During the couple of years that I lived by the sea, I had a studio off of the kitchen that faced east. I lived on the second floor and there was a walkway out front and when neighbors passed by my window, I could wave and invite them in for a look at what I was creating. Manu Chao would be playing on the stereo and dinner simmering in a crockpot. The energy along the coast was very conducive to creativity, and whenever I would settle down to paint, I had a difficult time keeping Callie off of my watercolor paper. It was irresistible to her and when the paint was wet, and especially when I was working with acrylics, it could spell disaster. While I painted, I was constantly keeping one eye on her and the other eye on my work. She would have liked nothing better than to jump up on the table and investigate my latest creation by walking all over it and then plopping down and rolling on top of it. There was something about the smell of the paper that was incredibly enticing! I tried shutting her out, but had to put up with her howls of indignation, sneaking away when I thought she was taking a nap, only to have her discover I was missing, and to finally come to an agreement that she could hang out below my art table as long as she didn’t jump up on my painting. There were times when I worked on a large scale and I would have the painting on the floor in order to add gestural drips and slashes in a free style form of artistic expression. As soon as Callie spotted this turn of event, it would be a call to action and she would rush over in a flash to investigate what it was I was doing. It was like I had whipped out the catnip and was sprinkling it all over the floor like pixie dust. The look on her face was much like an artist in the throes of painting a masterpiece! Some day I will have to collaborate on a work of art that has Callie’s input literally stamped all over it by way of paw prints, scratch marks and fur imprints, and it will most likely be THIS painting that makes me, and more than likely, CALLIE, famous…..