Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Once Again…..

Once again, I find myself looking at the calendar, realizing that it is July and wondering where the year went?!?!??!? What is up with time? it used to go by so SLOOOOOOW, now it is rushing by at the speed of light, and I am not even used to writing 2014 yet. Better get the Christmas decorations out quick, or I will miss it too!

Bathing BeautyThere is a WIP in the works, believe it or not, here is the latest version of “Bathing Beauty”.  It is over due, as we just returned from some much needed R&R. We attended a family reunion in Angel Fire, NM. The weather was fabulous, we enjoyed the cool mountain air, visiting with family, the scent of pines, and daily afternoon rains. We missed a huge sandstorm, and came back to 109 degree temps with monsoon humidity.

Mean while back at the cat hair saga……have you ever tried to put a bandaid on your toe in a house full of cat fur? I got to try it last night, and let me tell you, after going through a whole box of bandaids, I finally got one on with only  one cat hair in it. Any of you cat owners out there…….buy stock in bandaids! As I type, one of the cats has decided to take up residence on my asdfjkkllill;’,mnbnvcttyuioop, oops……… Keyboard. Oh no, now there is long black cat hair all over my keyboard and stuck to the screen.  Cats 5 – Arlene 0.

Excuse me a moment….there goes the phone…..hello…..uh excuse me while I go to the back room, my parrots are all screaming, hello……..uh….excuse me while I get all of the cat fur out of my mouth…..OK, uh hello………buzzzzzzzzzzzzz….Hmmmmmm guess it was a wrong number. Hello Charlie…..Hello Loki…..Hello……Birdie and Sunny. I am off the phone, you can all stop screaming now. Parrots 1,253 – Arlene 0    Ohhhhhhh sweet silence, so much better.  Oh no, here comes the cat again!

Seriously, have you ever tried to mat and frame a painting in a house full of cat fur?!??! First, you have to brush the painting thoroughly, use a tape roller to remove any missed hairs. Then the mat must be cut and secured to the painting, making sure to put acid free board behind the painting to protect the back. NOW you are almost ready. Quickly clean the glass and use canned air to remove any missed cat hairs, and QUICKLY put the matted painting into the frame………..OH NO… hair behind the glass…….OK, so we repeat procedure, brush and tape roller painting and glass………and  OH NO!!!!! Still cat fur behind the glass……..Ok, repeat procedure again……… still cat hair. Ok, so hang the painting with the cat hair……..sigh…….guess the cat hair makes the painting look better. You know come to think of it, I saw an original Van Gogh at the museum, and noticed a lot of brush hairs and cracks in this oil painting……..maybe those weren’t brush hairs after all……..Van Gogh must have had a cat.

Ok, I must get to the day’s drawing results. A sweet, kind Facebook friend of mine has given me permission to paint her beautiful rose breasted cockatoo, Bambi. Here is the drawing on the watercolor paper, in my Otto Paper Stretcher. I usually edit it out, but for those who have an interest in how I keep my paintings flat, you might want to see it.  This one is for you Holly!!!Bathing Beauty



So Candy is saying, “Step Away From the painting”, as I continue to make little adjustments. Owwww, Candy don’t throw stuff at me, you might hit the painting…..Okay…..Okay, I get it! So folks, guess I will sign it and step away, LOL. Ok, so here it is….with all of the cat hair removed! Darn cats, I caught one of them walking across the painting on my desk, I know he was intentionally shedding hair all over it! Thank goodness for drafting brushes and roller tape…….bwa ha ha ha! Foiled the cats again. Owwwww! What was that scratch for? What do you mean it looks batter with cat hairs on it!?!?!?!?

Time out for a commercial break! Don’t forget my kickstarted project!  Even though it is fully funded, I still have to get the current painting scanned for prints, have cards made, etc. in addition to the framing costs for the upcoming show! Prints of Triple Time Blues will be available as a choice for any rewards including a Giclee print! The rewards are a better deal than the normal prices, so check it out!!! You only have until July 8th!

Meanwhile back at our regularly scheduled programming: Tune in next week to see if the cats manage to get more cat hair on the painting before I get it to the printers!!!!Triple Time Blues

As long as I can remember, this has been a favorite saying, “Of all the things I have lost, my mind is the thing I miss the most. ” After walking into rooms for years and forgetting what I came in to do, retracing steps, remembering, and deja vu, repeating the whole sequence……. this saying still has relevance, LOL!  Apparently  in this world of endless data, our minds are hiding somewhere, looking for a simpler time. The good news is the cell phone. One touch brings up the internet where you can find almost anything you need. It is making a fairly good substitute for my brain, as long as I don’t lose the phone!!!

SO with that being out of the way, here is the update on Triple Time Blues! Hope you enjoy, and don’t lose your cell phone!

Triple Time Blues

Triple Time Blues

Triple Time Blues

So, here is the first painting update! There is one fuzzy little parrot but………the rest is coming. BTW, we have some new faces here watching, so I will try hard not to splash paint on the newbies. Just remember next time to bring your raincoats or ponchos, plenty of snacks, and your sense of humor. There are five parrots, four cats and maybe a clown or two, and a cartoon character or two in the building. Yes, we have to endure, feathers, cat hair, and splashing water, but this is watercolor WIP, so what do you expect?!?!?!?!? Also, we could run out of chairs, so if you have a comfy chair you want to bring, please feel free to bring it. Cell phones are allowed as long as you put them on silence and just stick with texting and posting on Facebook or twitter. A couple of my friends would not come if they cannot bring their cell phones. Yeah….you know who you are! No food fights, the food might hit the painting, no rotten tomatoes allowed in the building! Other than that, relax, sit back, and enjoy!

Advertisement: I made that bold for those of you who would like to skip over it. Please check out my Kickstarter project, Watercolor Parrot Art, at :

Meanwhile back to our regularly scheduled program: See you in a few days with a new update!!!

Usually when you think of Blues, you think of sad times, but Thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, Laney Rickman, when I think of Blues, I think of music and parrots! She is the head of a wonderful organization, the Bird Endowment, which has the awesome Mission of “Saving The Blues”.  Bird Endowment works with the Blue Throat Macaw, which is one of our most endangered macaws in the wild. To learn more about them, please check out their website:  – They have some great programs to help you get involved in Blue Throat Macaw conservation like the Nino Adoptivo program, you can actually sponsor a nest and help the propagation of the Blue Throat Macaw in Bolivia!

SO what does this have to do with I got the Blues again? My personal mission as an artist is to support Avian /Wildlife organizations who promote conservation, education, rehabilitation and research. SO I donate a few paintings to organizations to raffle, auction, raise money, or even just to raise awareness. Laney sent me a photo of the Blue Throat Macaw triplets and I could not resist, even though it has taken me some time to get to this project! I thought of a great name for the painting, Triple Time Blues, and so without further ado, here is the beginning of the WIP, the drawing. Hope you will follow along as this painting progresses!Triple Time Blues

Due to the following, I have removed all of my photos from Liberty Wildlife, I know you have enjoyed them, and I posted in my enthusiasm for rehabilitating Wildlife, but I would not want to be responsible for jeopardizing Liberty’s permits. Thanks for your understanding, and I will continue to post photos taken in the wild, and of course my paintings!

USFW has certain regulations concerning the commercial use of images of the wildlife in our care and if these regulations are not followed, the permits that allow us to keep operating might be placed in jeopardy.

Eagle Owl in FlightCandy is telling me to step away from the painting, so here it is. Having the experience of not finishing the Cockatoo tail though I think I will stare at this one a while just to make sure.

Sometimes it is hard to accomplish a particular task because of all the other stuff you do on the way to completing it. On the way to finishing this painting, I had to take a time out to learn Adobe Light Room, so that I could pare down my 30,000 photos to a manageable number and organize them.. They are only down to 25,000, so it is not manageable yet, but slowly I am getting there. Better late than never! On the way to learning Adobe Light Room, I had to learn Adobe Elements….and on the way there….LOL! And so forth. This is what keeps life interesting. Since it is a continual learning process, it is fun….just wish I had the quickness of brain function that I had years ago, it seems like more of a struggle now. Am still waiting for a personal assistant to help me organize all of this, sell the artwork, manage the website, manage the Etsy store, and run the art booths,  so all I have to do is take the photos and paint! LOL, every artist’s dream….Since that person still hasn’t shown up, guess I will just keep going along getting caught in all the other stuff you do on the way……so where are you going and what other stuff are you doing on the way?

WIP Eagle Owl

Oops, I forgot to take a photo of last week’s update, so you get this week instead… is a busy week! The Day at The Oasis is this Sat, I will be attending and having a table for “meet the Artist”, LOL! Will be face and hand painting, so if you are going, please stop by my table! We went to Sierra Vista, took some bird photos, which I have posted on my Facebook Artist Page, please feel free to peruse at your pleasure!  It was nice to get out of the heat, had a little rain, and greatly enjoyed all the beautiful birds in the area. So without further ado, here is the update…..catch ya next week!

Eagle Owl WIP

Eagle Owl WIP

Eagle Owl

Eagle Owl

So many projects… little time….we recently visited Bearizona, watched the flight show, and got a photograph of this beauty(Eurasian Eagle Owl) who is the subject of the current WIP. There should be an update soon, as the background is in, but I have to find a few spare moments to get some current pictures.

Those of you on Facebook probably saw photos of the Feathered Friends Festival at the Gilbert Riparian institute. For those of you who did not catch it, here is a photo of a couple of the celebrity parrots who attended the event. A good time was had by all!

Celebrity Parrots

Celebrity Parrots

Then it was on to “Wishes For Wildlife”, the annual Liberty Wildlife fundraiser. It was a fabulous event, ending the night with a Great Horned Owl being released. The owl flew like a champ, never looking back, and we all wiped a little tear from our eye and sighed, thinking, “This is what makes it all worth it!”

The next event, which was also chronicled on Facebook was the lunar eclipse and “Blood Moon”, which involved staying up into the wee hours of the morning with camera on tripod, remote switch in hand, and LOTS of caffeine on hand. It was definitely worth being physically trashed for a couple of days after and trying to catch up on all that lost sleep. Weeeeellllll…..see for yourself…here is my favorite from that night.

Blood Moon

Blood Moon

There are supposed to be three “Blood Moons” over the next 18 months, so I may get a lot of practice staying up ’til the wee hours of the morning with the company of the camera. It is interesting being surrounded by all the snoring while gazing upon such a dramatic scene. The parrots were producing some beak grinding noises and I think I even heard some cat purring in all that cacaphony.

Several spring projects are underway, but I think they will be good for a blog all of their own, so more about those in a future post!!!

This weekend, my son and daughter get to care for the zoo here, while hubby and I take a little time out for photos. As an artist I prefer to use my own photos for reference material, so we are heading to Southern Arizona to see what birds we can find with our cameras. I am hoping for nesting birds and babies, but who knows what we will find!!!!!

Happy Easter, hope you are able to take some time out for photos!

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