Thursday, July 31, 2008
I met this handsome guy this spring, with camera, dog and sunrise at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens. The Geese and Ducks were just awakening, and this guy was dabbling around for breakfast. He looked up from what he was doing, and the sun caught the water beading off his feather coat, studding him with diamonds.
No Ugly Ducklings here.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Suzie Wolfer
The original image of the raven came from my trip three summers ago to attend the funeral of my husband's niece, Kristen, who had been killed in a hiking accident.
Although the reason for the trip was deeply sad, the gathering of his siblings all together for the first time in many years was a privilege to be a part of. We spent 10 days together on Kodiak Island off of the coast of Alaska and fished, hiked, walked the beaches, went on a boat and saw whales and caught 1000 pounds of salmon and halibut and just spent time together.
This little raven came and sat on the table where we were cleaning our fish after our boat trip. He was wounded and hopped about begging for scraps. Despite his challenges he looked well fed, although a bit unkept with his broken wing and crushed leg....All the things that I heard of Kristen during my time on Kodiak, this bright, successful, talented and well loved woman of 26 years, who had faced considerable challenges of her own, this little raven seemed to symbolize. Of all the beautiful things I saw and experienced on my first trip to Alaska, his image has stayed with me and finally has found his place in my work.
The four eggs on the left hand side of Mournful Raven sybolize Kristen and her three siblings....only two of which survive her. The large dark egg in the background symbolizes her father, Dodd, whose pain is deep and enduring.
In Kristen's memory I dedicate this piece.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Bee Shay
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This piece was made of 4 transparencies. The top is just the "frame", the second is the crow, the third the alder tree background and the last one is all of them together. They are all held together by pins with beads separating the layers. The same pins and beads are holding the crow feathers in place.
Crow #5 is a piece honoring my mother, who passed away this last Sunday. One crow for sorrow. Thank you for that poem, Leigh.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Z'Anne Bakke
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Paula McNamee
So, I took a picture of it, and I was not sure as to how to treat it with respect in my artwork. I decided that I would leave the bird as it is without making it more macabre or watering down its lifelessness.
I am not sure as to why I chose to do this type of art, but at this point, I believe that it accurately depicts exactly how I felt when I first saw it on the ground.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by &rew Borloz
Monday, July 28, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
As I listened to the music I spotted a small vermillion flycatcher peering from a nearby tree. Was he a gift for my thirsty soul?
His colors were vibrant against the morning sky. They looked much like the horizon rich with color. His song was joyful as he welcomed the early morning sun,looking toward the heavens as if he were singing praises and thanks. He sat there for the longest time and I watched intently in awe as the gentle breeze caused his feathers to wave softly.....
He became the inspiration for my July challenge.
I gathered paints, brushes, water and canvas, then cleared a spot on the table so I could begin attempting to capture his beauty in my work.
Oh my, where to begin? I sketched an outline of the tree and leaves then the vermillion on a piece of white paper. This would be the beginning of my creation.
I covered the canvas with white acrylic paint to seal the pores then mixed light blue paint with white to cover the top third of the canvas. Using a light green mixed with white I covered the bottom of the canvas. The colors were extended around the edges of the canvas. I used graphite paper to trace the outline of my drawing onto the canvas. Since I was using a stretched canvas with two inch sides I thought I would have the tree wrap around the edge. Once the rough sketch was transfered to the canvas I began to paint the tiny bird, tree and leaves.
Carefully I applied a base coat for each object in the picture...brown for the tree and branches, green for the leaves, black for the dark areas of the vermillion and orange for the areas where his vibrant colors are located. I love painting botanicals so the tree and leaf colors seemed to flow from the brush as I dipped it carefully into each color. The strokes were small and required a careful hand.
I lost myself in this tiny creature as I began to paint his small yet brilliantly colored feathers. The black feathers surrounding his eyes remind me of a bandit that was waiting patiently to grab a treasure. His treasure of flies and other insects were way too small for me to capture on the canvas so I will just let you imagine that he must be watching one silently....Ready to strike at any moment!
Here is the final piece that I will be placing in my art studio where it will remind me of the early morning song he sang as he serenaded me on a bright sunny summer day.
What a darling little musical performer!
He sings his song just for me..
As he sits high within the tree.
My day has begun with a smile...
And a song that warms my heart.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Marylin Huskamp
Friday, July 18, 2008
Now you would think this theme would have been an easy subject since I am constantly showing birds on my blog, and selling works in my little shop, as well as teaching Nature related workshops. But in reality, I have been ponder on this piece for over five weeks.
Why so difficult, you may ask?
Well...the word challenge according to Webster's Dictionary means,"to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties".
This is the first piece in a body of work I will be presenting. It represents a part of Nature I hold dear. I also want to take full advantage of this opportunity to grow and stretch my art in new directions.
So where to begin?
I knew I wanted the piece to be saturated with rich colors. However, beyond that, I did not know where to go next.
After careful thought and consideration, I chose to dedicate the majority of the background to a study in pattern design or patterning. This is an area that had always fascinated me when I was working as a mass market retail product designer.
Although I consider myself a representational painter and have no intentions of abandoning this part of my style, I am increasingly finding myself drawn to more abstract elements. Bits of abstraction are also something I would like to incorporate into my future works.
As I was furiously creating, new ideas were flooding my thoughts. I have now found myself snipping inspiration from catalogs, magazine, here and there, tucking them away to use later.
Without further adieu, I proudly share my art with you.
The entire artwork was rendered on fabric with the exception of stitching and small paper elements. I spent a great deal of time mapping out the logistics of the background, painting and repainting, with wash after wash of diluted acrylics to achieve just the right look and depth.
I made only a few changes to the piece once I started. I suppose it could be considered part of the evolution of the work. One of the biggest was going from the use of three chickadees, down to one chickadee, then abandoning this bird type for the bluejay you see.
I also added a pattern to the bird to help him transition the two distinct areas of the painting, the grid patterning and the sky, making the viewer wonder if the bluejay is real, abstract, or both.
Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Tracie Huskamp
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Our next theme was proposed by Bee Shay - Entymology, or the study of Insects, Spiders and Crustacheons (crabs, lobsters, etc.) - any media is acceptable as long as it is 8" by 8" and can be hung on the wall for display. Let me know if you have any questions!
Friday, July 11, 2008
could not get back here. Now I found you and feel a lot better about
this swap and computers and life in general. I was beginning to think
I was having dementia. I did get my July 8 x 8 finished.
Are we to upload a of it here? If you have any tips on how
to do it, please tell me. Thanks, Judi Stack