It’s been a mad scurry the past few weeks, trying to get the yard deer-proofed, 400 bulbs planted, lawn mower run out and oil changed, battening down the hatches before winter strikes. It’s raining right now, in fact. I took refuge for a few hours back in the studio this afternoon, leaving my 3 poor, starving and neglected cats snoozing on a nice, warm bed. As usual, this painting is a challenge. I’ve painted the plant from life. Painted myself from what I saw in the mirror. Hung some Japanese lanterns and started laying those in. Turned the blouse into a dress. Still figuring things out. Sometimes I feel sort of like a novelist — many of them begin a story, not knowing just exactly what will happen and how it will end. I know some painters do very detailed drawings first before they pick up a brush. I’m not one of them.