Friday, May 29, 2009

About a Bird!

So a few weeks ago I noticed a lot of bird activity in the oval window at the front of my studio. When I checked I saw that a bird nest had been built between the screen and the slats. Within a few days there was a blue egg:

then two the next day:

and then finally five:

A google search told me that this is an Eastern Bluebird nest and that the eggs would hatch in about two weeks.

Since then I have been worrying about the mom when she is out, and also noticed that she would leave the next whenever I walked around the studio. So I hung a cloth over the window because I wanted to make sure she could spend enough time on the eggs. We have all been checking on the eggs everyday and there has been much interest in my updates about this on facebook!!

Yesterday morning, I heard a lot of noise from the window and when I checked there was a floppy, ugly little creature with about 4 fuzzy feathers flopping around on the other eggs! Super exciting event here in the studio!!!

And today there looks like three little birdies in the nest:

It's hard to tell, because all I see is a mass of gray downy beings!

I am very worried now though about the mother, and about all the ways that birds die out there. How will I feed these little babies if she doesn't come back? Should I make a cut in the screen to drop insects in their tiny little mouths and do they need water? I am sure everyone will be fine, but I am crossing my fingers for the mama bird's safety, anyway.

But besides the worry, I am enjoying this fun little studio event. Sometimes, it's the simple things......

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wedding Guest

Wedding Guest, 2009, 12x16, Oil on Gessoed paper

I kept trying to get this painting posted here all weekend, but I was busy, busy, busy. I pulled every muscle in my body doing the gardening that I have put off for so long this spring. And I have the most interesting sunburn patterns on my back and arms. heh. No pictures of those, sorry, but next time I am considering doing something with stencils, (thanks for the idea, Carla!), so maybe something will show up here next time.......

Anyway, I am quite happy with this painting, I love the thingy in the hair, not sure if I like how I actually depicted it here, but I can always try again in another version of this lady, right? There is one more in this group of three and I thought I was finished with it, but after looking at it this morning, I see that it needs some more work. Will post it in a few days.

Well, unless I ruin it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Girl with Glasses

A Girl with Glasses, 2009, Oil on Gessoed Paper, 12x16

Well, I have made some progress on the portraits I started last week. Oddly, the arms here look funny in the image, while when viewing the painting in person they make more sense. Still can't believe these are so difficult to photograph! In the landscapes if the photo is off, it's mostly just the color that is affected. Somehow though, when a photo of a portrait is off, the whole image looks strange.

My favorite part of this one is the face; there is really so little detail in it, however her expression is pretty clear. That is one of the qualities that I am striving for in this series and it is nice to know that I can do it. Just wish I could do it a bit more consistently, and maybe I will be able to if I do fifty more, a hundred more, a thousand more......

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Underpainting, 12x16, Oil on Gessoed Paper

Well, somehow a few days of not posting here turned into a week. I have some personal things going on which have been distracting me from almost everything, so I think posting here may be a bit spotty for awhile. I hope you'll bear with me though! Things will calm down, I will be working more in the studio and at some point I will be prattling on again like usual. Heh.

Today is a dark rainy day here though and feels like a good day to work in the studio. A great distraction from the other distraction! I will be working on five underpaintings in the People You Know series, including the one shown above. I have decided to go back to the gessoed paper mostly because I am feeling this series still needs SO much more work. Even though I much prefer working on panel, the paper is less expensive and the finished work is much easier to store. Or throw away!

I will try to at least keep posting images, even if my words are failing me lately.....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This And That

Not much new to report today. I have done three underpaintings, one shown above, which I am quite happy with. I tried mightily NOT to overwork them and although I will have to then adjust how I handle the color later, I think that they will have more energy in the end.

I still seem to have some sort of mental blockage about getting out into the vegetable gardens. Not sure why but I suspect once I do get out there, I will be there forever, trying to catch up!!

Missed the deadline for a regional juried competition on Saturday. I have given up entering most competitions, however I like to support our local arts org, and plus I was planning to enter one of the portraits from the People You Know series, just to see what might happen. But I completely forgot about it that day! Sheesh!

I did go to a gallery opening on Saturday night with Lady Ostapeck (I wrote about her here). She is 92 and lives down the road from us in a crazy ramshackle house that contains more stuff than you can ever possibly imagine. Or at least she did until last fall when she moved into senior housing in a nearby town. She is quite the character and she talked to every. single. person. at the opening whether she knew them or not! She would have closed the place down if I had hadn't been my usual sour self at a crowded opening where I didn't know anyone. Heh. She also had two glasses of champagne, which is exactly two more than I had. Anyway, it was great fun hanging out with Lady Ostapeck (we had dinner too and she insisted on paying for her own pizza slice) and I am glad we went.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday, Monday

Horizon Lines(25), 2009, Oil on Cradled Panel, 4x6

Well, it's Monday again. I actually like Mondays. It's a good day for a fresh start, a day to anticipate what might happen in the coming week.

I have been in a bit of a funk lately and also just had a tough weekend and so today is a very welcome Monday. My schedule is open so I can spend a good part of today making art. I depend upon my art for so much; enjoyment, distraction, solace, energy. But somehow, when stuff happens, the art often gets shortchanged. I think I need to work on that bad creative habit of mine and not let it be so.

Anyway, I don't really have to do anything today, I have no imminent deadlines, no events coming up. I have plenty of finished paintings on hand, and in fact it seems crazy to make more paintings considering how little storage space I have, how low my birch panel inventory is, and how many other things I probably should be doing as well.

So even though my usual underpainting day is Friday, today is Monday and I could use a fresh start. Again. Heh.

Oh, and the painting shown above is one of eight new Horizon Lines paintings alvailable for sale on my sales blog.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah, Boring........

Horizon Lines, 2009, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Well, I think I would be posting more if I were actually doing anything that is even the slightest bit interesting. I just finished up packing the work for the AAF which is next weekend, but otherwise things have been pretty quiet this week. I should be getting outside more, as the weather has been beautiful! I have been doing my walks almost everyday, but have NOT done much at all in my gardens. Really need to get out there this weekend!!

I did spend a few hectic afternoons this week getting 16 pieces ready to send down to NYC for the Affordable Art Fair, which is next week.

I have a bunch of new Horizon Lines paintings to post on my sales blog and hope to get to that this weekend too.

My show is down now at The Harrison Gallery. I am not sure what the final sales count is yet, but I know that at least six pieces were sold. I am happy with that, especially during this crappy economy.....

And I have to choose a few paintings this week for two juried competitions at our local arts org. I think I will enter work from the People You Know series.

Otherwise, really, really boring here in Tracyland lately...........