This is a small commercial break in your life to let you know I still exist–I’m sure this will make your day! 😉
Actually, if you are not friends with me on Facebook, you may not know that I’ve put my career in art as I’ve known it on hold for a while–thus, no posts.
I am gearing up to get back into the studio soon, it helps to have a show coming up in October. As exciting as that is, I especially wanted to share with my friends that yet again, I’ve been honored to be chosen as a finalist in The Artist Magazine’s annual competition. In fact–three out of three paintings were finalists! Out of over 5,900 entries, I am feeling very blessed.
You’ve seen them all on this blog, but here they are again–the plein air painting that is featured is just a bonus for you. That was from the plein air event in Cannon Beach back in June.
Until next time–now back to your regularly schedule program. Stay cool!
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!
I thought it was time to give you an update on how Orin T. and I are doing. Currently, Orin T. is a little pale and just sitting around on his fishing bucket, watching me paint. The good news, he’s pretty quiet and I’m making good progress.
After much deliberation in my head (I always have too many ideas) and on a scratchpad (that’s where all the ideas get weeded out in reality), I FINALLY decided on the layout and mood for the 4th painting in The Bird Watcher Series. The concept I had for this painting years ago when I first sketched it out was a picnic scene with all the creatures that Great Blue Herons eat, hiding amongst the props and in the grass. Picnics are typically something one looks forward to, but not if you are a little guest and could possibly come to your demise when the much larger, carnivorous guest, surreptitiously arrives at the picnic. So, rather than making the painting full of light and happy I decided to portray the scene with a sense of foreboding that would accompany a little creature who, unsuspectingly, might look up for the last time, only to come eye to eye with a Great Blue Heron.
Nothing that moves and breaths on land or in water and can be swallowed whole, is safe, when it comes to these lanky, lightning quick, prehistoric looking birds–that is why I’ve decided to call this painting “Impending Doom”.
I’m having a blast with this painting so far–I may change my mind when I have to paint all the grass, but all in all, I think there is potential for “Impending Doom” being my favorite in The Bird Watcher series so far. (It may be because of the GIANT bird I get to paint.)
It will be a while before I post the final piece. There is obviously a lot of work to do on a 36″x80″ painting, but I also want to have an element of surprise when completed. When done, the painting will make its way to Cannon Beach and be available for sale at Northwest by Northwest Gallery.
…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 . . .
Moving into a studio away from home has been a major decision and commitment on many levels. Now that the decision is made and the work and preparation for Open Studio Tours has been done I’m beginning to feel like I can start to relax and enjoy the painting process. I look forward with anticipation and can’t wait to see what will be created in this little space–I have a ton of ideas.
For those of you who were unable to come on the CC Studio Tour this weekend, here’s a glimpse of my studio.
All the art is for sale, if you are interested in any of the pieces please contact me. Thanks for going on the tour 😉
I’m finally getting back to my ocean painting–some little birds are putting it in perspective. The great unveiling will take place this weekend during the Clark County Open Studio Tour. I hope you’re planning on coming if you can. I can’t wait to show off my new studio/gallery–it is finally full of art and makes me feel more like a ‘real artist’. 😉
This is the second go around with this bird–the first one was a total flop. I wouldn’t have even attempted a second except I wanted to tell you a little story about this little hawk. Last year about this time when the hawks were migrating back, I looked out the window to see this little guy sitting bolt upright on the shepherd’s hook we have out on the back patio that says “Welcome Friends”. Hanging on the hook of course is a bird feeder with black sunflower seeds in it. The irony was not lost on me and I was fortunate that he stayed long enough for me to get a picture.
Soon after taking this picture he flew to the ground, wandering around, looking under our hydrangea bush and around the tree trunk. At the time there was nothing there but it wasn’t long until an unsuspecting mixed flock of birds came swooping in and began pecking around on the other side of the bush–they were totally unaware of his presence. I didn’t have to wait long to witness the violent quickness of these stealthy birds. All of a sudden all the birds flushed and the hawk was in hot pursuit of a bird. They were flying directly at me standing in the kitchen window, the smaller bird (I don’t know what kind, it happened so fast), crashed into the window as the hawk grabbed it in its talons and used the window like a spring-board to switch directions and accelerate out of there, taking the now lifeless little prize with it to the top of the pine tree in our backyard.
Although I felt horrible for the little bird I felt honored and amazed to see the hawk in action so closely–very closely. It hung around a few more days than disappeared.
I am not an expert at all on hawks–I’m quite sure this is a Coopers because it seemed to large to be a Sharp-shinned hark, which looks almost exactly like it.
Since I’m wrapping up my alphabet bird project I thought I’d show you the finished Belted Kingfisher as well. I know I posted it one time but it was not finished. I just got back to it today. Not only did I bring more dimension to the bird I decided to really brighten up the background for a better contrast. It makes me happy now.
Now it’s time to go get ready for the artist reception for the 2015 Clark County Open Studio Tour. The reception will be a wonderful opportunity to see they style of art each artist creates–it is at the North Bank Gallery in Vancouver from 5-9 p.m. Next weekend will be an opportunity to tour 50 artists from Clark County. If you live in the area come visit me. Here’s the link for more information: http://ccopenstudios.org
Look what I did today!!! There will one more to post tomorrow–it’s ALMOST finished–and the alphabet will be done.
Both the birds I painted today were challenging letters. I decided to go with a domesticated (at least in the US) bird for my U–the Umbrella Cockatoo.
It’s always a challenge to paint a bird that is one solid color–white in particular. I must say, I kinda like the way it turned out.
For the letter X, I was going to do something creative like paint a bird dropping and write something like X marks the spot where a bird was–but that was a cop out. Instead I went the scientific name approach. Here you have the Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus, better known as the Yellow-Headed Blackbird.
I know only a little about these birds. Although I do see them at the Ridgefield Wildlife refuge along with the Red-Winged Blackbird, they are not nearly as prolific, especially along the side of the road. One thing I do know about them, they don’t have a pretty singing voice. In fact, it’s rather harsh and annoying. Like the Red-Winged Blackbird they nest in freshwater marshes, forage for food in farm fields and open country and hang out with other blackbirds in the fall and winter.
I got a couple of paintings worked on today. I’m mostly happy with the flicker–Northern Flicker to be specific.
Currently the flickers are going crazy in our fruit trees. This particular flicker was hanging out in the birch tree next to our kitchen window and seemed quite curious.
Pretty tired so there’s not much to say tonight–I did get a lot done in the studio today, shades on the window thanks to my husband (now I have more privacy) and paintings hung on one side of the studio–I also worked on a hawk painting but I’m not happy with it yet so will post it tomorrow after I make sure it’s proportional.
I love Quails so I couldn’t pass up painting one–however, I did not think it through, they are not easy to paint quick. Too much stuff going on on them. However, I think I did pretty well minimizing all the “stuff” while still making them look pretty convincing–which is a big deal for me–minimizing that is.
When I lived in AZ many years ago, I loved visiting the valley during their nesting season. After everyone would hatch, numerous little fluff ball babies would come leaping out of their prickly cactus nests (I didn’t like it when a Roadrunner would visit during their great exodus.). Then, like a ribbon teasing a kitten, little legs moving so quickly they couldn’t be seen, they would run along behind their parents.
Quails eat mainly seeds, flowers and leaves but will also eat insects. They require what is called protozoans to digest their food. The little babies acquire the protozoans by pecking at adult feces–yum! At times a clutch can have up to 28 eggs which usually means another female too lazy to build a nest and sit on the eggs has “dumped” eggs in another nest, leaving the other parent to raise their young. The oldest recorded quail was 6 years 11 months old. A couple more little facts before moving on to the bunting, their topknot is actually 6 feathers that overlap each other and for those music lovers, the male and female California Quail call antiphonally, meaning that they alternate calls, fitting them into a tightly orchestrated pattern.
I is for Indigo Bunting–another difficult blue to come up with–especially yesterday and today. Maybe if I’d had a cerulean blue it would have been less frustrating. (In our area we have Lazuli Buntings) The male of course gets to sport the beautiful blue during the breeding season and turns brown for the winter. The female wears brown feathers year-round.
These migratory, smallish, songbirds live in the South and from the Midwest down to Florida. They often migrate at night using the stars to navigate. They live in brushy, woodland and farmland areas, eat what sparrows eat and often raise two broods of 1-4 babies.
Off subject here–I am only 4 away from completing the alphabet. It looks like I’ll have them ready for the Clark County Open Studio Tour November 14 & 15. Here is a link if you are interested in knowing about it, http://ccopenstudios.org If you are in the area, come by and see them as well as other works I’ve been doing. Although this has been a fun project I’m ready to move on to some not so quick paintings–something with more detail–my comfort zone.