Thursday, March 30, 2006

Milk Drunk Love

Wednesday Evening, the kittens all have a belly full of milk, stagger blindly around, mash each other in the head, crawl against the sides of their home & sleep in a tangled kitteny ball.

They're all plumping like ball park franks. Legs still skinny and shaky, but gaining strength.

Just to make a record of the time it took for birth (in case anyone else is about to go through this)-
5:45 PM her water broke.
7:00 PM was the first of the large voluntary contractions.
The book says 30-90 minutes for the first kitten from that point. Well, things didn't work out that way. Sabina took a good 105 minutes to send the first one out the chute, so don't panic if it takes a bit longer than expected.
8:45 PM first birth for the new mother.
Kittens two and three were spaced about 45 minutes apart, with the fourth showing up sometime during the night.

Shortly after birth, the second kitten was having trouble breathing, then lay completely still. Pulled it out and the face was still encased in the membrane. Pulled off the membrane and rubbed the kitten until it began breathing. Sabina was still distracted with cleaning and fluffing the first kitten. Put the second kitten right in front of her face so she'd begin cleaning and stimulating it. All was fine after that.


Hopefully we'll get some pictures with more light. The flashlight just doesn't produce enough light for good pictures. Next week will be better, as their eyes will open and they'll be more active. Currently they spend most of their time in a milk stupor.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Monday Night Kitten fest.

Saturday's pregnant cat photoshoot:

One of Christine's adopted strays turned out to be preggers. Very

We weren't sure who the father was, so many options- There's "Big
Yellow Headed Kitty", there's the mostly white with black spots cat
from next door, there's Tiger (Sabina's father, ew.) and there's
Tomás, all of whom are in the running.

Christine's solid black cat Spamy put in
the effort a few times, but he's out of the running because he's been
fixed. What can I say? Sabina's a friendly cat.

Tomás in his swanky waterproof bachelor pad:

Notice his white markings.

When the first kitten emerged, it was clearly from Tomás. So were the
others in turn.

Mom resting comfortably after hours of labor. Three (?) Kittens?
Eating eating eating:

Señor Tomás brings a celebratory offering.

I suppose this is a cat's version of a cigar and a martini.

Once it had been duly admired, and he had been praised, and he
confirmed that I wasn't interested in partaking, Tomás finished the
rest of the crunchy yummy.

(Tomás is a brutally efficient hunter. Catch, kill & eat. I'm hoping nobody writes in to tell me this is some sort of rare Echo Park Riparian Desert Rat.)

In the morning, the kittens (now 4) are plump and sleeping like tiny

Once they dried out and fluffed up, it became apparent that they
weren't black and white like Tomás, they were tiger striped like mom,
but with Tomás's white markings.

Sabina comes out for some quality time, and spends it grooming

More sleeping kitties:

It's hard to see just how small they are without reference. Here's my
hand for scale:

Early morning Christine and the happy father:

Sadie watches all:

Señor Tomás aka T-bone aka Mr. T lives on the porch when it's
raining. The rest of the time he's out ratting or surveying his kingdom.

Great cat. I'm happy they're his. Looks like Sallie's going to take one.

Late breaking news is that "The Milk Brothers" are also in the running for possible paternity, but since their white tips are significantly smaller than Tomás's, our money is still on Tomás. Plus, he brought the "gift" on the night of delivery, doesn't that make him the official dad? This is all so confusing. Apparently this section of Echo Park is some sort of cat vortex with billions of fertile males. I can't imagine why that is. Couldn't have anything to do with the catfood on the porch... ;)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March 14th Workshop - Theme... Jailbait.

The theme for the Tuesday workshop is jailbait. Only one drawing this week- Jen. I think it turned out OK. Conte pastels on black paper.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Next Quilt

As of last night, a new quilt is being composed:

(As usual, click for large image.)

I like the colors, especially that subtle blue. Close up it's a loud crackle batik, but from a distance it becomes a third read.

It'll be fun seeing how this composition turns out.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ben & Jennifer's workshop- 3-9-06

Here are a couple more from last night's workshop. If I keep at it regularly for another year, I feel like something may come together. Some nice color passages. The drawings still aren't rock solid, but that will come with mileage & getting back in practice.

Shirley held some cool poses for the short drawings, but I'm still too slow to get those right. Maybe next time.

The Photos don't capture how rich the greens are. If I have time I'll reshoot them/see if I can correct the color.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Fat Tuesday's Drawings, Feb 28

I struggled with this drawing of Jennifer for a while. Don't think it ever really worked out, but there are bits that show some promise.

Ultimately the piece became unworkably loaded with pastel & completely lost it's freshness

Makes me want to break out the oils again.

The drawing of Monica worked pretty well. A good start.

Experimenting with color and tone for mass.
I want to work on my edge vocabulary without losing any of the freshness. Not easy in very short sittings. Need to be more disciplined in my work, even when trying to keep the extremely loose feel.


Currently reading Harold Speed's book on Drawing

Excellent reference work. Amusing reading about radical new draftsmen like Cezanne.