Saturday, July 31, 2010

Little Bird__

Little Bird__#13 from my Colorado soon!

I don't know my birds...there are SO many, and I have never taken the time to learn them all...I LOVE birds though, and I am saving bird-watching for old age, when I think I will have more time to study them...if something happens and I do not make it to "old age", I think I will be "OK" with having relied on my friends to identify the unknown birds for me!
So, friends, what kind of bird is this?
I sketched it near our place in southern Colorado (the San Juan Mountains) is light gray, black, white and a little bit of tan. There are a lot of swallows (?) in the area....the ones that build their nests out of mud in the corners of the eaves of the this one of those swallows?
Its song sounds like this: TWEET or tweet, depending how far away it is...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Columbine__colorado, flower, sketch

Columbine___Sketch #12 from my Colorado Sketchbook
This one is ESPECIALLY for my mother and father-in-law! They were not able to get to Colorado this summer (yet!) as they usually do, and the first thing they asked us was "How are the Columbines"? Even though the daisies suffered a little from lack of spring rain, the columbines seemed to like it that way.....they were GORGEOUS!
This is the purple columbine - STATE FLOWER of Colorado!
Have a great weekend!
Next week I will tell y'all what I am going to do with all these sketches in my Colorado sketchbook!
Now, I am off to the beach!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sketch 11__Walking Companion__deer sketch

Walking Companion__sketch #11 from my Colorado Sketchbook__auction soon!
In Colorado at 9,000 feet in the mountains the air is cool and thin...PERFECT for taking long hikes, which I do every morning...usually a few miles with our Lab, Maria. One morning we stopped to watch this little doe walking across a meadow below us...then she saw us and walked up the hill to see what we were doing! We watched each other for 15 minutes from about 40 yards away, then each of us continued on in our original directions. It reminded me of what I have just read in a book by Stephen Ambrose about the Lewis and Clark Voyage of Discovery....they came upon places where the elk had never been hunted and the elk were curious and came close to see them...
We are home now. It is HOT in Texas....I made the serious mistake of taking Maria for a walk at mid-day and I think she almost had a heat stroke...I had to put her in a cold shower...morning walks from now on.

To all my friends in NEBRASKA! Right now there is a special exhibit in Lincoln, at the Great Plains Art Museum. This is a special exhibit called Curator's Choice. Each of the curators from the past 30 years has selected their favorite works for this exhibit, and my painting called "Passing" was selected. Next week is a special reception at the museum, and I will get to go! PLEASE COME MEET ME! The reception is Friday, August 6, 5-7 pm. ...otherwise, keep a lookout for me along the backroads! I will be doing some "drive-by painting" on the backroads for a few days! Let me know if you are coming

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sketch 10-Daisy Day

Daisy Day___sketch #10 from my Colorado Sketchbook__Auction soon

My mother-in-law, Bilie's favorite flower is the daisy, and there have always been bunches of them on the high mountain passes above their place in Colorado. A few years ago, my father-in-law, RV brought a bunch down to our canyon place and planted they are EVERYWHERE!!! RV has shared them with all the neighbors and they are growing all over...BUT, this year they were not as tall and full as usual, making me think they need more early rain, or colder springtime!
For all my friends in NEBRASKA! Right now there is a special exhibit in Lincoln, at the Great Plains Art Museum. This is a special exhibit called Curator's Choice. Each of the curators from the past 30 years has selected their favorite works for this exhibit, and my painting called "Passing" was selected. Next week is a special reception at the museum, and I will get to go! PLEASE COME MEET ME! The reception is
Friday, August 6, 5-7 pm. ...otherwise, keep a lookout for me along the backroads! I will be doing some
"drive-by painting" on the highways and byways for a few days! Let me know if you are coming!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Let's Do Breakfast__chipmunk, ground squirrel, sketch

Let's Do Lunch__sketch #9 from my Colorado sketchbook__auction soon (click image to enlarge)
We used to feed the many ground squirrels near our place in Colorado. Then they got pesky and demanding and would actually jump on us to get food...this was about the same time we all started bringing our dogs up there with us, so the ground squirrels got the message and stay farther away, now. This one was in the yard, though, enjoying last night's home-made tortillas, which came out AWFUL...the masa had gotten bad over the winter, and nobody liked them...except the ground squirrels!
Here is an update for all my friends in NEBRASKA! Right now there is a special exhibit in Lincoln, at the Great Plains Art Museum. This is a special exhibit called Curator's Choice. Each of the curators from the past 30 years has selected their favorite works for this exhibit, and my painting called "Passing" was selected. Next week is a special reception at the museum, and I will get to go! PLEASE COME MEET ME! The reception is Friday, August 6, 5-7 pm. ...otherwise, keep a lookout for me along the backroads! I will be doing some "drive-by painting" on the backroads for a few days! Let me know if you are coming

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sketch 8___ Hummmm

Hummmm___sketch #8 from my Colorado soon
At our place in Colorado, the whole canyon is filled with hummingbirds! And everyone feeds them. This year, I put out three feeders and kept them full. Up till a few days ago there was a constant gang of 30+ birds, buzzing and flying between the feeders, eating all day so that I had to fill each feeder about two to three times a day!...but, suddenly, they all disappeared! Oh, a straggler or two would come by, but they just ignored the feeders! I wondered if they left for the "winter", but saw a bunch at the neighbor's....I must have mixed a bad batch of "juice" for the hummers, and they sure let me know it!....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sketch #7- Down the Canyon-mountains,

Down the Canyon- from my Colorado Sketchbook to be auctioned soon!
The past few days in Colorado saw rain. Each day at about 2 pm, the rain would come down the canyon from this north direction. In southern Colroado, the summer is short at 9,000 feet. Snow stays till April or May ( we have had snow there in July!). June is WINDY, July is dry, and late July begins the "monsoon season", when it rains almost every we are!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ahhh!!! Poppies!__red flowers, poppies

AHHH! Poppies!____8x6 oil sketch on linen panel____$190
(click blog image to see some neat detail)
A break today from the sketchbook...I will post all the sketches, and as I said I will probably double up on a few. Since this is our last day here, I wanted to post this for my in-laws, BRV. They have planted some beautiful poppies and scattered other wildflower seed. The flowers have really taken off and are all over the property this time of year...For the past several years the poppies were minimal, but they are BACK!
We head home to the hot country tomorrow...I will miss COOL morning walks up here in "sweater weather" it will be just "sweat weather"....but, to tell the truth, I LOVE hot sunshine. Can't wait to get home!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sketch 6__Barrel Racer

Barrel Racer ___from my Colorado sketchbook___auction soon
I like this one best, of all the recent sketches...probably because I did it from a photo, and had more "eye time" on the subject!....Cool rain in Colorado, today!

...OH!!!...about the mystery crop (click here to see what I am talking about...)
I heard from an "expert" in agriculture from that area of south is what he says...
All of you who guessed it can say "I told you so!"

It appears to be a variety of soybeans. Some varieties have long, narrow, pointed leave. I can’t think of anything else that anyone would be growing in Assumption parish.

Michael C. Hebert
County Agent
LSU Ag Center

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sketch #5___Big Boy Hereford

Sketch #5___Big Boy Hereford ___from my Colorado soon!
At the rodeo pens nearby....this big boy was such a beauty!
Had a great painting adventure in the San Luis valley today. This mountain valley is one of the highest and largest in the world. It is an agricultural valley (potatoes), and the farms are poor little places....perfect for artists' subjects: old tractors, adobe shacks, interesting people...
At one point, today , we had lightning striking all around us...not we went to town to pick up a few things and got into a nasty hail storm....still, it's a nice break from Texas summer heat!
I am proceeding with selections from my sketchbook, and have a big plan for this sketchbook...I will talk about it soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sketch #4__Play Day

Play Day at Rainbow Trout Ranch___from my Colorado sketchbook...sketch #4
Click to see some detail on this one! To get to our place you have to drive past the Rainbow Trout Ranch. ALWAYS a great place to sketch and photograph, I stop there a lot. This day there were a bunch of new riders trying their hand at barrel racing and poles. My friend Pat wondered who the "dudes" were and who were the greenhorns...I pointed out that the greenhorns bob around in the saddle more, and tend to ride with elbows demonstration of it was better than the written description ;)
I am halfway through my 30 page Colorado sketchbook. Pretty soon I will post them two at a time, because I am getting too many....I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Sketching is something every artist NEEDS to do. We have gotten away from it as cameras are SO easy and convenient these days. Shooting a picture is fine, but will not help the artist improve. (since I hear from a lot of artists, I want to encourage y'all to keep doodling and sketching OFTEN!)...
We are enjoying cool rains every afternoon...a nice break from the Texas heat at home....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Aspen Here, Aspen There

Aspen Here, Aspen There___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$150 wet

This Colorado scene is just north of the scene I posted yesterday....I was waiting for Pat to finish her larger painting, so I grabbed another small canvas to depict this: layers of Aspen trees ascending this part of the San Juan range...
I have probably told this story before, but here goes again....If you are an artist you probably understand!...When I first started painting in oils about 10 years ago, I took on "green", being inspired by a beautiful location in Colorado...the outcome was a disaster...back then I thought that green was only blue + yellow...and add white to make it lighter....Being a SERIOUS, committed artist, I saved the disaster, showing it to no one (I have my pride, you know!)...I also still have the awful day when the pride will let me, I will show the awful green mud I created in my "inspired" moment...I am still humbled by green....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

San Juans in Green

San Juans in Green___6x8 oil study on linen panel____$150
I worked in the sketchbook again, today, but took a break to play with color. It's that time of year when the clouds build up on the mountain tops every day for an afternoon shower. So the best painting time is in the morning till about 2 pm....then it's time to read or nap or play games like my family likes to do. Just before the rains, my friend, Pat and I painted on the hillside near our cabins....ALL THOSE GREENS!!!
Tomorrow I will post more from the sketchbook!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Colorado Sketchbook-page 3

San Luis Valley Mesas - From my Colorado sketchbook, 2010 -
On the way "in" to our canyon and summer house, the land changes from farm valley, to mesas to the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado. I did this sketch in the mesa area, near Mogote and Fox Creek....The trees there, mark the path of the Conejos River.
This is a really remote area of wildflowers, wildlife and certainly CRICKETS!
Not that I have seen many (mostly small grasshoppers, which I noticed while out painting yesterday), but I mention crickets, because I read a funny and thought provoking essay about "Cricket Places"...I pasted the link below...
Friday, July 16

Friday, July 16, 2010

Colorado Sketchbook--page 2

Colorado Sketchbook--page 2_____Amish Lot_____Antonito, CO
We went to town for groceries, yesterday and on the way back through the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, we stopped at the market there for "one more thing" was late in the day and this was one of only 3 vehicles in the parking lot....
oh....if you saw my painting the other day of the "mystery crop" in Louisiana, I did not mention it, but the photo was BAD. So I replaced the art photo. Please go take a look at how much better the painting looks, and scroll down to the real photo of the crop and PLEASE tell me what it is!. I have people who have guessed okra, tobacco and soybeans, and I do not think it's either...any experts in the house?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Colorado Sketchbook__p1

Blanca Peak___from my sketchbook______ask
From the bayou to the mountains! Our usual family vacation is in Colorado at about this time every year. Here is a sketch from my sketchbook of my favorite "fourteener" in southern Colorado. Blanca Peak can be seen for miles, ANYWHERE you happen to be in the San Luis Valley.
Not all of us are here, but the kids with their work and summer obligations will come and go at different times! This was our year to open the cabin, and we found that the garage/shop area was home to some packrats this winter, so we have been cleaning up a lot. It's been funny because these creatures carried things all over the place! What does a pack-rat need with 80 small pieces of pvc, 13 packages of hinges, and old paperback novels? They carried these things from their usual places into the far reaches. But they must have eaten well, by the looks of their droppings!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Assumption Parish, LA

"Assumption Parish, Louisiana"___6x8 oil study on linen panel__$150
I LOVED being in Louisiana for the past 4 days. While my quarterback son was at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, I traipsed around Assumption Parish and painted a little bit. The one above is somewhere in Assumption Parish. The cloud shadows were here and there all weekend...this crop was not sugarcane, but I can't tell what it is! Can anyone tell me what this is? (see real photo below, and if you click the blog image, it will enlarge)...
I didn't get to go down where the oil was, but while exploring near New Orleans, I got word that the oil had reached into Lake Pontchartrain. My friend took me over to the lake and in the areas where Katrina hit so hard. We didn't see any clean up crews (krewes?) nor did we see any tar balls....I was with the friend whom I have known since we were 3 year old neighbors. Even this latest 25 year gap in visits has not diminished a good friendship! We have added a bunch of new memories to the great old ones we have: building snowmen, my bad tricycle accident, her songwriting skills....Hey Rhonda, I forgot to show you the scars on my toes from that tricycle accident!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sugarcane Sky

SugarCane Sky___6x8 oil study on canvas panel___$150 (click image to see detail)
The painting below is the first "version" of my first sugar cane painting! Driving back to the hotel from seeing my son off to football camp there were sugar cane farms on both sides of the road. The fields to the south had great backlit thunderhead skies...probably floating over watery marshlands of this south Louisiana landscape....but the sun got low in the west, and the clouds started to spread out, it all changed, and I FELT LIKE changing the painting... Actually I ONLY changed the sky...if you see a difference in the sugar cane field landscape, it's caused by the camera or exposure...The painting below, only exists in this photo, now...
I am fascinated by this landscape: Cane farms, rice that cotton, too??? ...and LOTS of old mossy oaks and HUGE pecan trees....and egrets!
Tomorrow I will explore the area with my camera and paintbox, and head up to Baton Rouge for a visit with the friend I have known the longest! We were 4-year-old trouble-makers, Rhonda and I...long long ago!...
I have enjoyed listening to local radio and TV...hearing what THESE folks say and think about the BP oil disaster...the lives and jobs lost...and their futures!...both this trip and my trip to ARIZONA a few weeks ago have taught me the VALUE of local leadership, and local news...closer to the source!!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Gulf Coast Muse

Brownie____6x8____$190 unframed if you ask first * 50% goes to Louisiana's local oil clean-up effort
THANK YOU to those who "missed me" the past few days. My friends really sensed a "stall" in the action, and they were right! ...Too much happened to go into detail, but deep "life stuff" has kept me from posting. People VERY dear to me are suffering terribly tonight, so for the past few days, and I have only taken care of the essentials. In this case it means fulfilling an obligation to show my work at the Rockport, TX Art Festival. My blog-time has mostly been spent writing and listening to the hearts of loved ones...and a lot of praying for them.
My sweet nieces lost their mom last week, (my sister-in-law Linda was like a 5th sister to me growing up!)...And my best friend's sister was almost killed on her bike, training for the Iron Man...hit by a drunk driver. These things can bring all "activity" to a halt...and the heart hurts for loved ones...I am so happy for phones and texts to keep us close to families, without overwhelming those closest to the problem. They know we are there, and that they can call if they need to, but sometimes they just want to say a couple words without long conversation...
So I headed off to The South Texas Gulf Friday, after a funeral, and during HEAVY RAIN bands of Alex the hurricane...By the time I got there, the weather was PERFECT. I had dinner with my art buddy, Barbara, who could not get over the fact that I had NO PAINTS or even a CAMERA with me! She has never seen me without a camera around my neck and a paintbrush in hand. I sensed disappointment each time she said "I can't believe you won't be doing any art for a couple days!" I really think she felt sorry for me! ...It was good for BOTH of us!
The show was a GOOD success, I sold 9 or 10 paintings (mostly small ones), and won an award for "BEST IN MEDIA: Paintings", for my body of work.
Sorry to ramble, here, but the last thing on my mind is the oil spill. Rockport is where the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is, and it is HERE where they have been releasing cleaned up birds from the oil spill. It's exciting and a hopeful feeling for folks involved. The Texas Coast is clean and the wildlife has no idea about what is going on not too far away....On Wednesday I am going to Louisiana to see the other side of the Gulf. I need to paint, and this is where I want to go....If you want any of these Gulf Coast works, I will be donating 50% to Louisiana's local clean-up effort. Details provided at the sale
Shore Play___11x14 oil on linen___$400

Cove Daybreak___6x8 ___$190

COve Greens___6x8 ____$190

Bait Bucket____9x12 ____$300