Saturday, August 30, 2014

Big's Utah Sky #2

Big's Utah Sky #2
5 x 6
UArt on Sanded Paper
$45
This is the second installment of Utah Skies where my friend "BIG" lives. That's why these are the "Big's" series. Love the oranges and purples in this one!



Friday, August 29, 2014

Big's Utah Sky #1

Big's Utah Sky #1
7 x 5
UArt Sanded Paper
Price $50
For some bizarre reason, my family refers to me by my middle name only - Lisa. I grew up with a friend named Lisa. Now, one cannot have TWO Lisa's in close proximity without uniquely identifying them in some way. She had red hair and I had very dark brown hair, she was older and I was younger. But, there was one other glaring difference that seemed to stick - and never changed over the years. She is tall and I am short (vertically challenged). She is BIG Lisa and I will forever be Little Lisa (I think growth is a long shot for me now). Why am I telling you this? Well, BIG as I refer to her now, lives in Utah. She likes to send me photos of the BIG beautiful Utah skies. Here's a rendering of one of Big's Sky shots. I'm looking forward to visiting her soon and getting alot more resource photos in beautiful Utah!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Browsing Beauty

Browsing Beauty
9 x 12
Art Spectrum White
Price $125
It was late evening, the sun getting low on the horizon and the trees and grass lighting up gold and yellow and the sky turning to colors of pink and melon. The deer were on their route through the area. There are 4-5 fawn that seem to run in one group with their moms. This little one was almost right up on the garden under the dining area windows. I liked the way the light was hitting her fur and making her seem to glow. Needless to say I have a lot of photo opportunities here in Mild Kingdom. So, yeah, I'm in a deer/fawn phase. Here's the actual resource photo and her process of development. I really struggled  with her back legs. I finally wiped them down and started again. What I finally figured out is that her "knees" were initially too high and I didn't extend her foreleg (human equivalent of tibia) far enough. You can see the difference between the 2nd to the last and last image. 







Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jubilant

Jubilant
10 x 10
UArt Sanded Paper
$100
This is one of those rare moments. The resource photo for this piece was taken in sports/action mode, where the photos are taken in rapid succession with a single press of the button. That's when you get those really special photos like this one. This little one just seemed positively gleeful. How can a fawn smile?? I just don't know but she sure looks like she is. She is absolutely jubilant!

Here's the actual photo - yes it really does look like a smile - and the progression of her painting.








Monday, August 25, 2014

Flirting Fawn

Flirting Fawn
10 x 10
UArt Sanded Paper
Price $100

Click to Buy coming Soon!

Most fawns in Texas seem to arrive in late May. But, there are some who are late bloomers...like this little one. She was sitting in the shade waiting for mom. She seemed to be playing coy and bashful for the camera. In reality, she was just grooming. Perhaps she wanted to look her best.

Here is her actual photo and the progression of her painting. 










Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fluff n' Stuff

Fluff n' Stuff
 7 x 5
Art Spectrum Sanded Paper
$50

Click to Buy
Here's another side to our little cottontail friend. In the actual photos, the flowers in the foreground are just out of focus Salvia Greggii. For my version, I decided to do some little pink flowers. I made them up - kind of pink fluff balls, like this cute little fluff ball. For a long time, we called all the cottontails "Baby Bunny". But, this is full grown. Just petite.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cottontail Cutie

Cottontail Cutie
7 x 5
Art Spectrum Sanded Paper
$50

Click to Buy
Here's a fluffy little cutie. This little one was sitting outside the screened in porch. Just looking around, probably into the bushes under the window for a cool place to dig and lay. I really like these little cotton tails. We have a few every year. Usually they are out in the early morning and evening. In the spring, they chase each other around 'cause they're in love! So adorable.



Friday, August 22, 2014

True Indigo Blue

True Indigo Blue
7 x 5
UArt Sanded Paper
Price: $50
Click to Buy
Here's a little vagrant that came through our yard one spring - a male Indigo Bunting. He was an amazing surprise. He dropped out of a spring storm like a little gift from above. We've haven't seen one since then - which was about 6 years ago. He stopped in, happily ate some seed and corn the was gone as almost as quickly as he arrived. I feel really fortunate to have looked outside at the right time.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Turning Green


Turning Green
5 x 7
UArt Sanded Paper
$50

Click to Buy
Turning left and right, and turning green. Most times, the Anole Lizard is green, occasionally they turn a lovely golden brown. This guy was hanging out on the rock window ledge under my office window. Probably a parent lizard of the "Teeny Tiny Lizard". I like watching these guys - the way they turn and cock their heads as they look at things around them. Even more interesting is how their eyes move around and about inside those blue eyelids. Looks like there may be something good to eat in his sight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teeny Tiny Lizard

Teeny Tiny Lizard
7 x 5
UArt Sanded Paper

$50
Click to Buy
Still working on smaller paintings, and small subjects...and....a break from birds for real this time!. Right outside my office window there are some Glossy Abelia bushes. They get pretty big, but the flowers are tiny - maybe about the size of one of my fingernails. I see all kinds of things out of my window, hummingbirds, wrens, sometimes even a screech owl in the hollow of the cedar tree. But in the Abelia, occasionally, I'll see something falling from leaf to leaf. That's when I see him (or her?). A teeny tiny baby green Anole lizard. Tiny as they are, they are still out catching gnats, and of course, doing push ups and puffing out their pink gullet on their neck. I couldn't resist this tiny one. Hope he's irresistible to you too!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Joyful

Joyful
6 x 5
UArt Paper

Price: $45
Click to Buy
I'm working on trying to paint small - something less than my usual 12 x 9 and larger. Here's something a little more than half that size - 6 x 5 - and there are alot of frames to choose from in that size.  When I wondered about small subjects, birds came to mind. Yeah, yeah, I know - I said I was over the bird phase. But as I watched them this morning out for their breakfast, there are just so many...they beg to be noticed.

Here's a happy little bird. So yellow, when you see her you can't help but smile as you see her hop from branch to branch. Now you see her, now you don't as she wanders through the yellow green leaves. Make a joyful noise - happy little bird! She may be called the "Lesser Goldfinch", but she's more than cute to me. Now, if I can just get her man bird to be still so I can catch a photo of him - he's a pretty busy guy.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Early Bird Late Snow

Early Bird Late Snow
12 x 9 
Art Spectrum Rose Grey


It's 100 degrees outside and will likely continue to be for the week. So, I'm keeping cool and thinking about cold and snow. A few years back, this Red Robin showed up early - just in time for a late snow. He sat outside our window in the weeping yaupon. I really liked the way his head was turned with his big fat belly sticking out. I remember how my mom used to get so excited when the robins showed up - "First Sign of Spring" she would say. But for now, we're anxiously awaiting fall. 

I think this will do it for the bird phase for a while. Hmm...what shall I do next?



Initial block in w/Pan Pastels
Not much to block really

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Morning Blues

Morning Blues
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Aubergine

Blue Heron, my nemesis. He comes by dawn and dusk, for a little snack from the pond - my koi. He's pretty smart. Learned how to avoid the "scarecrow" which is a motion detector sprinkler. We have put a net over the pond in the winter to catch falling leaves and provide protection when there is no plant cover for the fish. The heron found his way under the net. Next, we ordered a plastic decoy heron. Since the blue heron is a territorial hunter, they aren't supposed to come to a pond with another heron. I've included a picture of our heron standing next to the decoy heron. I think it thought it might be a new mate. So, now we just keep goldfish. My brother in law who is quite clever says they are our "De-Koi". 

The source photo was taken on a cold grey winter morning and the pickerel rush was all frozen and yellowed. It was kind of a golden morning, so we got a bit of peachy color to some of his feathers. True to his form as my nemesis, even his painting was a challenge. He came out looking more like a goose at first. So I wiped it down and started again. Not every painting is a success, some are just "okay". Without the challenging days, we don't learn. We don't remember we have to return to the basics. 





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Best of Show - Agave Trinity

Agave Trinity
18 x 12
UArt Paper 500
I am thrilled to share that my painting "Agave Trinity" was awarded Best of Show in the 2014 Central Texas Pastel Society Juried Exhibit. The judge for the event was Colleen Howe Bleinburger. She is also doing a workshop for the group this weekend.

I've not painted at all this week since I've not been feeling well. This award really brightened my day. Plus it gives me something to post!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coquette

Coquette
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Black
Price: $125
Click to Buy

In the bird world, seems the boys get all the attention. The male painted bunting is like a technicolor rainbow, the Cardinal bright red. For hummingbirds you have Ruby Throated male with a gorget of vibrant red, Rufous with the copper, and even the Black Chinned who really has a violet gorget if he's in the right light. Then there is the female of the species. Understated, like the simple black dress. 

This little girl had her back to me as I took photos. She was sitting on the same branch where the Ruby Throat male sat (see my post "Ruby Rebel"). She's so delicate and pretty, and even has markings as if she has on eyeliner. She fluffed her tail out and her white tipped tail feathers stood out like a beacon. Almost as if she had a dress on and she raised up her skirt a bit and her slip was showing (as if women still wore slips). She turned her head over her shoulder as if to say "Yes, I see you, but I'm only mildly interested" It's a provocative little pose, so she became "Coquette" - defined as "a woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men." I hope she gets your attention and wins your heart like she did mine.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ruby Rebel

Ruby Rebel
12 x 9
Art Spectrum - Black



Back to the Ruby Throated hummingbird. This territorial little rebel sat on this branch where he could do a 180 degree observation to ensure no one encroached on his feeder - all three of them! It was a nice September morning that day and he was catching some rays. As a matter of fact, he was in the same Shin Oak that the Rufous sat in later than year (see my prior post on Aug 5). It's a popular tree due to proximity to the feeders.



What I liked about this shot was of course the morning sunlight and the shadows on the tree from the leaves above. In the original photo, there is actually a shadow of the little dude himself. I thought it would be over the top to put that in the composition. I did this piece on Art Spectrum Black paper. 






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Clear Blue Ruhu

Clear Blue Ruhu
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Deep Ultramarine

Clearly, I'm in a hummingbird phase. I'm back to the little Rufous that spent the winter with us. He was out on a clear blue Day in December when I took the source photo for this piece. I really like the orange against the blue and the light on coming in from the left. He's sitting in a Shin Oak in my backyard. Of course, he could see his feeder from his perch and vigorously defended it. I tried really hard that afternoon to catch a photo of him turning into the sun at exactly the right angle so I could get a look at the "copper" shine of his throat. Alas, I never got the correct angle and always got the "dark" non shiny look. Earlier in September, when they first arrived, I got a shot where I could see a few copper feathers at the base of the throat where the color met the white feathers on a female. 

I named this piece "Clear Blue Ruhu" in honor of a very special friend whom I met while doing business in Michigan. He was an avid birdwatcher and even after my work took my away from Michigan, we stayed in touch trading bird stories. Last September, I was so excited to share with him that I had my first Rufous. He replied and referred to it as a "Ruhu". He passed away later that month after a long illness. This one is for you Ed - I hope you fly free in the clear blue! You will always be missed.

Enjoying a Sunny Winter Day

Female having a stretch and fluff