Thursday, July 31, 2014

En Garde!

En Garde!
9 x 12
Art Spectrum Storm Blue
It's almost migration time for the hummingbirds. Soon the feeders will be crowded and the fencing will begin. The tiny terrors will be buzzing about and defending their feeders. With those bills, it truly is like a fencing match. Occasionally, their wings clip each other and you hear the crash and pursuant chatter.

I'm still digging through old photos and came across more hummingbirds from last fall. These were taken around the same time when the Rufous from my last post showed up. I literally spent all day outside to get good shots of these guys. This little ruby throat male was quite interesting. He had his eye on the feeders on the screened in porch. He would perch in the large cedar by the porch, constantly surveying his territory and vigorously defending his juice. Each time after the chase, he would return to the same branch, to the exact same spot. Once the sun got to the right level in the sky, as he would turn his head left and right, left and right, I'd get a glimpse of that ruby red throat. He's the ultimate fighter. En Garde!!!





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anticipation

Anticipation
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Blue Haze
As the dog days of summer continue, I came across a photo of winter and it looked cool and appealing. I also liked the simplicity of this composition and how it echoed the starkness of winter.

This past winter, we had an unexpected guest - a Rufous hummingbird. One arrived in September and then another arrived in late fall. These guys typically live in Oregon, Washington and Canada during summer breeding. They should go all they way Mexico in the winter, but these stayed through the winter and it was a COLD one! We learned that when they winter over in our area, they really depend on feeders. When it froze, we would wrap the feeder with washcloths so it would stay thawed. Even with that, we would sometimes have to change them out for new liquid food. The little guy would show up at the feeder in the morning all puffed up trying to stay warm. He would just sit there and tank up to get going. When he did get going, he was true to his description of being the tiniest and feistiest of the hummingbirds. 

This photo was taken on a grey December day. He would sit in the top branches of our elm tree and survey his territory. In this photo he was looking to the northwest and I wondered "Does he anticipate the change in seasons and look towards home?" So, that's why this painting is named "Anticipation". I too am now anticipating the fall and winter, wondering and hoping that our little guests will return. I hope you enjoy him.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade
12 x 9
It's those dog days of summer in Texas right now, hot and humid. Good days for hanging out by the pond in the cool shade. This lily is a tropical lily that is in a shadier area of my pond and close to my chaise lounge. I face Southeast where I sit and therefore get the benefit of the Gulf breezes too. The fish glide silently around the pond occasionally stopping to investigate something to potentially eat. The dragonflies flit and flutter about and the hummingbirds chatter in their ever territorial fights at the feeders. Yep, it's time for a nice iced tea...ahhhh. I hope you can feel the shade in this painting and can have some shade of your own today! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lotus Contemplation

Lotus Contemplation
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Leaf Green Paper
When our pond was new (2009) we had a Lotus named Perry's Giant Sunburst. It was a gorgeous buttery yellow with lime green. With Buddha overlooking the pond, Perry would bloom and Buddha would contemplate her beauty. We did too. I lost my Lotus over the winter. It was just too harsh. Maybe in a future year I will get another one, but for now, I enjoy her on my easel.

I had started a painting with the Art Spectrum Leaf green paper. It was actually a plein air study of my pond. I was hot and sticky and the painting was just a hot mess. I actually got so frustrated I took some water out of the pond and washed my work away. I pulled out that paper and recycled it to a much better outcome.

I hope you enjoy "Lotus Contemplation". Here's a shot of her in real life on her own and with Buddha. Namaste.







Friday, July 18, 2014

Well that is Just Peachy

Just Peachy
9 x 12
Archival Card Stock
This is a waterlily called "Colorado" that grows in my pond. It's a hardy lily that really tolerates the heat and cold. It's also prolific and I swear this thing would survive a nuclear blast. The lily is a lovely salmon or peach color, and that is how this painting got it's name "Just Peachy". I'm back on archival card stock for grins. I like the smooth blended feeling on these...very good for "watery" or translucent qualities.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lullaby

Lullaby
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Paper in Olive Green
And now for something completely different - wildlife. I recently uploaded all my photos to the cloud. As I checked out the progress of the photo load, I found this gorgeous child of mother nature. This little one was napping in the afternoon under our Oleander bushes a few years back. They are so precious at this age, then they start to eat my roses. I hope you enjoy this little one as much as I enjoyed painting her. 

Here's how she progressed on olive green art spectrum paper, again w/the white edges removed for a lovely float mount if framed.






Sunday, July 13, 2014

R is for Red and Red is for.....

R is for Red
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Paper
The "Orange Poppies Blue Window" painting speaks several people. It is being delivered to it's new owner later this week. A couple of folks also liked the orange poppies and one said "Do some RED ones!". So I did. R is for Red and Red is for....Rebecca. 

My mom used to grow some fabulous huge and tall red poppies with dark violet, almost black centers along the walk up to her home. It was a sight to behold in the spring with those poppies waving in the breeze, and later their little salt shaker like pods. I was recently told Mom also liked purple Allium - even though they smelled like garlic. 

From a technique perspective, I'm expanding on my fondness for float mounting by doing rough edges. This one is Art Spectrum paper with the straight white edges torn off. I think I'm really liking this and hope you like the Red Poppies and new edging as well. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another Morning in Paradise

Paradise Morning
12 x 9 Pastel
Art Spectrum Paper
I took a walk around the yard in the morning and took some photos of blooming plants for inspiration. This is the resulting effort on Burnt Umber Art Spectrum paper. This is a Mexican Bird of Paradise - kind of a sister plant to the Pride of Barbados. It's a prolific and hearty plant and readily seeds as I have several new ones coming up in random places. Sometimes I think of it as the "false eyelashes" plant since the red stamens stick out of the flower like red eyelashes. She is quite an exotic girl.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Hear the Mission Bells

"Evening Bells"
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Paper
Later this month, I will be traveling to San Antonio to deliver two paintings.   "Aloe Spires" sold at the June show at the Alternative Art Gallery at Unitarian Universalist (UU). Along with that, I'll be delivering "Santa Fe Purple Allium" - also affectionately known as "Purple Snowballs in Santa Fe". 

Before I deliver the paintings, I'll be checking out the San Antonio mission trail for inspiration and photo taking. I am tremendously inspired by missions and their history. My ancestors from the Canary Islands settled the San Antonio area in the early 1700's. It's said that Juan Leal Goraz is buried at or near the San Fernando Cathedral - which is not on the trail, but still in San Antonio.

I'm so excited about the trip, I returned to painting missions. Today's entry "Evening Bells" is another interpretation and angle of "Esperando (Waiting)" which will be on exhibit at The Old Bakery and Emporium from July 10 to August 7. The inspiration for both paintings came from a trip to Scottsdale. It was late evening in September and the light was almost gone and the sky was that perfect color of midnight blue just before dark and and it's time to turn on the lights. I'll have to get a photo of "Esperando" next week. The framing turned out fabulously. It's in a gold frame and it really makes that blue sky glow.

Esperando (Waiting)
11 x 11
UArt Paper
This painting is Framed

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In My Cups - Claret to be precise

Morning Claret Cups
12 x 9
Pastel on Archival Card Stock
with Art Spectrum Primer
I'm back to botanical subjects as I scrolled through my painting resource files. This is a claret cups cactus I spied on my drive home this spring. You can't miss the little guys - even though they are low to the ground. They are the MOST brilliant color of red/orange ever! It was a cloudy morning and was misting..and these guys were a beacon of the spring that was to come. I focused on the left half of the photo. I will probably do another round of these focusing on the right half. I'm really enjoying the Art Spectrum primer experience and will definitely be prepping more painting supports in the future.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Santa Fe Dreaming

Step into the Sunlight
12 x 9
Archival Card Stock
with Art Spectrum Primer
Still working through my fodder from Santa Fe. This is Santa Fe Plaza. The same plaza where I took the photos of the orange poppy and purple allium I used for paintings a few days ago. It was a mild Monday, late morning before lunch at Casa Sena. Not a cloud in the sky and a sweet and light breeze. Walking through the plaza in and out of the shade of the trees and into patches of sunlight. I hope you enjoy "Step into the Sunlight".