bears somewhere 
under the snow. 

Dad and I had a lovely visit, and, thankfully for him, just the right 
amount of snow and cold - not to deep and not too frigid. 
He spent a lot of time relaxing and reading by the fire. 

Life here, of course, would not be complete without a few owls 
now and again. This barred owl was sighted on my travels about 
town while gathering supplies for festive, holiday feasts.

Here's a small clip of her flying off into the forest carrying 
Happy New Year messages to all of my friends. 


Mo Crow said...

Such a beautiful post to start the year V & Rhu!

Velma Bolyard said...

grand to see this all, and see all of the amazing trees together! rhu is a force to be reckoned with!

Tammie Lee said...

wow your kitty really is a climber
up with the birds and squirrels
so fun to see
as was the demos you shared with us
how fun to have an open studio!
if my painting was not done on my lap on the couch, i would do that too

sweet new year to you!

gz said...

A lovely start to the Year! Rhu is learning!!! and that owl is impressive.

Penny said...

I love your posts, paintings and photos, so different to here where a bad bushfire is burning to the north of us. No danger to us thank goodness but horrible for those involved. We are lucky as we are near the coast and it is much cooler but yesterday the temps were around 43 degrees C .

Gwen Buchanan said...

Love seeing you in your studio and Rhu Bears adventures... What a climber, he picked a perfect place to live!!... great capture of the owl too.. she was huge!

ramona said...

If I lived closer I would be the first one at your open house!!
So glad Rhu Bear wasn't seriously hurt. He's just adorable.

Valerianna said...

Obviously the "Thanks Mo" down bit was meant to be a reply here!

Valerianna said...

I like the trees all up on the wall together, the studio feels vast when they are. And, yes, Rhu is definitely a kitty demanding to be noticed.. no meek, slinking kitty here!

Valerianna said...

I've had some tree climbers before, but never quite like this guy!! Ha, you could have an open couch with demo, Tammie!!

Valerianna said...

Rhu is definitely figuring out some things about his surroundings, and, I'm happy to report, he stays right around.

Valerianna said...

Oh dear, yes, brushfires are scary and devastating things, I'm sure! Oy, that's hot, I don't do well in that.

Valerianna said...

Nice for Rhu to walk outside and have his choice of hundreds of climbing trees to choose from! He has his favorites, though, Gwen.

Valerianna said...

I'm suffering from serious cuteness overload at times, Ramona... I'd like to freeze Rhu at this fun age, though maybe with a bit more woodland savvy!

ELFI said...

vivre dans la forêt et avoir la forêt à l'intérieur! beau !
bonne année!

stregata said...

Wishing you and Rhu Bear a most wonderful year. He is quite the adventurer and very brave - not being fazed by his encounter with the porcupine.

Valerianna said...

Same to you, Elfi :)

Valerianna said...

You, too, Stregata, and let's hope Rhu Bear is as wise as he is brave as the years go on!

Paper rainbow said...

What a wonderful winter wonderland you live in. Your studio is wonderful. So big with lots of light. I am very jealous. Poor Rhu what an ordeal however good to see his adventurous spirit is still strong. Happy new year to you .

Caterina Giglio said...

oh poor little Rhu ... what a scary adventure! so glad you are back to creating again! happiest new year to you! x

Sharmon Davidson said...

How nice to see all your work hanging together in your studio! Your calendar looks wonderful too! I glad Rhu is feeling better and avoiding the porcupine! Happy new year to you!

Sandra Dunn said...

Lot's of winter adventures there! Oh that picture with the extra porcupine whiskers! Thank you for the owl video - I kept watching and there it went! Nice capture. Wish you peace in heart and home this new year.

Barry said...

Hi VA - a happy 2015 to you and Rhu. The studio looks sumptuous with so many creations. Lucky people who were able to partake of your open studio - one day it would be good to visit you, your forest and your studio. Glad your dad's visit was a relaxed one. Go well. B

Valerianna said...

Definitely an adventurous spirit, this little Rhu Bear, though he is not enamored of today's wintery, icy, rainy, mixy stuff. My studio is truly a gift and, because I received a grant to build it several years ago, REALLY IS!

Valerianna said...

Almost back to creating again, Cat... I'm doing my best to rest before the spring semester which will start on the 12th. I'm in a little winter home retreat and not allowing much other than seeing friends and doing whatever I want this week that does NOT include any kind of work. Other than the work that needs to be done to get ready for school (always something!)

Valerianna said...

I've been enjoying the paintings all together on the pinboard, Sharmon, however, soon I think I'll need to clear some space for new work to happen!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sandra, you too... and thanks for all the little surprises you send my way :)

Valerianna said...

Would be grand to have you here someday, Barry! Might be the only way we meet as my world travels don't seem to include other continents these days.

Wyld Oak said...

Happy new year to you in your lovely cozy owly foresty home! Stazi Lu and Juniper send growls and greetings to Rhu Bear. I suppose he is going to learn about skunks come summertime....

Valerianna said...

On no, I hope he doesn't meet a skunk, Carmine! Luckily, I've never seen a skunk here, but I did smell one at the end of the road last year. And Sir One-Sock sends grows and greetings back to Stazi Lu and Juniper FROM THE DOGHOUSE as he is in a time-out for just having been a naughty kitty!

layers said...

I can see your love of trees in your paintings.. you are surrounded by trees -- especially for your cat Rhu to climb up them... happy new year.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Lovely. Your posts are always so peaceful and give new perspective to the winter I loathe.

The Art of Phil Davis said...

I love your work on the trees, not very good at words but they are very calming.Although I hate the snow I would love to have your views , I like looking at it but hate being in it.

Lunar Hine said...

It hurts every time I see those quills! Yikes. Your work is evocative as ever. Would have loved to meet you in your studio.

Julia Elfvenmyr said...

Poor kitty, but he doesn´t seem too upset about it. A healthy fear of holes in the forest could be a good thing, though.

Thesis writing service said...

wow..lovely pictures. Thank you very much for this extra ordinary site