All the images on this blog are the copyright property of the artist and his agent, and may not be reproduced without permission.

Napster sincerely hopes that people viewing these images will enjoy them as much as we did in their creation, and that viewers will enter into the spirit of the exercise, as tongue-in-cheek and wonderful as it has been and continues to be.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Alp! Napster has a Fan Club in Switzerland!

We had guests staying with us over the Easter weekend, visiting from Switzerland.  Now, as Nancy handed over the Park Pass for Algonquin, she got all over-confident, and guaranteed that they would see a moose...

It is a really good bet, in April in May. But a guarantee?  So it was with some satisfaction that when they returned from their first day in Algonquin, Doris reported that they had seen "thousands" of moose.  "Well," corrected Stefan, "not perhaps thousands... but very many."

What they had not seen was a pileated woodpecker tree, or a beech tree all scarred with bear claw marks. We went for an after dinner hike to find some for them. 

Napster decided he would come along. Achmed is the usual hiking cat, but this evening he stayed home, sleeping by the fire, and it was Napster Himself who came with us, across the road, into the woods, all the way to the bear tree.  That was a great honour, as Nancy was swift to point out.

We found trees that had been hacked apart by the pileated woodpecker, and talked about the woodpecker's astonishing tongue.

And we found beech trees holding the marks of hungry claws.   Several of Napster's cards found their way into Doris' luggage.

Nor did the adventure stop there. Doris assures us that once they are back home, she is going to head up an Official Fan Club for Napster in Switzerland.  She can be contacted through this blog site.  If you'd like to be Swiss Napster Fan, send us an email, we'll forward it on.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Right Royal Occasion!

Dolphins Chase the Moon, and engagement ring
Napster is a big fan of the Royal Family.  After all, cats have been linked to Royalty since royalty was invented.  Which is considerably later than cats were invented, but let that pass.

So when he heard the great news about the Royal Wedding of HRH William and Kate Middleton, well... of course he wanted to participate in some small way.  Seeing that the Royal couple were asking for donations to charities, he didn't want to overspend, but he did want to -- along with his people and agent -- wish them well.

Thanks to Colour Crazy, Aben Graphics, he was able to have one of his prints enlarged and plaque mounted at a very generous discount.  This company has been totally supportive of Napster since the beginning of his career, and he is very grateful for their ongoing support.  He chose Dolphins Chase the Moon, hoping it would be suitable for their home at Anglesey, next to the ocean. and because of the recurring theme of blues in the story:  HRH William's air force blue uniform... Kate's lovely deep blue dress... the sapphire engagement ring. (and yes, Napster has a copy of that ring, very treasured, loaned to him by his agent, who acquired in while floating about in London in 1981 when Princess Di married Prince Charles)  His hope is that the print will remind them that there is beauty in unexpected places, humour to be found everywhere, and even the smallest of their loyal subjects can help to make a difference.

Napster got his agent to write a covering letter to go with the print.  Barb at the Post Office helped package and label the parcel for international travel, and off it went.

Just imagine his delight when today's mail brought him a letter from St. James Palace, the office of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton,  thanking him "most sincerely for the delightful print"

Now, that is royal class, that is!  We can hardly pry him away from the letter... But we will. We'll frame it for him, and hang it where he can see it every day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Deserving Causes

Napster was born in a hay barn. Near Bobcaygeon.

The cat in this picture is Patty Paws, who lives in a barn at Burnt River.

She and Napster are kindred spirits.  Patty Paws' person, Christina Handley, is fundraising for Cancer, through the Relay for Life.

Her team, called the Fightin' Fillies aims to be the team that raises the most money for this cause.  Christina is herself a cancer survivor.

Patty Paws is a strong supporter of Christina's, and so is Napster. So are we all.

Napster encourages you to visit the site, The Fightin' Fillies, and help support Christina's team.

A very talented professional photographer, specializing in horses, nature, agriculture and rural scenes, Christina takes some of the best photos we've ever seen.  She kindly provided us with this great shot of Patty Paws, waking up in the hay barn.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ooh La La! Napster in Paris, at the Hemingway Bar, Ritz, Paris.

Hemingway Bar. Birthplace of the Bloody Mary,
and still a place of legends.

Recently, Napster was invited to participate in Cecily Bradshaw's Ritz Paris Hemingway Bar project. It was an honour. The adventure began with an email from Cecily, which we happily share here:

"I recently learned something fascinating about Paris that I want to share with you!

In a tribute to its literary history, The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz serves as a mailbox for aspiring authors, journalists, and poets.

Apparently, they collect correspondence in a glass display case behind the bar. When in Paris, you can drop in and collect your mail.

Being a huge Hemingway fan, this appeals to me tremendously.

Robert and I will be travelling to Paris this April from the 3rd to the 8th. I am hoping that you will take the time to send me an artistic (or even plain!) postcard or letter.

I thought it would be fun to make this a “mini-project” with the end result being a book created from the correspondence."

Now, Napster is all about the creative process, and was delighted to participate. Besides, he rather fancies himself as a Parisian artiste...  with his ragged ears, and now with a missing front tooth, he is channeling some of those tortured but brilliant artists and authors...

Off went one of his art cards to Cecily, c/o the Hemingway Bar. We just received the follow up letter from Cecily, updating us on her experience.

"A gigantic thanks to you, the over 60 people and pets, who sent mail to me (and Robert too!) at the Ritz Bar in Paris.
It was almost overwhelming to receive such a great volume of interesting, inspiring, and amusing items.
To give you an idea about the variety, it included suggestions of great places to visit in Paris, stories of the sender's memories of Paris, original artwork and photography (including from a cat who paints with his tail!), travel postcards, passages from favourite books and poems, Hemingway quotes, clever photos of Mr. Dickens (our dog) to make us miss him more than we were already doing, quotes about horses, cards written in french, a wooden airplane postcard that really flies, a vintage Sports Illustrated cover featuring Ernest Hemingway, and many, many well wishes for an enjoyable stay in Paris.

It was wonderfully thrilling to stay at such an historic hotel. Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were but two of the many famous patrons. From my lifetime, Princess Diana's visit to the Ritz, ending in tragedy, is forever fixed in memory. Hard to believe that was August 1997...
Happily, Robert and I now have our very own "Ritz story" made very unique and memorable by each of your contributions. We never did discover the name of the violinist, in the suite next door, who serenaded us in the afternoons...and at 2 o'clock in the morning. We will also never forget paying 11 euro for a Diet Coke from the minibar or 30 euro for a martini at the Hemingway Bar. Mon Dieu!!

Thank you all once again for your kindness and I will keep in touch as to the future of "our" little collection. I hope to honour it in a significant way."

Life is an adventure, it's all about the trip. Cheers to you Cecily! We hope Napster's art added a little something special to this very memorable occasion.  What a great project, and what fun it gave you on your Paris trip!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Side trip down SIDEROADS, to help Japan

Bird Bath

Sarah Ryeland came by recently, to have a chat, and a snuggle.  Napster was in a bit of a mood when she arrived -- having been rolled over and over by the pestilential new puppy in the house, and also having been interrupted in his mid-day snack.  Still, although a bit grumpily, he agreed to paint a picture with Sarah, and as always, his artistic vision rose to the occasion.

Sarah works for SIDEROADS magazine, which is a pretty nifty publication.  She selected the colours, and held the artist so he could easily reach his easel.

Spring was in the air, birds were crowding at the feeders by the window, ice was dripping from the eaves.  With this as his source of inspiration, Napster painted BIRD BATH, his latest work.

Sarah wrote about this in the Spring issue of Sideroads, in an article called An Unlikely Artist.

Here's what she said about Bird Bath:
"If you look closely, you’ll see a dark lake, with bluebirds splashing and playing in the water. Above the water, there are birds soaring into the sky, playfully diving and twirling.
To us, this painting represents hope and a fresh start. It reminds us of birds returning to Muskoka in the spring, rebuilding their nests and lives and strengthening bonds."

Sarah also asked if Napster would direct proceeds from the sale of this work to the Red Cross efforts to assist Japan.

He is more than happy to comply with that request. In fact, he'll go even better than that -- any sales that he makes from people inquiring about his art because of Sarah's article, he'll put all that into the Red Cross fund.  Just tell us you read about him in Sideroads!