White Dog hopped up and said, "It is getting downright crowded in here. Doesn't that effect your light or something?" She was referring to YoYoMa sprawled next to my easel, Puff watching from behind the paint cabinet and Nuka sunning herself pressed against the other side of the patio door. I was working on our baby gift for Lisa, from The World of Hansel mommeh to Hansel, Tesla, Benny and soon to arrive human baby, Ava.
White Dog has always been my muse and critic as I work but it was a bit strange having such a big audience. For some of the WDA, this was a novel experience; they have never seen me in artist's mode. Quinn long ago let me know that he was more in tune with Steve's architecture than with my expressions so he usually leaves me to my work.
Each time I rummaged through the drawers to find a particular color, SAWD lifted her head to sniff the tube. White Dog peered at my palette as I mixed hues and offered a running critique. At one point I tried to shift for a better angle on a tricky piece but found myself immobilized by YAWD's position--front legs wrapped around the easel and back end on my foot. The swamp cooler gently wafted sweet cool air over us all. AWD gave up her deck spot to Quinn and came inside to take a position guarding the door.
For a long time I worked surrounded by my Army of White Dogs and the creative activity became a lesson in relaxing and letting things "flow." The pups filled the room with serenity punctuated by birds singing outside the window and shadow patterns filtering through the leaves. If art does truly become imbued with the emotions present at its creation little Ava will receive a gift of soothing contentment and love.
Most days my life is wonderful.