Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ocotillo Angel

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Ocotillo Angel
7 x 5
Colored Pencil on
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Celbrating 200 posts today!!! I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than the day I had today. It was bittersweet since today was my last day signing posters and T Shirts at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. 

On my way, I was honored to visit a friend whom I met in as a classmate in the Wendy Hollender Botanical Illustration class. Her garden was delightful and I see the reason we both like doing botanical illustration. Afterwards, I went to the Wildflower Center. While I sit at the table waiting for patrons requesting signatures, I entertain myself by drawing. Apparently, it's pretty entertaining for children and adults as well. The best part of the day was a couple who came up to observe my drawing process and they mentioned their mother who is 88 who is an artist in hibernation. They were so inspired by my colored pencil work, they purchased adult coloring books and colored pencils at the gift shop for mom. I was very honored to be that inspiration. 

Since two of the four latest hummingbird colored pencil paintings already sold, I thought I would do some new ones. Here's one of two. This is Ocotillo Angel. She's inspired by the many photos I took in early April at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ocotillo Ballerina

Ocotillo Ballerina
5 x 7
Colored Pencil on
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper
This little beauty is another in flight hummingbird enjoying a species of Ocotillo. Thank you to Michael Searcy for the inspiration! I'm hoping this one (and Ocotillo Acrobat from yesterday) are a bit "looser" and give more movement to these amazing creatures.  

Colored pencil is a new medium for me and I'm enjoying the possibilities with them. Their portability and cleanliness when traveling is fantastic! My new travel buddies!

The four humminbirds make a lovely set together. I'm very pleased with how they turned out framed.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ocotillo Acrobat

Ocotillo Acrobat
5 x 7
Colored Pencil on
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Here's a foray into colored pencil hummingbirds in a bit of a looser format. I chose some hummingbirds in flight for this direction. I really enjoyed watching this little hummingbird working the ocotillo flowers in the morning at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. Their arial stunts are amazing and I was so pleased to catch this little girl in a backwards balanced pose to taste this sweet treat! 

I'll have this little one and 3 others at the Wimberley Blue Hole Arts Festival this weekend. We'll see what potential collectors think of her!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Breakfast and the Bee

Breakfast and the Bee
18 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
This is the first of my paintings from my over 1300 photos taken at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens in early April. In reality, with that many photos, there are maybe 100 that are painting material. Alot of my photography work is done in action mode so I can catch the birds and other animals in interesting poses. This is one of them.

I observed this Gila Woodpecker early Sunday morning foraging for his breakfast. He was watching the bees buzz about as he set himself down to what was previously their breakfast. I liked this particular one since he was focused on the bee and the patch of red shows on the top of his head.

This painting is an addition to the Desert Breakfast Club series (Saguaro Side Up, Balanced Breakfast, Home Sweet Cholla, Breakfast Fruit Cups and Breakfast Party of Two). However, this is the second round, so I was searching mentally for how to add these into the club. The first series was named after a John Hughes film "The Breakfast Club", but what about this next group? Well they are second - so Second Breakfast....and an homage to The Fellowship of the Ring: 
"I don't think he knows about second breakfast. What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner?"

Here's a couple of progress shots.




Monday, April 18, 2016

Sweet Stop Redux

Sweet Stop Redux
5 x 7
Colored Pencil on
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Here's another pass at Sweet Stop without a colored background that I worked on over the weekend. I had some feedback from a friend about some potential improvments on these colored pencil drawings. They seem very flat and we exchanged some thoughts on making them less static. My next hummingbird will be an exploration into that realm. It comes down to more broken line to give them dimension.

Here's Sweet Stop with the colored background for comparison


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sweet Flight


Sweet Flight
7 x 5
Colored Pencil on
Hot Pressed Water Color Paper

Here's another in a series of colored pencil of a male Anna's Humminbird. Thank you to my friend Michael Searcy for the inspirational photo. Michael is a kind individual who took the time to show me around the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens last year. This year, on my trip back through Phoenix, we made it a point to meet up at the gardens. Michael is known as the "hummingbird whisperer" by the locals and indeed, they are very comfortable around him. He took me to the known hummingbird nests. Though most had fledged, we were surprised to find one nest still with a little one inside. These were my first time seeing humminbird nests, and I was over the moon to see a little one. 

These have been a rough few weeks for me with a sick pet and work travel. Though I was anxious about being away from home, while pet "mommy" was away, our pet was at home with good care by his human "daddy" Rick. My trip was made relaxing and joyful by my time in the garden and with Michael. 

I've been taking a class in botanical illustration in colored pencil with Wendy Hollender. I took my colored pencils with me on these last trips. Though I didn't have the time (or energy) to draw on the first week, this past week, I started a drawing on the plane. The pencils are VERY portable and clean. I think they are my new travel partner. Now that I started a series, I must finish it. Two more to go....

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sweet Perch

Sweet Perch
7 x 5
Colored Pencil on
Hot Press Watercolor Paper

Here's a little sweet hummingbird perched for a treat. I started this drawing (illustration?) on the plane ride home from Phoenix. I like traveling with my colored pencils and a small pad. It is portable, clean, and easy to take out to doodle. On the plane ride, I did the flowers. Today, I finished up with the hummingbrid. I've decided not to do a watercolor background on this one...but I may change my mind later. 

Drawing is a meditation for me. As tired and stressed as I was on my flight home, I literally forced myself to get out my drawing tools. Before I knew it, we were landing which meant I had been taken into my place of peace for 2 hours. Thank you to Michael Searcy for the inspirational photo from which I worked.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sweet Stop

Sweet Spot
5 x 7
Colored and Watercolor Pencils
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper
Here's a little something I worked on yesterday while I was at the Wildflower Center signing posters and T Shirts. There are natural lulls in the gift store traffic. So during those lulls,  I got it started on this sweet little humminbird. I finished it up today. Thank you to my friend M Searcy for the inspirational photograph.

It's been a challenging last couple of weeks with a sick pet and travel. Fortunately, my partner Rick stayed back with kitty and took him to the kitty oncologist. It was hard to leave home but fortunately, my trip started with some travel for artistic work to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden for resrouce photos. Following 2 days in Phoenix, I went on to my work destination in Indianapolis.

I'm back out to Phoenix again for corporate work tomorrow. I'm grateful for the Botanical Illustration classes I'm taking as they have given me a very clean and portable solution for artwork when I travel. 

Here's a photo of the work in progress. Now that I look at it, I think I like the plain white background over the light watercolor wash. Learning a new medium is fun.