Tuesday, May 21, 2013

#47 - Sitting Scissors

Sitting Scissors
#47 in the Birdseed Project
When you finally get a scissortail flycatcher to sit still, you can see AMAZING BEAUTY!
I painted this from a photo I took on Mother's Day, while playing golf with all my kids...it was US vs. my husband...he beat us bad, so the highlight of my day was being with the kids, and seeing this lovely bird sitting still!

Monday, May 20, 2013

46 - Scissor Tail Flycatcher

 Scissor Tail Flycatcher
#46 in the Birdseed Project
Every late spring, the scissor tail flycatchers return to Texas for the summertime. Seeing them brings back memories of childhood. It was my mom who introduced me to the scissor tail. We also had them at our farm. They particularly liked to perch on the barb wire, like the one I painted, here.
This is the state bird for Oklahoma. We are grieving with them over the tornado tragedy that happened just today...
Please remember that you can donate to the Birdseed Project!
A handsome little visitor who enjoys the birds at my mom's nursing home. The birds provide interest and distraction for visitors to the home. The residents enjoy them every day, but I see their family members escaping to the windows for a few minutes to watch little bird life outside. Please consider making a contribution to the Birdseed Project. Your tax deductible gift provides feeders and seed, and maybe a NEW BIRDSEED PROJECT to a home near you!. Click to donate to
Mention Birdseed Project on the ENVELOPE

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rhino Lounge

Rhino Lounge

Today I took my high school artists up the road to the cameron Park Zoo in Waco, for a sketching trip. Here is a quick one from my sketchbook...a lazy rhino. She had just strolled by "fast enough" that I couldn't finish a first sketch. When she turned and lay down, I did this one....Sketching sleeping figures is "cheating" in life drawing, don't you think? 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Based on Daniel

Based on Daniel
Here is a sketch from a lesson I taught this morning, while preparing some high school artists for a sketching trip to the zoo. It often makes artists uncomfortable to draw from life, because they think that the outcome is only "good" if the drawing looks like the model! I remind them that this is NOT a portrait...Daniel is my reference, but not the "story". I use him to see shapes of values, and to put parts together, but as a FAST SKETCH (this one took less than 5 minutes), I am not too concerned with the likeness....SOME of the parts (mouth, left eye...part of the nose) look like Daniels parts, but the whole only bears a distant resemblance! Given more time, I could measure and evaluate the proportions and have a better likeness, but for a reference sketch I want the students to bravely put down lines and shapes and values only!
Join me in a sketch class sometime!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Platte River Perch

Platte River Perch__a study for larger commission
Like yesterday's post, this one was painted en plein air along a remote stretch of the Platte River in western Nebraska. I am working on a commission...groups of works for a ranch there. My friend, Tina came with me, and drove the "mule" while I photographed and painted...we had a blast!...This snaggy tree near the bank was a landmark for us, and every time we drove past, there was a different type of bird there. We saw turkeys at the base, then in the branches we saw, kingfisher, a cormorant or a grebe, hawks and eagles, and a king bird...I can't decide whether to put an eagle or a hawk in the final painting, but it will NOT be the awkward looking thing I painted here. I call this one a "hawkle"
 MY FAVORITE type of work is WHATEVER takes me OUTSIDE, on farms and ranches...ANYWHERE in America. I enjoy the process of discovering a location, getting to know it's light and shadows, and hopefully hanging around long enough to see changing weather and seasons.
These days, while in the midst of my Birdseed Project, I am noticing BIRDS and the role they play in the MOOD of a place

Monday, May 13, 2013

Platt Turkey Crossing

Platte Turkey Crossing___a study for ranch commission
Last year I painted out several times along the great Platte River in Nebraska. The study above was from last summer...a cool morning with a blazing sunrise!
 While standing on the bank looking into the sun, a gang of turkeys on my side of the river decided to cross right there in front of me. this is a small work painted with a big brush, so the turkeys are way too big for the size of this river. I can't wait to re-create this in the proper scale.
This study and a number of pictures I took will help me create a larger painting that I hope will convey the magnificence of this place.
I find that, as I work on my Birdseed Project, I put birds in all my paintings. Call this my "bird phase".

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rows of White

Rows of White__12 x 12 oil on linen__available
A few weeks ago I painted this in the cold morning paintout at the Bohaty Farm in Nebraska. This was after the "warm-up" painting that I posted...
British White Cattle are very pretty, and gentle. They gathered around as we set up to paint them...seeming to enjoy the extra company!
Below is a picture of me painting this one! Look hard and you can see what I saw!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Ann's Bluebonnet Study

Ann's Bluebonnets - Study___3 x 9 oil on linen panel___$190
A few weeks ago I posted the finished painting of this study above. I usually work out my "oil changes" on tiny canvases before taking on a big canvas. The studies are very loose and impressionistic. Just for fun, Click the blog image to see the details of this tiny study, and compare it with the larger work!
Bluebonnet Season is winding down here in central Texas.
As they fade and get covered by the taller grasses, new flowers are springing up! There are huge fields of yellow flowers near my mom's nursing home, with a whole palette of color splashed along the edges of the roadsides. I guess our late rains and cool weather have made this a really pretty wildflower year so far!