Oil on stretched canvas, 8″x10″.
Available in my etsy shop.
I spotted this book on the bookshelf of someone’s blog (I know!) and requested it at the library. I figured if that person had a copy, it must be a good book. And it is.
We Took to the Woods, by Louise Dickson Rich, is a collection of remembrances of a decade lived in a home deep in the Maine woods in the 1930s. No electricity, no indoor facilities, but there was at least a water pump in the kitchen. The man and wife were writers, so were able to afford to live on next to nothing and come out of the woods only a few times a year. This is a book that is great for your guest room on the night stand. No incident lasts more than a few pages, and all of it is fascinating.
Here is a passage pulled at random:
“This is what I can’t decide:–Whether I don’t have any spare time at all, or whether most of my time is spare time. Spare time, as I used to understand it, was the time left over from doing the necessary, unpleasant things, like correcting Sophomore English themes or washing out silk stockings in the bathroom. It was the time I frittered away on useless, entertaining pursuits, like the movies or contract bridge. Now almost everything I do — except cooking — is fun, and it is also useful. There is no line of demarcation between work and play. It makes it hard to explain what I do with my spare time.
“Take the matter of smelting, for example. I happen to be among those who consider going smelting a form of sport. Gerrish agrees with me, but Ralph thinks it’s hard work. Therefore, since someone has to stay home and mind the fires, he’s the one to do it, while Gerrish and I sally forth into the night.
“Smelts are not, unfortunately, the most co-operative of fish. In this country they’re about the size of average sardines — the Norwegian kind — and normally they live deep in the lakes, where you never see them. In the spring, however, after the ice is out of the brooks but before the lakes break up, they run up in the brook mouths to spawn. We stand on the bank with dip nets, dip them into pails, take them home, and eat them. The hitch — and never let anyone tell you that Nature hands over anything without a string attached — is that they don’t start running untilafter dark, and they’re extremely coy about the whole thing. You can never tell what night or what time of night they’ll pick to run, so you have to be there every night.”
From We Took to the Woods, by Louise Dickson Rich. You can pick it up and put it down at your leisure, but it’s always fascinating. Their home was near a logging camp, where the loggers were described and treated as hobos “outside” the woods, but became good friends (for a season) with the family. There is described the time the folks who filmed the newsreels came to document the loggers, and staged most of the incidents for the camera. “Reality film” was not even reality back then!
Look for it at the library, or search out a copy. You won’t be disappointed.
Did I show off these two paintings? I don’t think I did.
You can’t go wrong with a German Shepherd. Such lovely fur, strong contrasts, pretty eyes, and a loyal disposition.
And a Toggenburg goat is just fun. I love the grayish fur that looks so pretty when represented by purple.
Both of these are in my etsy shop right now!
Sorry about the no posting, but I’ve just run out of things to say. I’m busy, but sometimes the little stuff just doesn’t seem important enough to mention. Last night we had ice, but tomorrow it should be 60 degrees. The tulips are emerging — and I didn’t even notice until a friend mentioned she saw hers already coming up. So I went out to look, and there they are! Every year fewer tulips, even though they are supposed to divide into new bulbs. They just dwindle.
So today the ice is melting and it’s raining, and tomorrow will be a pruning of all the old growth sort of day. Fall became too cold too quickly to attend to all of it, so now it needs to be done so the new growth can start. I’ve already seen whole flocks of robins roaming through the grass searching for bugs, so I know (and am grateful) winter is just about over.
I’ve pulled out the embroidery transfers and been working on a project for next Christmas. I’d like to open a second etsy store dedicate to handmade things, so I’ll be working in the background on lots of things between now and then. I don’t want to give out my ideas, though, and encourage my competition, so I’ll just show off bits and piece to prove I am actually working.
I’ve got at least 10 little things embroidered, so it’s a good start. I’ve got lots more energy and ideas than I had last year! Plus it’s only March. . . . This year feels full of possibilities, doesn’t it?
We live in a particularly nice time in the history of the world, when whatever we want we can pretty much have (as long as we have the money). I was at the store at Christmas time, and picked up a toy model house which if you turned on the battery power, Santa rocked his chair, music tinkled out, and elves did some kind of cavorting. $16. In ages past, such a toy could have only been purchased by kings. That’s what I mean by we live in a very nice time in the history of the world.
We also have access to the internet, and can peruse so many sources of gimcracks and tchotchkes and other things that tickle our fancy. And we can ask to have special things made for us, just by searching for the right artist.
I was asked to paint these dogs, just like this. So I did.
Don’t we live in a wonderful time?
I also painted this goat this week, this painting is still available.
8″x10″, oil on stretched canvas.