Monday, June 28, 2010

Remembrance SCOTT KUHNLY, UFO's and PB&J

SCOTT KUHNLY, a member of Spanish Village for over 40 years, passed away on July 27, 2012.   For as long as I've been with the Village, Scott would give me bites of his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, long tummy rubs, and pats on my head followed by the familiar sounds of his voice. Scott displayed his watercolor and oil paintings near the entrance of the Village on the patio. The scent of Scott has disappeared, and the habit of seeing him almost every weekend makes me sad, now that he is gone. An overwhelming minutiae of feelings and memories leave me uncertain, but I focus on special memories with Scott....the minutiae dissipates to warm thoughts and memories I hold in my heart....recapturing my friend, Scott....and that feels good. Until Later, all my Love, Bella

Sometimes, when the weather is sunny, I like to find an agreeable studio (with lots of goodies) to lie down, feel safe, and maybe snooze a little, but today I feel like feeling the warm breeze blow through my beautiful fur and schmooz with my buddy Scott.
He's a patio artist who sits on his beach chair on weekends, situated in the front of the village, near the entrance, with dozens of watercolors and oil paintings hung from A-frames. Representational paintings of landscapes from meadows to seascapes, and more. Scott shows up on the weekends, sets up his paintings, and paints the day away. He has been a member of Spanish Village Art Center for approximately forty years. I enjoy sitting next to him, watching the guest stroll by, and enjoying how each stroke of his brush is one step closer to a fantastic painting.

Occassionally, a conversation will strike up. ''Is that what I think it is?'' says an observant guest. And Scott will say 'yes'.....'yes it is an extraterrestial object in the sky of my painting'.....Scott sneaks in an occassional UFO, however minute, in his paintings....I am amazed at how many guests admit to having seen an UFO, as Scott has remarkably witnessed one. If you hang around Scott, you'll undoubtedly listen to some interesting conversations.
''Hey girl, ready for lunch?'
' ''Do you have to ask me?'' I wag my tail and gaze into his kind eyes.
''Ready for some peanut butter and jelly, and some string cheese, girl?''
''AM I?!'' Just one more thing to make this lunch perfect! I rolled over on my back and said ''rub my tummy!'' AHHHH!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ham Sandwich and Rebecca

It's a sleepy Wednesday afternoon, not very many guest meandering through Spanish Village Art Center....and still no invitations for lunch...I lifted my head, still lounging under the Jacaranda tree, with a couple blossoms adorning my fluffy demeanor...I do my Bella stretch and for extra measure shake all the way to the tip of my tail....'now I am beyond perfection'...'somebody around here has got to have goodies'
...walking down the patio, lined with planters of Jacaranada, gladiolas, freezias, calendulas and so much more competing vibrant colors, I step into studio 6....
Rebecca is sitting behind her card table sewing away, using teneriffe stitches and pine needles, creating dreamcatchers....a Native American concept of netting out the bad dreams and letting in the good....I heard her say she's made thousands of these intricately woven hanging beauties adorned with colorful glass beads, feathers, antique findings and more.
Rebecca pets me on the head and says 'hi girl', 'are you going to keep me company?' I wag my tail, lick her hand and hope she knows I haven't had lunch.
It's a lazy day, so I lie down next to Rebecca, one paw resting on her sandaled foot. I feel sprinkles of water on my fur. She is beginning to make a large king palm sheath container....still soaked, and folded over to be sewn on the sides, Rebecca adorns them with more interesting findings, such as parts from an antique Chinese bed, antique glass beads, feathers of all kinds, and so much more.
I look at her and with my beautiful brown eyes. I look at the refrigerator....nope, no cognition of what I am trying to convey....Oy Vey! some humans can be thick! I lift myself up and walk to the refrigerator, and bark! How demeaning, I usually don't consider myself a barker, such a common a behavior.....but, I am hungry.
''Are you hungry, girl?''
Oye Vey, am I hungry? ! Usually I don't have to go to this extent for food. Rebecca walked over to the refrigerator, pulled out a ham sandwich, and, and, I don't believe it, GAVE IT ALL TO ME!!!
Where would this world be without generous hearts, like Rebecca! Yummy! Yummy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Metal Goddesses, Sharon and an Australian

It was an overcast, sleepy afternoon day. I was sprawled out in studio 26 when my nap was interrupted by a guest entering. Drowsily, I could hear Sharon's Celtic music drifting through the air.
Today, Sharon had decided not to pound on her copper and brass creations, but to sit quietly, adding embellishments such as colorful beads on her creations...finishing touches meant to attract the passersby. Much of her artwork is hung along the window space, the sun's rays shining through the beads. Day of the Dead masks, goddesses with words of a wild woman inscribed , and other feminist artwork, line the walls. One wonders what goes on in the head of a feminist metal artist who writes whimsical words of wisdom...and creates this wonderful art.
Sharon looks up to the customer, ''Hi''. ''If there's any questions, just let me know. Those paintings are done by Lai. She uses oil pastels on canvas, and, as you can tell, she's into dogs.''
The customer has a big smile on her face and said ''I love these happy paintings! They are so colorful and uplifting! How much is this?''
Sharon gets up to check the price and said ''Where are you from?''
''I'm traveling here from Australia''. ''I was wondering if this painting could be sent to me?''
''No, I'm sorry, but I think it is small enough to be a carry on. I could drop the price $15 if you would like to buy it and carry it on the plane.'' (great negotiation Sharon).
The customer kept smiling at the painting and said ''yes'', she'd like that.
Sharon wrapped up the painting...handed it to the smiling lady.
It feels so good to make a customer happy....Lai is happy for selling the painting...and Sharon is happy for making the sale....we are all happy. What??? sniff! sniff! Time for our mid afternoon snack! A milk bone for me and whatt???? CHICKEN for Sharon??? NOT FAIR!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


In the morning, mist settles on the premises....I just heard Winchester, the cat, chase a angry chirping squirrel across the adobe tiled roof...both, had wild eyes looks...when will Winchester ever realize he's too slow for the squirrels?
Never, because cats are vacuous...lick themselves, chase rats, mice and squirrels, and hope to have enough to sustain themselves....I, on the other hand, relish the treats given to me by the village artists, no chasing like Winchester, no demeaning artists take pleasure in feeding me. I do my Bella stretch, heads up, tail up, back arched, toes spread wide, ahhhh! such a satisfying feeling, and swoosh! My bella shake! Now, all my hairs are in place to perfection! I am perfection!
There goes Marji into the cat show...hmmm, I wonder if there are leftovers from last night's reception??? I'll trot on over to investigate....into the door of Gallery 21 I go. CATS! It's the Catnip Connection 4 Show. Cats of all sorts festoon all the walls. Oil representational, abstracts (I see on of Don's), expressionism, ceramic cats, colored pencil cats, mixed media kitties.... BUT first place is a large photo of a cat sitting in a bowl looking at his shadow....Mary Ella's work! Congratulations! A photograph took first place!
I walk through the gallery shaking my head with doubt and wonder at this admiration of the feline race, and see Marji. She is carrying a hand made bowl from the potter's guild full of ham and what???!!!?? SALAMI! Oh solo mia!!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ceramics and Abstracts

Sunday afternoon was sunny and warm. Tables covered with ceramics were set out along the length of the main patio....pots, cups, cassaroles, dishes, vases, sculptures, masks, and other artwork only the imagination can define. It was the Pottery Guild's Semi-Annual Sale.
Visitors balancing armfuls of ceramics, people meandering from table to table searching for that special bargain or find. Bella considered making her rounds up and down the patio to welcome the new guests and say hi to the returning Potter's Guild members....but first the bella stretch: back arched, head looking up to sky, tail pointed high, toes stretched wide....ahhhhh! step two: shake shake shake! every hair is perfection....''now, I am ready to strut my stuff .''
I went to lick the hand of Don in studio 3, who was concentrating on his spectacular, colorful, abstracts....I tilted my head to focus on a semi-completed lion's face with colorful splashes of dots around's whimsey made me smile....and I wondered what goes on in the head of an abstract artist?
I poked my head outside his door and began my job of welcoming guests....nice life if you can get it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Winchester Doesn't Get Donuts

In our village, we have a gray cat, Winchester, whom I leave food for on occasion....he jumps from roof top to roof top, disturbing the chirping squirrels, all the while, hunting for stray rats and mice...a high protein diet, if there ever was one.
I lie down next to Gallery 21, and watch Winchester groom all parts of his body, consuming hours out of the can any cat be so vain...I give myself a few licks, and quickly shake each fur on my body into perfection. And, now I have to remove myself from the doorway of Gallery 21.
This morning they are jurying the- Catnip Connection 4 Show!
Every year, Vicky and Marji help organize a fundraiser for feral cats...and yes, I value this, because it wasn't many years ago, I was homeless, displaced and very scared. If it wasn't for the big caring hearts of Vicky, Marji, and the other volunteers, many cats would have less help...odd how the love of cats, competition of art, and big hearts, can translate into helping furry felines.
All these giddy and/or apprehensive women and serious men are carrying different renditions of cats. Each are carrying shades of uncertainty towards being juried into the show...
Big and small canvases, cats! cats!... purple and lime green cats, space cats, wild cats, kitty cats! TOO MANY CATS!!! As I sit and watch each painting pass through the door, I am amazed at how many facets can be called a cat. Such boring predictable creatures.
Vicky and Marji are busily collecting and checking in the occasional pat on my head, or remark about my beautiful fluffy ears grace my ears and I wonder if they notice my new collar....why don't they put on a DOG show...dogs are, without doubt, the race that is far superior to vacuous cats.
I pad my feet into Gallery 21. Vicky pats me on the head and says ''Are you in to see the cats, girl?'' As I pass her desk, out of the corner of my nose, I smell donuts! DONUTS! I decide to lie down on Vicky's feet and wait for her to open the box of donuts! Ummm!
You won't see the likes of Winchester feasting on these!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A New Collar for Bella

I woke up to the hammering sound from Margaret in studio 20....there she was sitting behind her large, beat up wooden table, pounding away on leather.
One of a kind, colorfully etched leather purses of all shapes, sewn by hand, is the result of all her concentrated pounding.
''Bella!'' She called me over and pat me on my head, pulling my silky ears as her hand retreated. ''Look girl''. Above my head dangled a brand new leather collar complete with colorful india ink etchings of flowers, bumblebees, lady bugs, and right in the middle my name 'BELLA' all in beautiful shades of pink, my favorite color!
''There you go Bella, for being such a good guard dog when I stay late at night''.
I was so excited, I ran in circles with happiness occassionally letting out a feminine yelp.
And then, Margaret ran her hand over my head and gently pulled on both ears, and told me I was pretty....I perked up my nose for the aroma of ????
Margaret had KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN for me!
It is such a wonderful feeling when your friends treat you right! (even if I do hold water tomorrow)...... ;-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate, anyone?

The sun is set and the sky is a dusty, dark, blue, remnants of the day. Sounds of voices, happy voices, drift through the air. Looking down the patio, it is decked with strings of twinkling white lights, studios are lit with leftover Christmas lights, the flowers in the planters still shout out their colors, and the sound of Sue Palmer belting out Route 66 sets the mood. The Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival has begun, a benefit for the Women's History Museum.
Bella arches her back, spreads her delicate toes, and lifts her head to the stars and tips up her tail...her traditional 'Bella Stretch'....time to get up from the cozy blanket Cassandra in studio 32 has laid down...she has put a silk ribbon bow in my collar for the festivities. It is tied dyed, one of Cassandra's specialties for her beautiful silk work. If Bella were a human, she'd prefer the purple, pink & orange kimono displayed....but, humans have their draw backs...better stay a dog, less problems. Bella looks up with her soulful brown eyes and shows Cassandra her appreciation and trots off to inspect the festival...who wouldn't love a dog festooned with a tied dye bow on her collar? Bella walks down the patio, little screams of delight at my sight, hands petting my beautiful coat, remarks about my long, shaggy, fur, men wearing Hawaiian shirts patting me alittle too hard, and I try very hard to avoid those 5 inch heels these women are balancing on...I can see the tables are decorated with yellow sunflowers, and odd as this many seem....I see a single hummingbird balancing itself atop the tip of the highest point of a tree....oops! now some one is trying to pick me up....have to squirm my way out of this and trot on.....Many people are swing dancing to the beat of the Sue Palmer Trio....if I were human, I'd learn to swing dance....and WHATT is that??? Dancing??? It's the 'Wine God'!! And she has pizza on her breath! Pizza! Pizza! Now my venture has a goal! Ciao!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

'P' is for Paintings & Panetone!

When I wake up in the mornings, I like to stretch out like one of Jon's cats, look up to the sky, lift my tail up and spread wide my toes! Followed by a good body shake, all is good... especially to be alive here in Spanish Village Art Center...with my artist friends who everyday create all sorts of paintings and sculptures from abstract to representational and so much more arts & crafts.
This afternoon, I am curled up in Carol's cozy studio (#1), occassionally looking up to see her progressing on a colorful expressionistic painting of Italy.
Her pallet of colors are smeared across a large glass square of oil paints in itself forming an interesting painting. I pretend we are in Italy, and Carol is painting in a charming studio in Tuscany....where are our glasses of vino?
...What's that I hear, as I lift my beautiful fluffy ears up. Plastic ruffling? Plastic ruffling over , hmmm, panetone! Panetone! As I open my eyes, I see smiling Carol handing me a piece to savor. Ummm! Time to beg another piece! Ciao!
NOTE: Images are Copyright Protected! Artist Carol Foster, Fine Art - Oil Find Carol in Studio 1

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May I introduce myself?

Hello, I am Isabella Conchita. I am a canine member of Spanish Village Art Center.... Some might call me a gentrified canine, an artist aficianada or, just a faithful fixture in the Village for the past few years.
Yes, it was a lucky day when I first stumbled into this beautiful artist's colony. My stomach hurt from hunger, my legs were shakey, my skin was covered with those lowly fleas, and my beautiful fur was all matted. I was so scared. Everyone took good care of me. The good artists gave me food, shelter and those long belly rubs and words of love. Soon I realized this was my home, Spanish Village Art Center.
Just call me Bella, which means's much easier to remember than Isabella, don't you think? Most people notice my long, fluffy fur, admiring my shaggy face, but my real beauty is in my feminine little nose, soulful big brown eyes and how readily I wag my tail. Other dogs tell me I am quite a dish.
Hmmm, talking about dish, I wonder what the Potter's Guild is dishing out for my dinner. I feel so special when they feed me out of their handmade dishes.....hmmmm, is that chicken salad i smell???