Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Day 26 & 27 - Forty Paintings in Forty Days

I was quite under the weather since Travers evening, however, I managed this painting on Monday. In the last four days I've taken about 40,000 mg of vitamin C. I can hear the groans from the health professionals but this has been my cure for many years and it works for me (placebo effect?). I believe that Dr. Linus Pauling was a genius researcher despite an avalanche of criticism when he first published his paper advocating mega doses of vitamin C.

This old cottage-type building is currently being used as a dorm. Late last spring when it was finally warm enough to venture out with my paints, a lady parked close to where I was set up. She began calling out names and setting out food for...cats. Of course, being the cat lover that I am, I walked over to her and inquired about what she was doing.  Apparently, there is a colony of feral cats that live in Oklahoma year-round who are lovingly and tirelessly cared for and fed EVERYDAY by an angel named Michele Jennings. She explained that she has not missed a day in seven years!

Feeding Station, 11"x14", oil on canvas
She has financial support and help from the Moore Foundation, NYRA and Quaintence House. Maintenance helps keep the snow plowed so that she can reach the feeding stations in winter. This is a labor of love beyond the highest calling. Teresa Genaro wrote some informative blog posts about the cats, like this one. I've since heard that Keeneland has a similar program.
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Today I wandered back to Campfire Court to paint Dutrow's shady barn straight on. I found that most of his horses have shipped out and I was suddenly overcome with the bittersweet emotion of the meet's culmination. Glad that it's almost over, sad that it's almost over. Not much gray area in my vacillating passions of extreme joy and sorrow! His help assured me that Tony is still here and they have some big guns ready to send over to the races this weekend.

Campfire Court, 11"x14", oil on canvas
I'll be too busy to be depressed next week. Lots of commissions to paint and several paint outs to attend. More on all that later.

With a heavy heart and an ironic smile,


Andrea Steiner said...

Having adopted two feral kittens ten years ago, I especially appreciated this post, Sharon. What a wonderful act of dedication and kindness on Michele's part. I looked up the two organizations who so generously help to fund her endeavor, and have put them on my list of worthy causes to donate to.

I've really enjoyed your daily paintings and recognize many of the buildings and sites in them from having wandered around the backstretch also some years back; a great idea you had. And I've also enjoyed noting how your painting style is evolving, becoming more painterly -- very appealing.

Andrea Steiner

Sharon Crute said...

So glad that you've enjoyed my endeavors to plein air paint. Some have been good...some not so much. But I learned a great deal and I believe it was all worth it.

Fellow cat lover! I was so taken with the cat story and find the entire thing simply amazing. It quietly hums along on a daily basis and hardly anyone knows it exists. And if posting and linking to the angels gets them some help, all the more spectacular!

Thank you so much Andrea!