December 13,2019

                   #21  Cow Pies


I imagine most of the world’s population has seen evidence of bovine bowel movements, I was raised a city child, and I only saw evidence of this spontaneous, splashing occurrence at our annual fall fair, the Pacific National Exhibition. As an adult, many years later driving the freeways, I found myself intrigued when alongside the road a bony bovine tail rose and with malodorous majesty, baked a steaming cow pie.

            When I first roamed the Kaibab Pinyon-Juniper forest, I discovered Arizona ranch cattle apparently took the time to back up onto piles of rock, dry old prickly pear skeletons and fallen trees to deal with this necessity of life. Somehow, when I tried to envision a placid plodding cow or a short tempered bull, taking time to back their hind quarters three or four feet up into the air above rocks, clutter and cactus, it did not seem likely, yet there is was — the evidence - great dry brown whorls sitting atop piles of desert debris!

            I pondered the pies for many months, hoping one day to catch a cow — flagrante delicto and preferably while I had paint brush in hand and canvas at the ready. Ah, what a creative masterpiece that would be!

            As time passed I began to lose hope of ever seeing the curious occurrence.

            One morning as G.B and I walked past a high, cow pie topped rock pile, I turned to him and risking his scorn asked, “G.B. look! See that rock pile? Why do the cows back up there to go to the bathroom?”

            G.B. slowly turned toward me with a stunned angry look on his face.

            “Charle, CHARLE, CHARLE! His anger and volume rose with each mention of my name, “HOW CAN ANYONE BE SO STUPID! he exploded. “WHAT THE HAYLL’S IT LIKE IN Y’ALL’S HEAD? IT’S PACK RATS — PACK RATS — PACK RATS!” he screamed at me. “They stash ever’ dang thang they can find on their nests — INCLUDING COW S- - -!”

            G.B. stomped away from me grumbling as he went, “Now she’s stuck that sight into my head. Ever’ time I look at a dang cow now, I’ll see it bottom up — on a pack rat nest! DAMMIT!”

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 12:29
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January, 2020
For over forty years, painting related totally to the American Southwest. It was people of the dry hot desert, solid mesas, cacti, stone and canyons that made my heart leap.

When I realized I would never see the desert again, I began a search for something to paint. Nana suggested, B.C, vineyards and took me to Penticton where I did one painting. Nana and Gary then began to take me on Mystery tours of the island and always included a vineyard. But they all were so green! So many leaves so many trees - I don't do trees and I rarely use green - dont really like looking at green, but I got started on a duty series not an inspired series.

I guess it was July or early August when we were driving home from a winery visit. I was grousing about painting the Festive Flying Grape series when Gary said "Start another series, you can work on more than one at a time."

For some reason those words triggered the words "I could paint the Island artists!" Nana and Gary agreed and it was the topic of conversation all the way home

For a while I was afraid I wouldn't get volunteers to pose but it is rolling and each one offers something special to inspire me. And it is lovely to feel all I am doing was sparked by Gary and like all I do, supported by Nana.

April Update 2012 Sixteen fine artists, many of national repute, have posed for Artists of Vancouver Island and many are booked or promised. There will be no poses after June 30,2012. When I have painted all twenty-five I will turn my thought to . . . what next?