Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update on Rio

I'm sorry this has taken so long, I have just been really busy with various things.

We took Rio back to the animal hospital and the Vet removed his tube, vest and collar as his jaw is growing, and best of all growing straight.
He told us to take the splint off when he is being fed. This pleased Rio immensely and he ate a full large tin of rice pudding without lifting his head from the dish. He has continued to eat and eat and eat, and he has gained 7lbs in weight in two weeks. He has now worked out that after eating, his splint goes back on and has decided that puppy activities are better without it. I can only say that I can probably now lasso a steer in full flight quite easily.

He has also been reunited with his sister for short periods of supervised play. They were very pleased to be back together, so pleased that all they want to do is knock one another over. Obviously these periods have to be rather short, and consist of much catching of puppies in full flight. You can see what I mean from the photograph of them.

We take him back to the hospital again on Friday and are all hoping he can have the splint off for longer periods of time.

He is not at all frightened of the big dogs and barks as best he can at them from the other side of his baby gate, or pulls their fur through the gate. Juno is fascinated by him and spends hours lying near him.

We went to the printers yesterday and took Juno with us, he had a lovely time on the beach at Saltburn away from his puppy watching activity.

I have finished my French Grey cat, which was one of the reasons for visiting the printer, he made an excellent job with the prints. So here is 'Shades of Grey'

Tomorrow I'll carry on with my black scratch bord demonstration.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back to Black - Experiments with Claybord

Two of the other Fine Line Artists., Nicole and Maggie, have been using coloured pencil on claybord and producing some great work, so I wanted to give it a try.
I couldn't find a supplier in the UK so I ordered from Dick Blick's in the US, and sent for both black and white Ampersand claybord in various sizes.
The ampersand website has a great deal of useful information on using the claybord with various media.

I have been wanting to try scratchboard/scraperboard work for a while so decided to start with a small piece of the black and use a combination of coloured pencil, gouache, acrylic and scratching.

I transferred my pencil drawing from rough paper to the claybord using white tracedown paper and as always started with the eyes.

I used a base coat of gouache, scraped a little and then put several heavy layers of coloured pencil on top.
I will need to show you some detail in my next post, which will also show my homemade scratching tool.

A Sorry Story

Our dog puppy, who we've finally named Rio, suffered a freak accident last week. He got under the fence and in with the adult dogs in the seconds Bryan's back was turned, and got knocked over. Normally this would have been no problem as he would have been picked up, cuddled and sent back to the garden. But he obviously fell on his face because he suffered a broken bottom jaw.

Because he is so small and has broken it in right on the join, our vets felt there was nothing they could do for him. However, I got him referred to the Animal Medical Centre Referral Services at Manchester as they have a vet who deals in oral and maxillofacial surgery and they are used to dealing with show dogs (in Rio's case prospective show dog).
The vet we saw was wonderful, as were all the nursing staff, even though it was 7.00 at night they were prepared to operate immediately after they had dealt with another emergency admission.
We left him knowing that whatever happened he was in safe hands.
The vet decided to let everything settle down for a week and just 'splint' his jaws and put him a oesophagal tube in to allow us to feed him .
So he came home wearing a string vest to keep his tube clean and out of the way, his jaws taped together and a collar to stop him scratching.

But don't think this is a poorly puppy, the greatest problem we have is stopping him from running about, he is desperate to play with his sister and his mum and cannot understand his solitary confinement. Of course he is getting cuddled by everyone who passes by, and as we have him in the lounge with us there is a lot of through traffic.

Here he is looking extremely cross because he can hear his sister running about in the kitchen.

We take him back next Friday for the vet to decide whether he needs an operation or he can continue letting his body heal itself.

He has a long way to go but he is one tough little puppy so we are praying everything will work out for him.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Early Mornin Play

I am having all my hedges cut later today, so I took the puppies out first thing for their now routine morning romp, because the noise from the hedge cutting will be too much for little puppy ears. It is actually also too much for large dog ears and they are now all protesting that they can't sleep, play or go outside without being deafened. In fact their noise is competing quite satisfactorily with the machine noise, I'm wondering if I should ask the gardener to borrow his ear protectors.
It is a beautiful morning, cold and sunny with a beautiful blue sky and the pups enjoyed running about. We have a large garden with plenty of space, but we do have two large, quite deep ponds. Guess where the puppies make a bee line for, the largest, deepest pond, which is sunk into a patio so falling in it would be easy. No matter how many times I carried them right to the other side of the garden, they dashed back, fortunately my dashing is faster than theirs at present. Although I have a feeling that in not too many days the position will be reversed, then they will have to be confined to a smaller but safer part of the garden.

I decided Roxy should have her own photo this morning and then one of the two of them, don't be fooled by those angelic exteriors.

Back to art, the painting of Juno is now finished, I am pleased with it, because for me it has captured that something that is 'Juno'

I am in the middle of a large commission, which I can't share as the photograph is not mine and it is being done as a gift. But I do hope to start a new work for me later today so I will do it as a demonstration.