Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Love for English birds

Well, really, I love ALL birds but there is a special place in my heart for the English ones. Maybe because of the scenery that surrounds them which is so hard to find where I live. Maybe I love them best because it is my dream to live in one of those villages some day, you know, the ones with ducks and geese walking among the villagers. If I ever get to go back, that image will be the one that I will be looking for...geese or ducks in a village walking among everyone else. I will get that shot someday...sigh....
For now, there is one other bird I captured while at the London Zoo that rivals my goose picture and it is of a European Robin that I met at the London Zoo. He let me get so close to him! I love looking at all the pictures of him I took and love even more painting him. He makes me smile every time. Here he is...a little watercolor of him with some softening done with PicMonkey....I really should name him, shouldn't I?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finding my niche

I've been asking myself for years whether I want to create art for others or whether creating it for myself is enough for me. I believe the latter is the the most accurate answer but I would be lying if I told you that I didn't appreciate the compliments that I get when others like what I paint. Receiving genuine compliments on my art makes my heart sing.
Although I am not sure I could make a living as an artist, I would love to be able to dedicate myself to art and all hand-made things if I could. Being able to sell a few prints or simply make someone's day when I give them a small watercolor as a gift, would be icing on the cake.
So, what could be my niche? Bird art, most definitely. Do I prefer acrylics or watercolors? I like acrylics but I am utterly in love with watercolors. Where do I find the best inspiration? I have realized lately that my travels provide the best inspiration possible. The pictures are mine so I don't ever have to be concerned with copyright and best of all, I can shoot pictures of a flower or a bird from multiple angles, providing endless possibilities when it comes to inspiration.
My favorite travel picture so far? Not the Eiffel tower as you might think but a photo of a little guy I met at St. James Park in London last summer. I have painted him numerous times and even embroidered him on a piece of cloth recently. This latest watercolor of him made me happy. I hope he brings a smile to your face as well.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Birds On A Wire

It is very cold outside! It has been a roller coaster in Texas going from 70 degrees one day to 20 degrees the next. It is hard enough for us humans to cope, it seems, even though our homes can be adapted to heat or cold by the flip of a switch. So it always amazes me how the wildlife can cope, especially the birds who seem so fragile yet survive these drastic changes quite well. On my way to  meet a dear friend on a very cold night this past weekend, I snapped this photo as the sun was going down while I wondered how all these birdies could possibly stay warm - they seemed quite happy and I figured that it was because they were together. 
Stay warm!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jane Davenport

I might be the last person on earth to discover the fabulous Jane Davenport. I had heard of her, but had never taken any of her classes. Recently, while visiting another artist's blog, I saw a link to one of her courses and followed it. The link took me to her blog on which she has a video depicting Jane art journaling. I was immediately mesmerized by her talent and ever since, I cannot get enough of watching her paint her beautiful faces. I have watched the videos available on YouTube, the ones available on her site (for free), and finally, gave in and signed up for one of her classes, Express Yourself. Although the class has not started, a couple of days ago, serendipity landed an email from Cloth, Paper, Scissors in my inbox trying to get me to buy one of their ebooks. The ebook, 'The Whimsical Face' was on sale for $5.99 and was taught by, you guessed it, none other than Jane Davenport.  Of course, I could not pass it up. It is 2 hours long and is so, so good. I painted this face while following along her instructions. She gives a lot of juicy tips, she is funny, always in a great mood, and so fun to watch. I highly recommend getting the book (through Interweave)!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tea time

I am one of those people that always has 10 projects going on. As if that was not enough, there are usually 10 more in my head that I want to start. Yes, I have an overactive brain. This can be a blessing (I get a lot done) and a curse (I have trouble turning it off and therefore sleeping). One of the few things that has helped me sleep consistently is drinking chamomile tea before bed (Note: sketching or crocheting before bed does the complete opposite!). After testing many brands, my favorite has been Organic India Honey Chamomile Tulsi Tea. I kid you not, immediately after drinking it, I start falling asleep. I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods. To my surprise, they recently stopped carrying this particular flavor. Today, when I complained, the young man that helped me suggested an alternative for me to try (while at the same time offering to special order the Tulsi tea). In spite all of my assurances that I would not like any other brand, I gave in and bought it. Well, I am in love with the tea he suggested! The one he selected for me is the Chamomile Lavender Paromi Tea.
It smells wonderfully and tastes delicious. A bonus? The tea bags come in a beautiful gray glass jar that I can use to store my brushes when I finish the 15 tea bags that are included. The real test, however, will be what kind of sleep I get tonight. I will let you know!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Birds and Lace

I have been in a pink and lace-kind-of-mood. I am normally more into earth tones than pastels and I don't even own any lace but when I sat to create a page in my journal, I wanted the page to be soft and creamy.
I started off by decoupaging a napkin I received from a dear friend onto the page along with a couple of torn  pieces of paper. My friend is from England, a country that I am utterly in love with. Having a piece of it on my journal page would make it special.

I added gesso and a little bit of pink with my gelatos and kept adding layers until I was happy with the color. A bit of black touches here and there at the end made the page feel just right and ready for an image and some journaling. Of course, I decided on a little black and white bird.

Finally, I added a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slowing Down

There is nothing that slows you down in Texas as much as a good little ice storm. It is always a welcome treat in our home to have a 'snow' day. No school, no driving, no chores. Just coffee, books, and time to really pause and think about what is important.
It has been almost a year since I have been here - I know, I know. Is there even anyone out there? I feel like I am at the entrance of a cave yelling 'Hello!' and afraid that I will only hear back the echo. But life gets in the way of blogging about my art. Maybe I can give it one more try, just one more try at keeping up with this art/life online journal that only ever gets to contain bits and pieces of what I love to do.
I hope if anyone is reading this you have a chance to slow down and think about what is really important. I know that I will be trying. Again.
A little bit of ice on freshly sprung leaves,
Bird baths and feeders solidly covered,
Means maybe a little bit of time to slow down and make something pretty.

"We are always getting ready to live but  never living."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson