Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fairy Princess

Fairy Princess
7 x 5
Colored Watercolor/Pencil
on Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

This is the little princess I worked on during Day 2 of the Kerrville Festival of the Arts over Memorial Day weekend. This little lady is enjoying the flower on a Fairy Duster plant, hence the name of the painting. 

I enjoy drawing during shows and find that the patrons also enjoy watching me work. It gives me the ability to share the process and to be able to show how the work ultimately becomes a framed piece. 

During the show, (Trumpet Angela framed hummingbird in this series of colored pencil hummingbirds found a new home About halfway into Day 2 of the show, as I talked with one patron named Jane, she admired the framed hummingbird paintings. I showed her the piece I worked on during Day 1 and she decided she liked that painting best. She had a personal story about Red Yucca flowers, so this painting meant a lot to her. Jane and I named the painting together. We named that little female hummingbird "Yucca Princess". 

I am blessed to know Michael Searcy, photographer who kindly allows me to turn many of his beautiful photos into these drawings. Both the Yucca and Fairy Princess are his little ladies. He is the truly the Hummingbird Whisperer at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden.

Yucca Princess
5 x 7
Colored Watercolor/Pencil on 
Hot Pressed Watercolor paper


I am also very blessed to have participated in the Kerrville Festival of the Arts. The event staff and setup were top notch. The biggest thank you goes to the folks from the event staff and the Kerrville Police Department who braved the storm on Saturday night to secure the tents and protect the art from the 8 inches of rain and 40 mph gusts. I was fortunate enough to have my artwork come through unscathed. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chisos Jay

Chisos Jay
19 x 25
Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte Sanded Paper

This painting taught me to honor my heart and ignore my head. One would think that with the creation of art - which requires inspiration, that I would listen to the call of my spirit. But no - sometimes we have to learn lessons - again and again. 

When I began the day, I had a head full of what I needed to do to prepare for a couple of shows. I had ideas about what type and size of paintings I needed to do in order to round out my upcoming offerings. I started out with a botanical painting. It was a colossal failure. Yet, all through the day, this Mexican Jay from a recent hike in the Chisos Basin of Big Bend National Park kept calling to me. I kept pushing it back and out of my head. After the failed painting, I decided to honor my heart and spirit and this relatively large painting for a pastel came fell together with no struggle.

I am not surprised that Big Bend has stayed on my mind. I've been reading a book by Peter Koch "Exploring Big Bend" . He was a nature photographer from Pennsylvania who in the 1940's was moving with his family to Arizona, in part due to his wife's asthma. He stopped at the recently acquired National Park of Big Bend to take some promotional photos. He never left. I highly recommend this book.

When we were hiking in Big Bend in the Chisos Basin, we came across these Mexican Jays. The seemed to have an affinity for these dead pinion or cedar trees for tree top roosting. I snapped a few good photos which have become fodder for paintings. I hope I have done the image justice.


Inspiration has the root word "spirit" and "inspire" - to breathe in air. As I looked this up, I also found: Middle English (in the sense ‘divine guidance’): via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare (see inspire). We certainly don't breathe in through our heads - breath comes from our chest which is near our hearts. Honor your heart and spirit and be inspired.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Aloe Treasure

Aloe Treasure
5 x 7
Colored Pencil (Standard and Water)
Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Here's another piece I worked on while at the Artists Alliance of the Hill Country Studio Tour over the weekend. I enjoy sharing the process of creating art with visitors at a show. It is nice when folks look at framed colored pencil pieces to show them one in progress. People often ask me how I'm able to hold a full time job and do my art as well. The key is the size of my paintings! I read some time ago in a book by Jason Horejs "Starving to Successful" that the key to success is to paint alot - quality by nature of practice goes UP not down. I've found that to be true. 


Painting small helps not only me, but potential collectors as well. Not everyone has space or funds for large pieces of work. People are in the process of downsizing in many cases, and smaller pieces of work are more suitable. You get to have your cake (or art) and eat it (hang it) too!

Thank you Michael Searcy for the resource photo for this lovely treasure. I actually got to meet this little male Costa hummingbird at the Desert Botanical Garden this spring. He's got a big personality for a little guy!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ocotillo Treasure

Ocotillo Treasure
5 x 7
Watercolor and Standard Colored Pencils
on Hot Press Watercolor Paper 

Here's a little friend I met in Fort Davis at the Chihuahua Desert Research Institute. The place was swarming with Black Chinned hummingbirds. I enjoyed watching these little guys work the actual flowers vs taking the easy route at the feeders. The actual photo is not that great, I was a bit far away even for a telephoto lens. But that is the beauty of drawing/painting- I can improve upon a bad source.




I worked on this painting today while I was at the AAHC Studio Tour. I've found that doing the work helps to show visitors how the work progresses so they can see the process and learn a little about the medium. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Trumpet Angel

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

Here's the second of the two hummingbirds I've created to fill the gap in my booth for colored pencil hummingbirds. Since 2 of 4 sold on their first outing, I thought I should certainly try a couple more. Thank you to Michael Searcy for the inspiration for this little angel. 

I started the flowers during the night because I couldn't sleep. I finished this up at the Wildflower Center during my last signing event. I feel like I'm starting to get a feel for the anatomy of these tiny birds.