Monday, June 30, 2014

401 Summer Romance

Nothing says "summer" like fresh juicy tomatoes and watermellon.  I love both of them, especially  tomatoes--can't get enough of them.  There is also a salad made with both ingredients, which I have never tried.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

400 Overimprovement

My friend Ann gave me this beautiful nest, egg and feather.  It has so much going on in it--clever builders used a variety of interesting materials, including insulation (styrofoam).
I enjoyed painting it and may attempt it again in a more abstract way.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Life is a Bowl of .... Strawberries

A wonderful friend/mentor/teacher advises "Never fall in love with your is the kiss of death."  I have kept that advice in mind with each and every new painting, hearing her voice speaking the works.  I "really like" this painting, although I am so frustrated with the photographing/scanning process.  The image I see just doesn't do it justice.  The strawberries have so many beautiful reds/oranges and the background is my nemesis color, in the YELLOW family. 

These are the strawberries my neighbor picked for us.  They are long gone and I didn't share them with my husband.  HUH!

Friday, June 27, 2014

398 Succulent

Strawberry picking used to be an annual event for our family.  Now that the kids are grown, we don't seem to make the effort.  Some really sweet neighbors always pick extra strawberries and sugar snap peas for us, and what a treat!  I had to restrain myself from eating all the strawberries for my still life photos!   The lovely community of Cedarburg, Wisconsin has a strawberry festival this weekend, which is a really big deal.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

397 Fully Decorated

These are mockingbird eggs and many thanks to Victoria for providing this beautiful reference photo.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

396 Lineup

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

394 One Little Egg and a Feather

My friend Ann found this little egg in her back yard grass, and a nest on the ground in her front garden.  I am sure I will paint the entire nest another time, but for today, I enjoyed painting these two little bits of nature.  The mat is lighter than appears on my monitor.  The mat color is called sauterne and I think softly accents the paintings.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

393 Deluxe Accommodations

Mother/father birds are very resourceful when building their nests.  I love to see the found objects they use.  We once knew a woman who left her thread and yarn snippets out for the birds.

Barbara Tester took the photo reference for this painting.  It is not known how the blue fiber became a part of this nest, but the eggs had a cushy little room, hence the title. 

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Friday, June 20, 2014

392 Yellow Feather



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Thursday, June 19, 2014

391 Blue Feather

The mat in this image is really a dark brown, the same as in the painting.  Image is 7x5, matted to 10x8, ready to fit in a standard size frame.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

390 Grey Feather Duo

This is a start of a new series, actually a familiar subject matter, but a new way of presenting it.  Each painted image is sewn to the background watercolor paper, then matted.  The scanner is not my friend today, as the mat is a much softer grey and a perfect compliment to the painting.

Feedback is most welcome.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

389 Sea Treasures

I don't know how or why the key became attached to the shell in this collection, but I like it because it provides an unexpected element to the painting.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

388 Peek-a-Boo

 I have always enjoyed painting textures---wood, rust, etc. so this was a very enjoyable painting experience.  I seem to have more difficulty than most getting the color yellow to show up as painted.  I have tried many different ways to correct it, but I'm baffled.  The yellow on the bird is actually a little more lemon colored. 

Thanks to Nicole B for generously sharing the beautiful photo reference for this painting.  I just love it.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

387 Shades of Grey

Jackpot!  I found 18 pristine grey feathers of various sizes on the parkway in Chicago---don't even want to think about the possible circumstances.  I love mixing greys---to my non-artist friends and family, grey is NOT just black and white mixed together.  Ah, that would be too easy.

Went to the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago this weekend.  Lots of great art and inspiration.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

386 Another Full House

Once again, credit is due to Eugene for sharing his beautiful photo with me.  After painting with watercolors yesterday,  I wanted to paint it with acrylics to see which I felt better represented the subject. 

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

385 Full House

Thanks to Eugene for allowing the use of his photograph.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

384 Proud

Some days are better than others.  Today I painted four small paintings and I am unhappy with all of them.  I'd like to blame it on the all-day, allergy-related sneezing and nose-blowing, but I know that a bad painting day is still a good day.  Today I learned that painting with acrylics on watercolor paper is not enjoyable to me, even though to many artists, it is.   I also learned that even though my two and only two poppy flowers are precious to me, they do not make a good painting. 
Tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, June 9, 2014

383 Treasures

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

382 Smile For Me and Brighten My Day

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

381 Occupied

We have nests in our gutters where they meet a corner of the house.  In many past Springs, we found baby birds by the back door, kicked out of the nest by mother.  So sad.  Mother Nature can be so cruel.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

380 Abandoned

I am writing this prior to the finished painting so I can remember this moment.  It is a perfect day as I paint my little abandoned housefinch nest on the patio.  A mourning dove has just taken occupancy in our gutter, his hooo OOOO oooo, reverberating with such soothing and perfect painting music.  Other birds are busy flying too and fro.  Oliver doesn't like the mourning dove and has just scared him/her away.

p.s.  It was really hard to represent the down that is woven into this nest. 

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

379 Whirlygigs

It was another perfect day and a joy to be outside.  I love nature and learn so much from observation on my walks.  The maple seeds are very small this year, and although I had never noticed red ones before, I was happy to have the complementary palette decided for me.  The oak trees have dropped their messy little fuzzies, and on the neighbor's lawn, they were so perfectly placed that they resembled fishnet stockings. Happy Spring!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

378 Empty Nest

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

377 Empty Nest With Feather

Today was an absolutely glorious day.  I blew off all my other responsibilities and sat on the patio and painted for most of the day with Oliver by my side.  The breeze, other than disturbing my still life, was lovely.

I am so happy that, once again, the beautiful song birds are populating our neighborhood.  For the last couple of years, we had sharp shinned hawks across the street from us.  (Wish I had a feather or two.)  Although it was fascinating to watch them pluck fresh twigs from trees to make the nest, and even more fun to see the fledglings fly for the first time, I was sad to see the the songbird population dwindle significantly.  An advantage to having hawk neighbors was that they took care of the rabbits too.
No such luck this year.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

376 Two Feathers and an Egg

I am running out of feathers to paint!  The painted feathers have a little shimmer to them, which I love.
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

375 Desperate Measures

It took a great deal of patience and resourcefulness to retrieve these red feathers from our window well.  Last year, a beautiful male cardinal got stuck in there while snacking on fallen birdseed.  We tried to free him by lifting the enormously heavy iron grate, but he crashed into it while trying to escape, and died very quickly.  It was so sad.

My stash of feathers is void of red feathers, so today I remembered the cardinal, and I was very determined to retrieve whatever I could from this beautiful bird. "Desperate times require desperate measures."

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