Friday, February 26, 2010

Turkeys and Vultures Come Together

As you might imagine, I have alot of bird-related items in the studio. One such item is a blue plastic Fisher Price vulture figurine. Now when I was growing up I didn't know that such toys existed, I am pretty sure if I did I could have gotten on the bird band wagon much sooner.

Paging Lindsey Powers...your turkey feather is complete. I had a blast working on it! You'll have it in your paws next week. Thank you so much pal!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sonoran Desert Critter Minis

American Kestrel

Barn Owl

American Crow

Mourning Dove

Turkey Vulture
I'll include the above watercolors with the 8"x8" Sonoran Desert animals I've been working on. I've decided to call the series Native. These guys are 4"x6", the size of a little postcard. At the rate I am going, I'll be painting on a grain of rice before long.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gettin' My Sketch On

Bailey the Turkey Vulture
I’ve met a lot of interesting characters volunteering at Liberty Wildlife (fellow volunteers included), but Bailey the Turkey Vulture is one of the most memorable. He is very selective of who enters his domain. Not just anyone can waltz into his house to leave a delicious treat. Bailey and I have had conversations on how much I value my fingers and that I do not enjoy being clawed with huge talons. We’ll see if he was listening.

Baby Blue Jay for Carol

House Wren for Carol
Carol, the bestess mom-in-law, commissioned me to make the above Blue Jay and House Wren sketches for her new casa in Texas. It was my favorite kind of commission - "do what you want". Done and done.

Peregrine Falcon

There is a soft, quietness that a Peregrine Falcon evokes. You also are instantly aware of their extreme intelligence. These birds may seem gentle but they are fierce hunters, reaching speeds over 150 mph.

This guy, Bailey the Turkey Vulture, and many others are available in my etsy shop. All funds go towards gettin' this girl to Wyoming!

Common Kestrel with Top Progress

I thought you might want to take a look at the progress of the Common Kestrel with Top painting. Getting prepped for the trip to Wyoming has the studio hoppin' and unfortunately this has been put on the back burner. I might not get a chance to work on it until I return.
The ongoing struggle of pricing inspired me to really document time, expenses, and mental notes on the process of building a painting. Under each image is the time spent and notes for each step.

Stretching and priming canvas: 2 1/2 hrs. 1/19/10
Painting green background foundation: 1 hr. 1/16/10
" Don't ever feel guilty about pricing. Building a canvas and planning a painting alone take hours and that's before a splatter of paint touches the canvas. So what if you don't sell it - make it because you need and love to."

Drawing, placement, and painting Kestrel/experimenting with top: 1 hr. 1/22/10

Designing wallpaper design and making stencil: 1hr. 15 min. 1/24/10
Transferring wallpaper design onto canvas: 1 1/2 hrs. 1/25/10

"I forgot how time consuming, confusing, and frustrating transferring wallpaper is. If you think my paintings are too expensive - f**k you...this sucks! I've traced this same design at least 22 times!"

Painting wallpaper design: 2 1/2 hrs. 1/26/10

Foundation for Kestrel: 3 hrs. 2/2/10

Changed top - new drawing: 45 min. 1/31/10
Painted top: 2 hrs. 2/9/10

Top detail

Looking forward to spending more time with this painting. I really want to work on the accuracy of each bird species, so I'm working on each feather one at a time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


One more for the Sonoran Desert critter's collection!

Happy B-Day AZ!

Quetzal (national bird of Guatemala)

Yeah, I am totally hangin' with a Passenger Pigeon.

Emperor Penguin

Scarlet Ibis

Lani is totally a ferret. (Dear Lani: I hope you know that I will use this pic whenever possible. Best, Layla)

Most amazing wild turkey ever.
So my pal Lani and I went on a weekend adventure to Tucson and Patagonia, AZ. We wandered the annual gem, mineral, and fossil show, ate the best lunch of our lives, and to our surprise drove within miles of the Arizona/Mexico border in search of a ghost town. Squeeze in a 3 hour session of reality television and learning a lesson about traveling with someone other than your significant other on Valentines Day and you’ve got our trip wrapped up in a nutshell. But what blew my mind the most was the Tucson International Wildlife Museum. It was terrifying and totally awesome all at one time. I shall see you again Wildlife Museum.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I may barf from excitement...

It takes a lot to render me speechless. But my constant babble has been ceased due to a most amazing opportunity…I was awarded an artist residency! I put in countless hours making and mailing proposals packets to programs around the country and have received a healthy stack of “thank you but no” letters in reply. Until yesterday!

I will spend the month of April at the Ucross Foundation located in Northern Wyoming. This little piece of heaven on earth is situated on a 20,000 acre working cattle ranch. It gives the amazing gift of time to artists, composers, and writers. I am beyond excited and extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou…….

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sonoran Desert Critters

I've started a collection of Native Sonoran Desert animal paintings. They are all oil on 8"x8" wooden art panels that I covered with vintage wallpaper taken from a most fantastic 1970's wallcovering sample book.

Couch's Spadefoot

Black-tailed Jackrabbit
(see studies in earlier post)

Desert Tortoise

Barn Owl
(This is not new but fits perfectly with the series theme)
I plan to add the following to the mix: Anna's Hummingbird, Gambel's Quail, Turkey Vulture, Javelina, American Kestrel, Pronghorn, and a Common Raven. Go desert critters!

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

What is better than one Black-tailed Jackrabbit?
Answer: Two Black-tailed Jackrabbits.

These are studies for a small painting that I am working on. It was cool to experiment with the different background colors.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Vulture Factory

My brain won't allow me to do just one drawing of a vulture...oh no...I have to do five. Factory-style.

See this lovely sheet of battered butcherpaper under the pastels? It was time to retire it from it's duty as a mini drawing table drop cloth and turn it into art. It became this...

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture
Monk Vulture

Griffon Vulture
Turkey Vulture
White-backed Vulture
Making something of an object that is deemed useless...I think that is keeping up with the vulture spirit.