Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hectic summer

Summer is supposed to be relaxed, right? Well, I am staying in my pajamas until noon some days, but it's been hectic in other respects. Last week I taught preschool craft classes at Corbin Art Center during the afternoons. The kids were great! It really took a big chunk out of my days, though, so I'm happy to be done.

We gotten some sad news. Chaplin, our beloved cat, has cancer. He went in for his annual exam and shots, and the vet noticed a lump under his tongue. The biopsy came back malignant. The vet doesn't seem to think it's operable, but we are taking him to a surgeon on the 10th to see what he (she?) says.

We're not entirely sure how old Chaplin is. The shelter papers said he was five years old when we adopted him, but we're pretty sure he was younger than that. He has been with us since we lived in Minneapolis, so he is at least 14 or 15. He is a wonderful guy -- gentle, friendly, affectionate. Chris and I are both very determined that he get the best care and be as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. Ross is staying positive, bless him -- Chris and I both need that dose of optimism. Whatever comes, we know that he is a big part of our family, and we all love him very much.

And our lives continue on. Ross has to read and write every day, and he's been pretty responsible about doing it without a lot of nagging on his parents' part. He's been watching some tv and movies, tagging along on errands, and going to the pool with me some evenings. He's also gone on a drawing expedition with me. We both took our journals to the park on Saturday and drew the same lantern in the Japanese garden at Manito Park. I think he did better than I did.

Last night I walked to the perennial gardens in the park, and sat down to draw the Goliath Alpine Aster -- never heard of it before, but it seemed like a good candidate for a quick sketch. The evening was gorgeous, and the drawing was okay, but I'm getting a bit bored of only having simple sketches in my outdoor journal. So this morning, I recreated part of my sketch as a collage, and put it on the opposite journal page.

It was very freeing to cut out bits of magazine photos and glue them down, using the drawing as reference. It's a lot more like making an appliqued quilt, working in solid chunks of color instead of relying upon lines. Of course I've done more quilting than drawing, so there's a comfort factor at work. I think it's nice to revisit a subject in this way; it brings a lot more depth to the page for me.

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