Four months have past since my last post–YIKES!!! You don’t want to know gory details of why. Mostly because I don’t remember all the details, life’s been so busy–all is well though.
Here’s a painting I’ve been working on. It’s not quite finished, but I wanted to share and even take a vote. I am experimenting with a new format for my bird watcher series. Paintings without the mannequin. I wrote a poem to go with this painting and was considering writing it on the painting in the big white spot. However, now I’m questioning that wisdom–when it’s finished I think it may look nice blank. Here’s the poem I wrote, called A Tiny Blackhawk Flyby.
A tiny Blackhawk does a flyby.
Its target—delicate flower heads dangling above.
Possibly he’s pursuing that pesky gnat—I hope he is.
With a whir he’s gone. Where? I look around.
A chirp, then a flash—I see him—perched and preening atop a branch.
He seems so small, fragile, in fact—his life measured in fractions of seconds, ounces, and inches.
As if to puncture this notion in my head—he dives at the speed of sound.
Then, again he hovers above—moving from flower to flower–drinking in each fragrant moment—gathering a memory bouquet.
When the time is right, he’ll visit each memory again.
Lingering—drinking it in—I’ll visit this memory again.—the end
It’s Plein Air season! This year I will be getting in some good practice.
June 24-26–This weekend is Plein Air & More at Cannon Beach, sponsored by the Cannon Beach Gallery group. I will be painting some of the time in front of my gallery, Northwest by Northwest, other times out in one of the other designated areas, both Friday and Saturday. I am still not sure what Sunday will hold–I may not be there. Here is link to all that is happening this weekend at Cannon Beach if you are interested–cbgallerygroup.com.
July 9&10–Up to 120 artists will have plein air pieces on display at the Chehalem Cultural Center ballroom in Newberg, OR–yours truly will be one of them. From today through July 6 we will be participating in The Oregon Lavender Paint Out. Free aroma therapy whilst painting on select farms–what more could an artist want? A link to all things lavender–WVLavenderFestival.org.
October–Solo show at Boomerang in Vancouver, WA. Up all month, opening reception October 7–during First Friday Art Walk.
November–Open Studio Tours–more info on that as it comes out
Other misc. projects this summer–finish painting and installing the mural on Andersen Dairy–oh and meet my new granddaughter in August!!!
I’ll post some painting results from the weekend next week–have a lovely rest of the week!
…On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four calling Fox Sparrows, A flock of tiny Kinglets, two Northern Flickers and a hummingbird in our pear tree…
Like everyone else this time of year, I have a lot going on. The last few days have been a culmination of all that has been brewing in our lives for the last few months. Today was the day to see how everything would REALLY work out! I don’t want to bore you with the gory details but to be honest, we’ve been walking by faith–literally. I had been having a chat with God about how all these things would play out today and as if to say, “I am taking care of you,” a flock of little chattering birds landed at my feet and in the surrounding bushes along the trail. I was expecting little gray Bushtits–I see them often and I just love watching them flit and float from limb to limb. But these were even more special–they were tiny Kinglets.
I was surprised by their boldness and bravery even with my dog. They hopped around on the ground only 4-5 feet from us, flipping leaves and eating bugs–off in the distance I heard a beautiful song being sung and I looked up to see a Fox Sparrow sitting upright on a limb, head tilted back, beak wide open, singing at the top of its lungs while three of his friends foraged in the underbrush below him. Soon a couple of little Winter Wrens joined in the chorus with their short little chips (I think they were contributing as the “rhythm” section). When I got home our backyard was full of bird activity. A mixed flock of thrushes–American Robins and Varied Thrushes, Yellow-Crowned Sparrows, Starlings, a pair of Northern Flickers, a hummingbird (that sits in our pear tree–really!), and of course the ever present Junco’s and Chickadee’s. It was a great day for bird watching today.
Back to my walk–While standing under the dripping trees, dark storm clouds brewing above–getting ready to let loose with another torrent–I was reminded that I need to become more like a little bird. Sing in the storm, live in and for the little things of the moment, don’t worry about what will be (worry never changed the future it just ruined the present), turn the leaf in front of me, and don’t forget to share my life with friends, family AND strangers. We’re better together, especially when we are lifting each other up and you never know when you may lift someone up. It might be someone you see in the coffee shop, like the gal I met this afternoon who is new to the area and having a stressful day–we talked, then exchanged phone numbers–who knows where this meeting will go. Everyone we meet is dealing with SOMETHING. Be kind, send up a prayer and be the cheerful little Kinglet in another persons day–that is our calling and what makes life worth living.
As for the way things turned out today–it’s obvious that God (my True Love) had it in control, not us! The things I stressed over for this morning were provided for and even went beyond my expectations and the future looks hopeful with new beginnings. I’m working on being a better “bird”. Until next time–when feeling stressed, remember the birds and sing a song ;-). I’ll start one for you–Count your blessings name them one by one . . .
We are very fortunate to live in a part of the world where hummingbirds live. Although we do not have nearly as many dramatic species as there are in the tropics, we have one who lives year-round–the Anna’s. This morning as I was wiping the sleepiness from my eyes, stretching my muscles and contemplating the possibility of going to the gym, a little Junco caught my attention. The little guy was doing us a favor and just munching away on the one dandelion in our yard that had gone to seed. It looked so cute plucking the seeds and eating them I thought, “Get the camera.” As I was picking up my camera in the family room a Towhee caught my attention hopping around on the spire of our bird house feeder. Just as I was focusing in on the Towhee I saw a flash of green and was again distracted–this time by a lovely female Anna’s. For the life of me I can’t think of the name of the flower I have outside my window, but the hummers love them. She was going to each individual flower, periodically sitting on a small stem to lick nectar, but mostly hovering. Her tiny green feathers shimmering she eventually flew up to the nearly leafless tree near our house and delicately landed. Tummy full, she began to preen. Continue reading “A is for Anna’s Hummingbird”
Yesterday my heart skipped a beat when I opened my email and saw the subject matter “Best of America 2015 Jury Result”. I thought to myself as I read the first paragraph–“Another rejection letter where they pump you up with the ‘exceptionally difficult decision’ they had to make . . .” This is what it said–Continue reading “My Heart Skipped A Beat–I Feel So Honored!”
What a wonderful studio weekend, but I’m tired! It hit me today. However, I didn’t want to let another day go by without giving you an update.
I had about 40 people come through, several were new to my studio. Besides having some sales I made wonderful contacts and more opportunity for my art to be displayed elsewhere. I’m very excited about an opportunity to have a solo show at a gallery in Vancouver, WA (I’ll name the gallery when we’ve solidified details–thank you George and Nancy for the introduction). The show will be in 2016 and hopefully, coinciding with the Duck’s Unlimited fund-raiser dinner the gallery owner is involved with. A perfect match for my art. Also, I received an invitation to apply for a couple of group shows in Gresham, OR (thanks Jill for passing my name along).
Not related to my studio tour, yesterday I received an email congratulating me on my piece “Look! Flying Jewels!,” (the 3rd painting in The Bird-Watcher series) being one of 58 pieces accepted into the All Things Birds and Beautiful Art Show and Sale on Orcas Island. The show runs April 22-May 16, with the opening reception held April 27, at the Orcas Island Historical Museum in Eastsound, WA.
This is the first annual show and sale and will benefit the arts and sciences of birds and their conservation. I am particularly excited about this show because it benefits the very creatures I love to paint, birds. My goal with my art is to awaken an interest in birds, their beauty and their habitats. It’s a perfect fit and it’d be lovely if it sold and I was able to help benefit the avian world monetarily as well.
Also, Orcas Island holds a special place in my heart–it’s where my husband and I spent a week for our honeymoon 21 years ago and we haven’t been there since our kids were teenagers–a long time. I’m looking forward to the trip.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I think I may be ready to take a nap after all this writing. Good night!
P.S. I know you haven’t heard much about my store lately–I’ve been busy getting ready for competitions and my studio tour. Hopefully it will be up and running in the next couple of weeks. Keep watching–thanks!
Most of you who read this blog do not live nearby and can’t stop in and visit, so I’m bringing you a narrative, day in the life of, studio tour to you.
It is a beautiful day here in the Pacific NW. I started my day doing my Doodling Devotional (which I post every morning at DoodlingDevotional@wordpress.com–shameless plug, I hate it when people do that!). Then off to Lewisville Park with my dog, Bekkah, who meet a new golden retriever friend. They romped around while I visited with the dog’s “parents.” I love walking at Lewisville Park. It’s a little like over the hill and through the dale, to grandmother’s house we go. We start out walking a mile through the woods, which in the spring looks different every day. It was as if the woods exploded into every shape, shade and texture of green, with a pop of pink salmon berry flowers here and there as well as a clump of Trilliums dotting the ground. Then we’re down the hill and walking another 1 1/2 miles along the currently, rushing Lewis River. It’s a feast for the senses–especially if you’re a dog.
Let’s get back home….studio tour days are unpredictable so I eat a couple fried eggs and a piece of toast, this had better hold me for a while. Indeed it was a good idea because my next meal didn’t come until 3:45. (We will have to be more prepared with snacks the next couple of days.) The day started slow. I had time to answer a few emails and catch up on things that I needed to do. Around 11:30 everything changed. My first group was ladies from the coffee shop (thanks for bringing them Linda–you know who you are), and it never ended till 5. I had a blast seeing friends who drove an hour to get here and coworkers from a past life, as well as new friends from my gym. It never ceases to amaze me that people would take time out of their day to come see what I do and to take such an interest in it. I am most blessed!!! Thank you everyone–wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. You haven’t seen the tour yet. The entry to my studio as you come into my driveway, and of course, the door going in. (Don’t you love the welcoming, hand-written sign, oh, if you’re tall, duck your head coming in so you don’t hit the canopy.)
Several waves of friends and acquaintances flowed through today. I have been pleased to see the interest people have taken in my plein air pieces. It’s definitely time to paint more as several have found new homes. As you come into my garage/gallery/studio, this is the first thing you see. Two of these pieces have found new homes.
I have painted several new bird paintings this year already and it has been fun to get a vote on the two that I should enter into an international show I’m hoping to be chosen to participate in. This is my new last year “gallery” space.
So far I’ve been standing in one place to take the last two pictures. If you spin around to the right you will see that I’m set up to get some painting done–possibly tomorrow. We’ll see if anyone comes.
Now, let’s go into the inner sanctum–where that easel is usually set up–my studio. It’s usually warm and cozy, music is playing (Hey, that’s what I forgot to do, turn on the music!) and the instant I come in I feel inspired. To the right as you come in the door are two pieces I painted in a couple of workshops with William Cochran. Teacher and artist extraordinaire! This is where I learned about values and color and working with a VERY small pallet–the result, vibrant, harmonious paintings. Thank you William.
Take two steps further and on the right is my desk where I am currently sitting and typing. (I’m invisible and chairless–spell check says this isn’t a word–in this view.)
Now, I’m sure you’re tired. Have a seat in the chairs that used to be in the reception area where my husband works. I did a little upgrading. Behind them are my “barn door” display walls. You don’t want to know what is behind them–actually, it’s blank canvases and supplies. These are a few plein air pieces. It’s a great way for me to have a place to set small wet paintings and enjoy them even after they dry. Sorry about the glare.
While you’re sitting you can look at the other wall. Here you will find a collection of reproductions of my first three in the Bird-Watcher series–what inspired the concept behind this blog.
A little more to your left, more things to look at. Two older pieces.
The tour is now coming to an end. I am getting hungry again and should go eat and crash. Thank you for taking the time to walk through my day with me. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. And, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by. I’m here tomorrow and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Melancholy. That’s how I woke up this morning. I can’t pinpoint any one thing that made me feel that way. It just seemed there were “little” things nagging me, finances, how to build my business exposure, children, weather, my weight, etc. Answer for melancholy, walk the dog.
Leave it to the birds to put everything in perspective. Strolling along near an open field, watching my Retriever, intoxicated by the smells of rodent, bird and rabbit trails, weaving at breakneck speed through the tall grass, I stop, look up, and listen. Chirp, chirp, chirp…warning sounds coming from somewhere. Thinking I’d exhausted the search by scanning the entire area around me I notice a tiny little speck at the top of a leafless tree. Not sure if I’d really spotted anything besides a baron branch, I step closer. The “branch” chirps. Repeating that several times, finally the hummer takes flight, leaving me to stare at that empty space, thinking about an experience I had this time last year with an Anna’s Hummingbird.
We had freezing to subzero weather for days and weeks on end. One morning as the sun began to rise and the frozen branches of the dormant dogwood outside my window began to sparkle, I noticed a new little lump on a branch. A few minutes earlier I’d hung out the thawed hummingbird feeder. At some point one of our hummers had flown in, slurped up some nourishment and sat down to take in the beautiful sunrise, just as I was. He had everything he needed and relaxed.
Before he flew I took some pictures of him with his tiny little feathers fluffed up into a dark green and grey, sometimes iridescent ball. During the summer I was going through pictures on my computer and came across my little hummer picture and couldn’t resist painting his portrait. Because I was in the midst of working on a painting of hummers for my Bird-Watcher series I was doing research on them and although I already was amazed by them the more I learned the more amazed I became. Here are only a few of the facts I learned: There are over 350 species of hummingbirds, all restricted to the Americas; their average lifespan is 3-12 years; their wings beat 50-200 flaps per second; their heart beats 1,200 beats per second; to conserve energy while sleeping they enter a state of torpor, hummingbirds spend from 10-15% of their time feeding, 75-80% of their time sitting and digesting.
How fearfully and wonderfully made this mighty little bird! As a reminder to myself and anyone else who may be needing a boost out of their melancholy state, remember the lessons we can learn from these little birds…..Chill Out! If God sees every little bird and its needs, how much more is He watching over us?