Peacocks in Magnolia Tree

Peacocks in Magnolia Tree
24" X 60" Alkyd and Gold Leaf on Board

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Emu Fatherhood, a two month wait!

For the uninformed, Emu males hatch the eggs, mind the nest, and raise their young all by themselves. For some reason, female Emus just lay their eggs then desert their man and their offspring. The male Emu spends two to three months without food, tending the nest, and then the next year or so watching over his offspring. Kudos to the Male Emu for his devoted parenting, and his devotion to home and family. In this painting I tried to convey the exhausted delight of a new dad, and the fragile, fatigue of chicks that have pecked their way out of eggs. Hard work on all parties involved, but great delight in the faces of the new Born's and their father. May we all have such a loving devoted parent, and form strong familial bonds. I think I only have one more Emu painting to go, and then I'm done for a while. That is unless my brain dreams another painting up. Take care, paint what you love, and write when you get work.

Planting and Photographing Your Garden

Today I am going to share photos I took of my garden this morning. My husband always lets me know if something new is blooming in the garden. Today it was the first of the newly planted Iris that have bloomed for the very first time. Then I walked around the garden and Photographed the AppleBlossom Amaryllis, Roses, The Paul Scarlet Red Climbing Rose that blooms in the spring in a very spectacular display, and other colorful flowers that are awakening and greeting Spring. Fellow artists you are welcome to download these photos of my garden flowers and paint from them or use them for reference material. This is why I encourage everyone to plant flowers. It gives you live subject matter to paint from, and gives you the photos when the flowers are spent, and you only have a few roses at best. I took 105 photos this morning, and will go back out and photograph more later on, because the flowers will open up more, and their appearance will change especially the Iris. I have uploaded the morning photographs into my computer, and as soon as I take more photos I will go to the computer, and upload the new photos. I hold onto my photographs for a life time, and constantly refer to them for information. I also cut the flowers, arrange them, and set up still lifes with my collection of candle arbors, brass pots, silver bowls, etc. If you can't afford flowers, ask for the Rose plants instead of a bouquet of roses for your birthday or Mother's day. Plant flowers from seeds into pots, if you don't have property or live in an apartment. Bring the potted flowers into your studio to paint. Be creative with your thinking, as well as your art work. Learn to draw flowers from life,and enjoy what you do. Have a very good, creative day, and be sure to write if you get work. I will cheer you on!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

And on Sunday she rested

Today I drew shells and starfish for the New Beach collection at and then slept, and then slept some more. I did teach for two hours in the morning, but I guess playing with Kindergartners for about 4 or 5 hours just wore me out. So today I'll just say keep on painting, thank you Lee for your Lovely comments, and I will show you the almost completed male Emu with eggs and offspring tomorrow when it's done.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Frogs, Turtles, Snakes, Lizards Party Hearty

Today is Joshuas Birthday party, and instead of finishing a painting of a half starved (they don't eat for two months) male Emu greeting his newly hatched eggs, I acted like a female Emu and had some fun. I bought Joshua a two man inflatable boat with oars so we could play Steve Irwin Crocodile hunter in the swimming pool, and have a great deal of fun swimming this summer. It was probably the best party I've ever been to. Ale` invited almost all his class, and we all swam in the pool, played alligator/piranha/Giant Anaconda/ in the pool. Every body in the boat has to be very afraid of the terrible terrors in the water (see above) and try to paddle away and escape our deadly clutches. Or People in the boat dive in the water and try to capture the Alligators, think a game of Tag. I obviously am a little demented for a 60 year old woman because that is my idea of fun. Then we got out of the pool, and had a wonderful brunch of fresh fruit, hot dogs, Chile, Cheese, Nachos, Strawberries with chocolate ganache and whip cream, plus cake for dessert. Really terrific, but then the best part of the party began when the Snake, reptiles, amphibians, and bug guys arrived. They brought tree frogs, Millipedes, African Frog, Rosy Boa, Ball Python, Stevie the Chameleon, Tarantulas, and a huge Black Headed Boa who weighed 50 pounds and was huge. We all got to learn new words like nocturnal, and omnivores, and touch, hold, and photograph all these wonderful creatures. The kids and their reactions were amazing. Mothers would say my daughter won't touch that, and here all these brave and curious Kindergartners amazed their parents and obeyed, held, touched, and were careful of these exotic beautiful creatures. If I can get my printer to work (it's sick at the moment) I will print out and then paint a scarlet Chameleon as a companion to the Veiled Chameleon. The thing people don't realize is that artists are human beings with a hunger, an overwhelming drive, to paint the things that amaze and enthrall them. I think reptiles and amphibians are fascinating. They are made up of little round circles of colors that form patterns, and make up the entire surface of their bodies. Snake are incredibly made, and if people weren't afraid of them they would see the beauty and the wonder of a snakes body. Every creature in the universe makes me believe in God, and his wondrous generous spirit to give mankind such diversity to feast our eyes upon. Today has been a wonderful very happy day, and I am so glad I was included in the festivities.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Amorous Emus Menage a` trois?

Amorous Emus are taking over my painting time, and have insinuated themselves into my sketches. Who knew I would be so taken by Emus. Perhaps, very soon I will be done, and finish off the lovely watercolors of Laura that are half done, and the second Giraffe painting gazing at me half complete from it's place leaning against the wall. I actually have many paintings complete and ready to frame, but the Emus are clamoring for my attention. I don't know if these Emus are totally done, but I will submit them for your perusal and then evaluate their status in the morning. These three Emus are really taken with each other, and I don't know if they will fight or simply cohabit with a shared nest. One never knows what is going on in the brain of an Emu. My friend Lee's Emu was stranded out in East County, very hungry, and in need of a home when she was found. Unlike these Emus their Emu is slightly bald and just growing in some hair. They think it was on a starvation diet, and needs a lot of nutritious, delicious fruits and vegetables plus Emu chow. They are not even sure if their Emu is a male or female. Sometimes it's very difficult to tell, but with research the females have a very fluffy shawl during the breeding season. Remember, the males are the ones who guard and hatch the eggs, plus bring up the children. Female Emus seem to have a very cavalier attitude about their babies. They are only interested in them if they are eating something delicious, and then the female just once to eat some of the bounty. Female Emus don't seem to have any deep motherly love, but they do like to party with the boys. What will become of them? It's no wonder they are a protected species. I guess they're more to be pitied then censored, but maybe they believed Cindy Lauper's song "Girls just want to have fun!"
Well it's time for me to get some shut eye, and prepare for the 'morrow. Have fun, smile at the silly things, and don't take life to seriously. Write if you get work, and keep on painting.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Emus on the Brain and in My Heart!

Today I painted two Emus desperately in love, gazing with adoration into one anther's eyes. We all have fallen in love, and see the object of our affection through rose colored glasses never seeing the flaws or just graciously overlooking them. The great thing about really loving a person is trusting him above all others, and knowing his strengths and weaknesses and loving him because he is a very honorable human being. These Emus are in the romantic stage of love, and are enjoying that romantic euphoria one feels when one has fallen very hard. Again this is a silly, happy painting, and a valentine to love. May you blog readers out there all enjoy the wonderful feelings that being in love can bring, and may you enjoy the warmth and comfort of tried and true lasting forever love that glows like warm banked embers in your soul. Keep painting and enjoying the gifts God gave you. Enjoy your talent, try not to get too discouraged in this economy, and write when you get work!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An Excitement of Emus

Today I finished my Amorous Emus painting, and it makes me smile. Everyone needs something silly to smile about, and that's what Emus do for me. They make me smile. They are a very curious bird with attitude. I enjoyed painting their silly smiles, leering looks, and especially the disgruntled humbug attitude of the Emu who hates spring and all the fancy free flirting and fighting it brings. These illustrations are just for the fun of it. Not heavy duty serious painting, but painting for the joy of it. The good thing about being an artist, and having the ability to illustrate whatever I see and love means the possibilities are endless. My Iris are blooming one day so I go in the garden and paint plein aire or photograph and compose a painting in the studio. Or I go out side with my sketch book in hand, and draw Iris studying them for a realistic botanical study. I look out the kitchen window, and my roses are blooming and it seems impossible to convey their beauty, scent, and loveliness. I photograph and post a picture which also doesn't convey their scent, beauty, and the birds that tend them. I'm not in any gallery, and I can't seem to get into an art show, and perhaps I'm not whatever a "True" Artist is by today's standards, but I know I'm a good artist nevertheless. I hope you enjoy the silly art I make just as much as the "serious" art. No matter what it's all art, and it brings me satisfaction to do it. Paint on oh fellow artists. Paint what intrigues you and what you love. Life is an adventure embrace it, and pursue what you love and enjoy. Write when you get work, and find time to smell the roses!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today I worked on Critters under the Sea like Trigger Fish, Parrot Fish, Jelly Fish, and Angel Fish. That didn't leave much time for painting on Giraffes or Emus, but I did get a little more painting done on the Excitement of Emus. This is just a fun illustration of a large group of amorous Emus, and one disenchanted Emu with a very disgruntled attitude. I will share in the near future. My sister Yakshi, a very excellent poet, saw my Chameleon and offered oh gentle blog readers this poem for all to peruse and contemplate. There are many Chameleons in this world, and sometimes we are the Chameleons trying to fit our countenance to who we are with and the conditions we find ourselves in. My painting of the Chameleon appears once again but peering into the night from the opposite direction. The pen and ink is of the beauty that is all of us in our youth, when we were physically finished, polished, and complete and ready to take on the world. I thought it fit with my sisters poem. However, it was drawn for a poem I wrote called Scissors and Knives, which I will share with you in the future. It is late, and today has been a long day of work so enjoy the poem, persevere in your art, and write whether you get any work or not. I would love to hear from you. Send me your poems, and share them with the world. I can always find a fitting illustration, or just make a drawing to fit. The world needs more music, poetry, art, and songs. They're good for lifting up the human spirit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Bounty of Roses

Today I sing the Praises of Roses. Beautiful, sweet smelling, fragrant, a feast for your eyes, and a joy to behold, lovely roses in the garden. You cannot have too many roses. Buy them from a bargain bin, bare root at Home Depot or Wall Mart. Buy climbing roses, David Austin Roses, Heritage old Roses, but buy them and plant them. They will bring joy to your heart, and peace to your soul. The Flowers I paint and the fruit I paint is grown on our Acre of land. Whenever I feel low I can walk the property camera in hand, and find beautiful subjects for future paintings. Today I will share two miniature paintings of Oranges and Roses, and a large 24"x30" Oil Painting on Canvas of Roses and Oranges. I fixed about 3 Bouquet arrangements in vases, and then took different tea cups, pitchers, my Aunt Betty's fans and statues and set up different still life's outside and photographed them. I work from my photographs, but I always paint with fresh flowers in front of me while painting. That way I see the delicate beauty and subtle glow that is hard to see in photographs. From that I painted the miniatures in Alkyds and Oil on Board, the large Vase of Roses on Canvas, and the small watercolor on Board. I obviously love fruit paintings, and we planted many fruit trees when we moved here. Fruit and nut trees are food for the body, but Flowers and especially Roses are food for the soul. I hope you enjoy these paintings as I did making them. I hope you have roses in your life, and if you can't afford them plant some Nasturtiums from seeds or Morning Glories from seed. They always come up and take very little food or water. Everyone should have the beauty of flowers in their life. Keep painting the subjects you love, and love what you paint. That love will show in your work. Strive to do your best, forgive yourself your mistakes, and move on to your next project. Everything is a learning curve, and it take perseverance to attain the skill to become good at what you do. Have a lovely flowerful day, and write when you get work. I hope you enjoy these photographs of my view from my kitchen window, and the still life paintings of Roses and Fruit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I went through my paintings that are prepared and Blog ready, and chose the Pekin Duck by the Altisimo Roses. This is a 24" X 36" hardwood panel with 23k Gold Leaf in the negative space and background. I have a large 36" X 60" panel prepared, and illustrated but I did this panel to sort out my thoughts before I tackled the large one. This is the left hand section of the larger panel. I'm glad I did this one because in the large picture there are two more ducks, but they were too large in comparrison with the Pekin Duck. I revised my drawing and changed the size of the other ducks. I also will probably turn the rose into a creamy white with pink to maroon tips on the petals. I will at least see what it would look like.

These panels are very complicated to do. I first draw the illustration full scale on vellum paper that I buy in rolls from a Blue Printer. This paper after the drawing is done and inked, can be then taken back to the blue printer, and he can make you blueprints copies of your illustration.

This is very handy when you are doing etched glass or stained glass because you have a copy for your client to approve, a copy to cut up for cutting out the glass pieces, and a copy to put down on the board where you assemble the pieces with the lead came. You also can have a copy to lay the cut pieces on after they are ground so you know none are missing,plus you can number the pieces on the blueprint so you know how many pieces you have to cut, and which piece is missing when you go to assemble. I used this method for these paintings and put an X in all the negative space so I knew where to Gold Leaf. I then transfer the drawing to the Gessoed Board (3 good coats and sanded inbetween). After the transfer with the X's through the negative space, I paint all of the negative space with two coats of Red Acrylic paint. After that dries I apply the gold leaf size, and when that dries to the tacky stage I apply the gold leaf. Wait 24 hours, and then apply the second coat of God size, and add another layer of Gold Leaf. Now I'm ready to paint the picture. This is how the Peacock panels were done, and all the other panels using this method.

This is basicly a method I developed after some trial and error. The first panels didn't have the Red Acrylic, and the Gold didn't glow as much, and I didn't know how the negative space would look. I needed to know where to leave negative space and where to just to make dark leaf colored negative space to pop the flowers. I also used Magnolia Flowers in many of these paintings, and I knew how to draw, execute, cut, etch, or assemble a Magnolia Flower. However, I didn't know how to paint one in Oils and Alkyds. A very minor point, but a sticking point once I got started. Again that is why I did small 18" X 24" panels of the Leadbeaters Cockatoo, and the Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. I needed to master the Magnolia Blossom. Remember this lesson, knowing how to draw something doesn't mean you know how to paint it. So I just learned on the job (my personal art Job), and mastered the Magnolia Blossom. However this was accomplished after taking many many photographs of Magnolia Blossoms in all their different stages of growth from bud to Blossom to pod. Every Artist should have a very good Digital Camera, with at least 2G of memory sticks, and a very good Printer, Paper, and Ink. You need to study, know, and have a record of what you want to paint. The Altisimo Red Rose is in my back yard, and the Nasturiums, Anemones, and other spring flowers are in my front yard and come back year after year. If you want to paint flowers, it helps to plant them, know them, and understand them. If you don't have a garden, knock on the door of someone who does, and ask if you can photograph. I photographed all the Magnolia Blossoms at a near by Apartment Complex that has about 40 Magnolia Trees on the property, and they (thankfully) are on different levels with staircases that allow you to photograph on level with many of the blossoms.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities like that, and you will find the subject you are seeking.

There are many more paintings waiting to be finished and I need to get to work, but I hope this disertation helps understand the process that I went through to paint the Gold Leaf Paintings, and if you can't afford 23k Gold then buy Composition Gold or silver and try your hand at a painting with Gold Leaf in the negative space. Leave yourself plenty of time, for drying, but it's fun, and makes a very elegant and different look for flowers, birds or ? Try it, have fun, and be sure to write especially when you get work. Happiness is painting!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Finishing and Finding More

I did the laundry yesterday, and did put the pot of beans on, but never got to the Tiger to finish until today. Now the Tiger is finished, but while going through the storage room for posters, prints, unfinished art work, and frames yesterday found still more art work. I may be finishing started projects for the next two years. My Godson Joshua's school is going to auction off some of my Tropical Bird Prints that are finished and published. I will show you samples of that art work in the near future. I still need to frame the Tiger, but I will share the finished painting today. I was going to throw it away, but my friend Lee (also an Artist) said to finish it. Sometimes I have to be pushed into finishing pictures I've lost interest in. Saying that, I have to admit I'm very glad I did finish the Tiger painting, and enjoyed working on it very much. I'm going to post this, and then work on the Giraffe so it can be finished too. I may start cutting the mats and try to get some of these last paintings in their frames. Remember, do your chores, take care of your responsibilities, but don't give up your art. Make time for you, and what gratifies you and makes you a more complete person. Don't blame anyone else, children, husband, work, chores for you not being able to do your art. Seize the day, make it yours, and always make room for your hopes and dreams. Keep drawing and painting and be sure to write when you get work!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sparrows- Too many Mouths to feed!

Sparrows is a transparent watercolor painted on Arches 300 lb Paper regular surface. I took the picture of the Sculpted Lion in Rome, but the American Sparrows were added by me and my imagination. The wire in the foreground was in the original photograph, and I immediately pictured the common sparrow taking up residence on the ferocious winged lion. This is another watercolor pulled out of my portfolio, and it's unframed because the larger pieces are much more expensive to frame. I will share with you now, and finish a vertical companion piece that needs to be completed, and then frame them both at the same time. MY mother always used the phrase "There are just too many Hungry Mouths to feed around here!" She had ten children so she would know what she's talking about. When you have ten, someone is always hungry. I hope you enjoy this offering today. I used a toothbrush and the spatter technique to get all the textures within the washes. I'm still working on the tiger, and will probably complete it and the female Ostrich today. I will also complete the dishes, put on a pot of beans, and do the laundry.

A man can work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done. Another old saying my mother always quoted. Life doesn't get easier, but creativity makes it all worth while. Keep painting fellow artist, and write when you get work!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Iris

These are a few more Iris Paintings that I completed , signed, and framed in my latest push to complete paintings. However, the Large banner was done eons ago and is Acrylic on Canvas Floor Cloth, and done when I had some free time for my own amusements. I get ideas and feel complelled to paint and complete. I like doing "serious" art work, but I also like fun, colorful, and playful art work. I designed my banners to go in my Garden, and designate different garden areas. Everyone should know where to find their iris garden. Enjoy your art and enjoy your garden.

In Praise of Iris

My husband planted my Bearded Iris for me, and with the rain they are all coming up splendidly. For all those gardeners and artists who don't have any Bearded Iris in their gardens, plant some. I buy my Iris from Schreiner's Iris Gardens in Oregon. They are the largest healthiest rhizomes you will ever see, and they produce many multi stemmed big beautiful Iris. I love to draw, paint, and grow Iris. So today's finished and framed painting is an Iris. The Schreiner's Iris Catalog has come out, so be sure to see their beautiful new offerings for 2008.

The weather is warming up, and it's time to garden. Iris are a low maintenance plant that will reproduce year after year, and when split and separated will give you many more plants and a great deal of beauty. Today I sing the praises of Iris.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Painting Snow

I live in San Diego where you can enjoy the ocean, and then go to the snow all on the same day. I had some snow pictures that I had started but were paintinginteruptus so I included them in with the paintings to be finished. How does a female get paintinginteruptus? It's when she has to do the laundry, or make dinner, or iron some shirts or the plethora of other chores that come under the heading of Female Jobs. Next life I'm coming back with different equipment, if there is such a thing as "next time"! The first painting is nice, but it doesn't have a foreground, middle ground, background. It is all middle ground. I needed a foreground shadow, and a path of interest that leads you into the painting. I wanted the tone and feeling of the painting to remain rest full, but to engage the viewer. The impressionist used the device of a foreground shadow to lead you into their pictures. I hope you enjoy Mt. Laguna Snow, and feel inspired to keep right on painting. Remember, the more paintings you do the better you get. Save them all, and watch your progress. Don't get mad, don't rip them up, or discard them. Remember all paintings have moments of indecision and down right "What was I thinking?" Press on and finish your paintings, set them aside if you're not happy, and frame them if you're satisfied with the results. Happy painting fellow artists, and happy viewing fellow art lovers! Write when you get work, and have a great day!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

All Mine

Today I had fun and painted an Ostrich Male with his collection of eggs. I did work on the second giraffe, but I just felt like doing this Ostrich image I had drawn up a few nights ago. I want to do a larger image with his legs and a couple of hatched eggs so this is just a study for a larger painting. However, I did draw up 2 other companion pieces when I drew this one so I guess it's just a smaller painting of an Ostrich and of course has to stand on its' own. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into an Ostrich's love life. The females lay the eggs, but the males are the ones who help gurard and protect taking a very active interest in their offspring. Which always helps no matter what species you are. Hope you had a good productive day fellow artists, and write when you get work! Annie

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grandma's Tea Cups Watercolor Tutorial

Watercolor is a natural medium to choose when painting the delicacy of China tea cups. These Tea Cups were collected by my Grandma when she was a young woman, and then willed to me. I decided to paint a memory, and record the beauty of her lovely gift to me. I have completed and framed 3 Tea cup paintings, and am working on 6 more. This series of images records the progress from drawing stage to finished framed product. These frames are again purchased at Aaron Brothers, and were part of their 50% off 50% Sale. You may think I'm a walking advertisement for Aaron Brothers, but in this case you would be too. this is a regularly priced frame at $14.99. During their specially marked down sales of 50% off 50% this frame with tax probably cost $4.00 and change. That includes glass, and backing. All you have to do is assemble your art work, and buy a mat that works with your art work, and put the hanger wire and eye screws on. For Artists on tight budgets, and trying to get their work in shows (where they have to be framed according to show rules) Aaron Brothers is a dream come true. Check out their sales on Bristal Paper Tablets (the tea cups are done on Strathmore Smooth Bristol Paper) and Watercolor Tablets. Many times they have sales where Tablets of Paper are 1/2 off also. The Tea Cups are done on Smooth Bristol cut to 5"x7". I photographed the tea cups, but also worked from the tea cup right in front of me. They are done with Transparent Watercolor, and I used a Windsor Newton Field Kit, and the colors within, because it didn't take up much room on my dining room table. I made a pencil drawing first, and then painted the Tea Cup with shadow. The Lace Table cloth was painted after I had finished painting the tea cup. However, I always adjust highlights, shadows, line work, and color before I sign my paintings, mat, and frame them. If these images, and this information prompts you to have more questions in your quest for painting knowledge click on comments and let me know. Granny and Kim at our Web Site have been after me to film a tutorial
and your comments and interest will sway me in the direction I take. I still want to finish all these paintings, but I will make time for filming and making the DVD's if there is enough interest in my process.
Keep painting what you know and love. Have faith in your abilities, and remember every painting has moments where you wonder what you were thinking to start it in the first place. Never surrender, Never give up! Write when you get work! Annie