Thursday, May 16, 2024


“If that door opens again, I’m running out.  They can’t stop me,” I said to myself, looking out the bottom glass window of the French door.  My people went in and out of the door all the time, but they always blocked me, every single time.   They were not going to stop me this time, though.  I was going to get one of those damn birds.   I mean, I needed to get one of those birds!

I waited.

“Here they come,” I thought, seeing a figure through the window.

The door opened part way and a foot waved around in the opening, holding me back.  It was his foot.

“No, Luna,” he said sharply.

I walked up to it, rubbed on it, and flopped on the floor, rolling on my back.

“Dammit,” I thought.

“Good girl.”

The door opened a little wider and he pushed me back with his foot, quickly moving through the door, closing it abruptly behind him.  I started purring, feigning that I was happy to see him.

There were two of them.  No, not two birds.  Rather, a man and a woman lived in the house.  They were nice enough.  I was well fed, and the affection was okay.  I did not have too many complaints.

But birds?  There were tons of those and they lived in the oleanders at the back of the yard above the embankment.  I had spent all my free time during the morning looking them through that glass pane in the door.  I knew them, all of them.  In fact, they had names.  There were Fred and Daisy, and all the cousins.  They were all there.  I watched them all day, every day. 

By this moment, though, I had moved to my perch on the back of the sofa.  That was my second favorite spot.  That’s where I went when I was sick of the birds.

The backdoor opened a second time, but I was too lazy and it was too far to make a run for it.  Besides, it was the nice lady that always had food.  It was also lunch time. 

When lunch came, she poured the hard kibble in my metal bowl, and it sounded like oversized bb’s bouncing on the bottom of the bowl.  Up from my perch, I wandered over and started crunching.

“I wonder what bird tastes like?” I thought to myself.  “I bet it’s velvety — all those damn feathers.”  My kibble was definitely not velvety.

After lunch, I was back at the door again.  The birds were there, of course.

“I hate Fred!” I thought to myself.  “He’s the worst of the bunch.”

And he was!

Fred was always chasing Daisy around.  They would run back and forth, and back and forth.  Sometimes, Fred chased Daisy so much she’d flap quickly to the other side of the yard, just to get away. Fred would of course strut over to pursue her.  Other times they would flop and flap deep in the leaves of the oleanders, their feathers lazily paddling through the foliage.  I swear, Fred was the horniest bird I’d ever seen.

Today, Fred was in fine form.  Daisy was coo-cooing and Fred strutted over, chest out, in a fat waddle, his head bobbing to and fro.

“Coo coo coo-coo.”

I hated this part.

“Coo coo coo-coo.”

Daisy flew to the other side of the yard.

“Of course she flew to the other side of the yard, you idiot!” I said to myself.  “That’s right! You’re an idiot!”

Fred strutted to the other side of the yard after her, his head still bobbing.

“Coo coo coo-coo.”

“Give me a fucking break!” I turned away. “I’m sick of this shit.”

I wandered back to my perch on the back of the sofa.


The next morning I sat looking out the window again.  My people were going back and forth with buckets of dirt.  I could see the man holding a shovel.  The woman pointed to a mound of dirt.  The man walked over to it with the shovel, putting the nose in it.

I could see Fred behind them, under an oleander.  He looked like a damned idiot.   I did not see Daisy, though.  Obviously, she was not there.  He wasn’t moving.

The woman motioned to the mound again shaking her pointed finger.  I could see she was saying something.

The man put down the shovel and grabbed a bucket.

The woman, still talking, pointed to the mound again.

The man put down the bucket and picked up the shovel again, the woman still gesturing toward the mound.

I, of course, could not hear what was being said through the window.  

The man finally threw down the shovel and stormed up to the door.  The woman said something to him as he ripped opened door.

“NOW!” I yelled and ran out as fast as I could.

“Oh my god! Luna!” the woman shouted. “She got out!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll catch her!” the man yelled back and ran awkwardly after me, tromping through the torn up earth.

The woman pointed.  “She’s over there!”

I ran as fast as I could across the yard and up the embankment, under the oleander, toward Fred, while leaping.

“I GOT YOU, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” I yelled in midair.

Fred looked at me with panic and jumped, flapping his wings. He went straight up in the air.  I landed right where he was, but Fred had already landed in the oleander above, looking down.  All the cousins were next to him looking down as well.

It was humiliating.

“I got you,” the man said sweetly reaching toward me.  

I rolled on my side, purring.

“See, I got her,” he said turning toward the woman triumphantly.

She scowled.

He picked me up, took me to the door, and threw me inside.

As I looked out the window, Fred flew down below the oleander again with the cousins still looking down.


The next day, it was raining.  

As I laid on my perch, I thought about Fred. “I bet he’s hating life right now.” That made me smile. “I’m warm and dry, and he’s out in the cold. I bet even Daisy is giving him the cold shoulder.  Stupid bird.”

Outside, the mounds of dirt were wet.  The buckets were full of water.  Even the shovel was soaked.

“It’s not going to happen,” the man whispered to the woman.

“It might,” she said back at normal volume.

Both the man and the woman were standing in the living room. 

“It won’t happen to you.  That’s what I’m saying,” he said, still in a low tone.

“You don’t know that. And it’s not like she can understand you.”  She looked at me.

He picked me off the back of the sofa and set me on the floor.  “Besides, I heard that Siamese aren’t really susceptible,” he said at a slightly higher volume with a forced smile.

“Where did you hear that?”  She was whispering now.

Both of them fell quiet.

“You read too much stuff on your phone.  That’s all I’m saying. Give the Internet a break,” he finally said.

The rain slowed a bit, and I was getting hungry.

After lunch, the rain had picked up again.  The man and woman sat in the living room.  I was on my perch again, my eyes half open.  She was speaking, her legs crossed.

“When the baby comes—“

“You mean, ‘if a baby comes…’” the man interrupted.

“If the baby comes—“

“We’ll decide.”

“We’ll decide,” she said repeating to him in agreement.  She got up and went into the kitchen.

The rain continued.


I could see the man outside through the window.  He had his shovel again.  One scoop at a time, he filled a bucket.  He carried the bucket over to a mound and dumped it out.   He then took the empty bucket back to the hole he just dug.  I could tell it was hot.  The man occasionally wiped his brow with a nearby towel.

The birds were behind him, up the hill, below the oleanders.  It was Fred all right and all the cousins too.

The woman was in the house somewhere, perhaps in the bedroom; I did not know where.

I looked intently at the birds.  They were having some sort of fucking party.

Suddenly, the woman came out of the bedroom, walked to the back door, and put her hand down to block me as she went out. She ran up to the man.  Immediately, she wrapped her arms around him.  She did not seem to care that he was drenched in sweat.  She said something, but I could not hear it through the window.  He then softly put his hand on her belly.  They kissed.  The man looked terrified, excited, but absolutely terrified.  They both turned and headed to the house.  Reaching the back door, the man turned the knob, his other hand gently cradling her back.  The door opened.

“Oh my God! She’s out!” the woman screamed.

I was running and running! I never ran so fast.  Across the yard I darted through the mounds of dirt, past the shovel and buckets.  As I reached the base of the hill, I could hear the birds.  They didn’t know I was coming.  I leaped.  Up, I went. Like umbrellas in a whirlwind all the birds flew up in the air.  I didn’t care. I knew the one I wanted, and he was not going to get away this time.  I bit down.  I had his wing.

“Oh my God! She’s got a bird!” the woman was screeched.

“Bad Luna! Bad Luna!” the man yelled, hopscotching through the mounds and holes like they were land mines.

“I got you this time, you fucker!”  The words seared through my head like a hot iron.  I was not going to let go.  The bird flapped and throttled around, tugging on his wing. 

“Wait a second!”  I looked again. It wasn’t Fred.  

“WHERE’S FRED?” I demanded.



“Coo coo coo-coo.”  It came from above me in the oleanders.

“Coo coo coo-coo.”  There were two of them.

Wings started flapping and flopping around through the leaves above.  Flap, flap flap.  Silence.  Flap, flap flap.

“Coo coo coo-coo.”

“Coo coo coo-coo.”

“Wait a second! Where’s Daisy?”  It took me a second. “Oh my god! That’s disgusting!”  

I let the cousin go. “Stupid birds.”


The man and woman sat outside on the back porch, staring out at the mounds and holes.

“I mean, she caught a bird.” The woman was visibly upset.

“So? It got away,” the man responded.

“So, you know, that’s where they get it from.”

“What do you mean?”

“Birds, mice.  That’s where they get it from.  It gets in their poop.”

Silent for a moment, realizing what she was saying, he said, “I have an idea. We’ll just keep her inside.”

“She’s already an inside cat.” The woman gave the man a look.

He could see she was not going to let it go.  “We’ll just be more careful.”  

“We can’t ‘just be more careful.’”

He paused for a minute and then asked, “what if she’s strictly an outdoor cat?”

Raising her voice, she snapped, “I’m not going to make Luna live outside!”

After a moment, the woman said to the man, “I’ll call Marcie.  She might be looking for a cat.”

The man frowned.  Inside, I was on my perch.

Later, after lunch, the two were in the living room again on the couch.  She was on the phone.


There was a muffled male voice coming through the receiver held up to her ear.

“Okay,” she repeated.

The muffled voice continued.

“Are you sure?”

There were two short words.

“Okay.  Thanks, Dr. Hutchins.”

A couple more words.

“Thanks. Goodbye.”  Looking at her phone, she pushed a button.

“Well?” the man asked.

“Umm. It’s rare.”

“How rare?”

“He didn’t say numbers, but he did say that I have just about the same chance getting it from Luna as I do eating pork chops.”

Confused, he asked, “are you going to stop eating pork chops?”


“So, what does that mean?”

“That means you have to change her litter box from now on.  And no more birds.”  She put her phone down.

The man looked surprised, then relieved, and then he smiled.  I sat on my perch, my eyes half open.

The next morning, I sat at my window calmly watching the birds, blinking slowly.  I didn’t see Fred.  I thought to myself, though, “that is the thing about birds.  Birds make more birds, and more birds.  And all those birds flop around in the bushes, and then those birds flop in the bushes.  There are always birds.”

I watched for a bit, and then I got up, walked over lazily, and jumped on my perch.

“I guess I’ll just have to wait until after the baby is born.”  I laid down. “Damn birds.”

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Monday, November 27, 2023

Friday, November 17, 2023

Friday, August 11, 2023

“Uliveto e Trattore”

I've been studying Van Gogh's olive grove paintings a bit. I then remembered that I took some pictures of some olive groves when I visited Italy a few years back. Digging them out, I discovered a few I liked. As a result, inspired by Van Gogh, I started on this small painting. I mean, it's not Van Gogh. It is just not. But, the inspiration is there.

After working on it for a while, I might have been going for Van Gogh, but ended up with Bob Ross. I'm not sure.

Even so, I've learned a few things: First, a stiffer brush is better than a softer brush. Two, structure in trees is better than too many curves. Three, Van Gogh may have outlined the trunks of his trees, but thinner lines are better than thick. Also, it is best to vary your line weight. Finally, alizarin crimson does not make a good trunk. Transparent oxide red is better.

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4

Sunday, May 7, 2023

“The Veil is Thin”

Some notes:

First attempt at using the Zorn palette.

So far, I've found a few things. With a wider palette, one usually paints with pigments. With a limited palette, however, one paints with colors. There is a difference. With a wider palette, you learn the properties of each pigment and what you can do with them. Not every pigment is the same, and when mixed they perform differently. With a limited palette, you have only four pigments. The mixes with these pigments behave the same no matter what. You really truly paint with color and value.

The other lesson is this: with a limited palette, you really have to mix all four pigments in some way. Pure pigment with no mixing does not look right. Compare that to a wider palette. In that case, you might mix maybe only two pigments, or you may end up with mud. In fact, only in the rarest situations do you mix more than two and only with very specific pigments. With a limited palette, however, no matter how you mix them, you can't make mud.

Lastly, opacity is not 100% opaque. There is some translucency.

Oh, and one last thing. There is no such thing as beginner's luck.

Session 1
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Session 3
Session 4

Sunday, August 21, 2022

“All Souls Procession Study”

I've had to sort of regroup after mom died. Most of my current projects are on hold. I did manage to start this small 11x14 inch piece to keep my chops up. That is all I can muster.

Session 1
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Session 3

Friday, May 6, 2022

“The Battle of San Romano” Reproduction, Part 0.1: Materials

My Blick order came yesterday. It consisted of powdered pigments, mostly earth pigments, though some modern pigments too, some walnut oil, gesso, tools for mixing pigments, and a hardboard surface to do a compositional study before I do the big mammajamma.

I’ve looked at some recipes online for egg tempera. Usually they use egg yoke, distilled water, and a little oil to keep it “open.” I chose walnut oil, which was a commonly used period alternative to linseed oil.

My plan is to do a series of studies to try and master painting with egg tempera before doing the final, to scale study, and finally the big one.

That is all for now. I plant to post each step along the way.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

“Battle of San Romano” Reproduction, Part 0

Okay, I’ve got one commission to do first, but I’m getting excited about my new project. I’m going to try and do a reproduction of the piece below. The piece is called “The Battle of San Romano” by Paulo Uccello, a Florentine artist from the 1400s. 

My wife and I saw the piece at The National Gallery in London in 2019, before the pandemic. When I saw saw it, I said, that looks like photos I’ve been taking at Estrella all these years. The composition will be my own, from my Estrella photos, but the technique and materials will all be period. It will also be about a quarter the size of the original. I’m expecting the project to take a year or more. 

Wish me luck! I might make posts about my progress.

Friday, April 29, 2022

“Dour Man Wearing Jaunty Hat”

Back to a chiaroscuro style portrait, but utilizing some thicker, chunkier paint to give it some spontaneity, and a painterly quality.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Sunday, November 14, 2021

NFT Art Carnival

I created my first NFT. It was an epiphany awaking. I realized that this was just a little surface scratch in a huge revolution that is coming. This is the revolution of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Non Fungible Tokens, Crypto Wallets, and so on. I firmly believe that this will be my kid’s generation’s Internet, in that what the Internet was to our generation, this will be to hers.

It will affect the way money is made and spent. It will affect banking. It will affect economics. It will affect the way you are paid. It will affect your taxes. It will affect the idea of ownership of anything digital. Facebook, with its rebranding, is all in. Entire countries are adopting crypto as their official currency.

I also firmly believe that this is the thing that our generation, when we are old, will be confused and befuddled by. Our kids are going to be the ones that have to explain the technology over and over again to us and we still won’t get it. It will be overwhelming and we will be too old to adapt.

Mark my words. Hold onto your hats and keys. A big change is coming.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

“Graffiti of Shapeshifters”

Soon to be an NFT!

You can order prints right here: [link]

Sunday, October 24, 2021

"Graffiti of a Glass Half Full"

Soon to be an NFT!

You can order prints right here: [link]

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

"Graffiti of Simpler Times"

This is another digital piece based off of one of my figure drawings in my sketchbook. I like the way it turned out and the title so much that I might do a whole series of "Graffiti of..." pieces.

Soon to be an NFT!

You can order prints right here: [link]

Sunday, October 3, 2021

"Cinnamon Bun"

This is a digital piece. It is based on a pencil sketch I made in my sketchbook.


I just created an NFT for this artwork and put it up for auction on Rarible right here: [link]

You can order prints right here: [link]

Sunday, September 19, 2021

“The Procession — Dia de los Muertos — Study 1”

This is the first in a series of smaller studies, related to Dia de los Muertos and The All Souls Procession. These are quick, and untitled.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Work in progress

Third attempt at digital art.

Progress over time:

Session 1

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"Beach Day"

Second attempt at digital art.

You can order prints right here: [link]

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

"Maison Bertaux Revisited"

I've been wanting to try my hand at some digital art. As a result, took my painting "Maison Bertaux" and tried to squash it into ArtRage 6 to see what would happen.  After shaking it around, banging it on the desk, and playing around for a couple of hours, I came up with this monster.  I'm not sure if it is genius or a four year old did it.  What ever the case, it's Dave's first digital art!  (Don't look at it too long; it'll give you a headache)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

"Skirts on Fire"

One of the performers that march the The All Souls Procession each year is a group of Flamenco dancers. As they march, the wave their skirts back and forth very vigorously, to the point it looks like they are on fire. It has made such an impression on me that I decided that I had to paint them. To be honest, it has been a difficult painting to pull off, but i think it has finally come together.

Progress over time:

Session 1
Session 2
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Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7

Sunday, May 24, 2020

"Maison Bertaux"

This painting is a scene from a recent trip to London. While in the Soho region of London, I came across a charming French cafe. After stopping for coffee, I took a few pictures and wandered on my way. Later that night, looking through my pictures, I found the perfect painting to go with my European street scenes.

During the execution of the painting, I tried something new. In the past, I’ve leaned heavily on a pigment called Transparent Oxide Brown. This though always left a orange/brown cast to my paintings. This time, though, I replaced the pigment on my palette with Transparent Oxide Red. It has made for a wonderful, more colorful painting.

Progress over time:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7
Session 8

Sunday, June 16, 2019


This is the second in my series inspired by the All Souls Procession, an annual event in Tucson, Arizona celebrating and remembering those who have passed on. This piece is a companion to "Mirror", a similar piece, showing someone in sugar skull makeup looking in a mirror. This is a self portrait.

Progress over time:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4