Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Approaching the last chemo, it seems like it takes a little longer after each treatment to get my energy back. But next week is the last chemo, so I have 4-6 weeks to recover before surgery. Happy dance! Happy Dance! Feeling a little down this morning when a Facebook Post from one of my dear friends raised me up and put me back on a good path. It is amazing to have so many people in my life who care. Thanks so much Judith Bert! Once again, Thanks to all of you for the FB messages, texts, blog replies, phone calls, and emails, they all lift me up!

Pastel Pencil on Canson Board(black)

Pastel Pencil on Canson Board(black)

Next week during my chemo, my husband and I will be having our 31st anniversary. Just want to take a time out to say that I could not have made this journey without him! He has taken such good care of me and I am so blessed to be his wife. On our first visit to the Oncologist, George told me I would not be alone on this journey, that he would be with me every step of the way. It brought tears to my eyes and I will never to be able to express how much I love him and thank God every day for bringing him into my life. He has taken me to every treatment, appointment, and test and has been there every second of the way. He has seen me puking my guts out, with chemo burn, and looking like a baby grackle with my almost bald head and still tells me I am beautiful and that he loves me. For those of you who think I am brave, let me tell you, I am not. But with a love like that, how could I not face this War on Cancer with ferocity? Love gives me wings.

This week the new WIP is a fox. We have visited Bearizona several times and this little guy fascinates me. He is so cute and furry that I just have to give him a go. Hope you enjoy! Last chemo next week… happy Dance…happy dance……

Mountain Chickadees Pastel Pencil on Ingres

Mountain Chickadees
Pastel Pencil on Ingres

Before I fall asleep, just wanted to say, this is the Next To The Last Chemo Treatment!!!! Whoooo Hoooo!

The Mountain Chickadees are matted.

The birds and kitties are fed.

Peace out!!!!

Chickadees almost done! Pastel Pencil on Ingres.

Chickadees – Pastel Pencil on Ingres.

This has been a good resting week. As it moves along at the speed of light, I am feeling energized and ready for next week. Especially since there is a BIG light at the end of the tunnel.

The chickadees are almost done, I just have to do some color adjusting on the second one, so that they will look good together in a frame, and do the shading at the outer edges. These guys are just so cute, they have been fun to work on.

Hope you all have a wonderful, fun, happy weekend!

First Chickadee - Pastel Pencil

First Chickadee – Pastel Pencil

Whew, last week’s chemo really took it out of me. Didn’t get back to the “New Normal” until Monday. Am feeling much better this week, nausea finally cleared up and have some energy. Now I feel like celebrating “Only Two Chemos Left!” Even though I was happy, was just too tired to celebrate last week, so let’s party now! Whooo Hooo! Thanks SO much to all of you who are praying, sending positive thoughts and good wishes. You are the wind beneath my wings!

A shout out to say: Happy Birthday to my talented, intelligent, beautiful daughter, Melissa! Thanks for all of your visits, prayers and support! Also Happy Birthday to Debi, my wonderful sister! Thanks for all of your prayers, support and packages! You guys are a great part of my family team!P1S

Am back to work this week on two pastel pencil drawings of Mountain Chickadees, here is the progress on the first one. We saw them in Flagstaff last year, and I am just now getting around to them. I am thinking of framing them as a diptych since the Ingres pastel paper is smaller than the papers I usually work on. I was a little disappointed in the Ingres Paper as it came with a little fold in it, but I guess that is what happens on the long trip from England. It does not disappoint as far as working with it though, it takes the pastel layers wonderfully. So you will be seeing a few drawings on it, LOL.

Talk to the Tail!

Talk to the Tail!

Hubby took me to Sahuaro Ranch Park the last couple of days to see the peacocks. The males are starting to display their gorgeous tails and vibrating like crazy to get the females attention. The peahens are still ignoring them, lol. Most of the males have big, beautiful tails, and the display is amazing. There was one little guy who must be this year’s clutch, his tail was only about a foot long, but he was strutting his stuff as proudly as the big guys. We had a good chuckle at his expense, but he was just so darn cute!

Display

Display

It has been nice to sit out on the patio in the sun and watch the backyard birds since it is in the 80’s here. We( I should say hubby, I just watched,LOL) took all of the parrots out on the patio this weekend, and they really enjoyed it! A hummingbird kept buzzing Loki though, and she was getting a little annoyed with him. I think the hummer thought she was some kind of big flower with her bright blue and yellow. It is a good thing the little guy did not slow down or, he would have been caught by a BIG parrot beak.  Well….guess it is back to the birds for now! Update soon.

China silk scarves

China silk scarves

Sorry to take so long to blog this week, but after chemo treatment # 10, I am tired, tired, tired, exhausted. Have slept a lot this week – pretty much waking up to take nausea meds and occasionally check in on Facebook. Hopefully will have a little more energy next week and will do a little longer blog. Since this was treatment # 10, the GREAT news is ONLY two more to go!!!!! Whoooo Hoooo. Will have a new tumor marker numbers next week, as they only do them once a month, but am sure it will be good news. Cancer take that – POW!!! POW!!!! POW!!!!

Sister Debi, this photo is for you – the silk scarves from China you sent. With the hair slowly disappearing, it is nice to have something pretty on my head! You can see the port really well too. It saves me from MANY bruises!

ElkFs

Elk on Black All Media Board – Pastel Pencil

The elk is about finished, I definitely am liking him better on black, but take a look and decide for yourself! Nap time, catch ya next week.

This has been a good resting week, I have felt good, but a little more fatigued than usual. It could be due to the build up since there are only three more chemos……or it could be because the weather is rainy here, which is very unusual in Arizona. A little more hair has disappeared, but I still have enough to comb forward to have bangs with my hats. The chemo tan is getting darker, wonder how long it will last after chemo is over?

Elk - Pastel Pencils on Black

Elk – Pastel Pencils on Black

The elk is being redone on the black media board. I am liking it better so far. Didn’t get out the good camera, but will next time! SO the camera phone is Ok, but does not do justice to the colors. I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have liked….maybe it is because friends have been taking me out to eat this week, LOL. Mary, Delia and Tom, Thanks so much! It was so wonderful seeing you all and getting out of the house for a while!

The birds and cats are all napping in this wet cold rainy weather, I think I will grab a book and curl up with a nice fuzzy blanket and so the same. Feel free to join us!

Elk Pastel Pencil

Elk Pastel Pencil

Whooo Hoooo 9 chemos down and only 3 to go!!! The nurses gave me a copy of my blood-work from Monday, and the chemo markers in the blood-work are down to 51! That is down from 75 just two weeks before.The final number should be under 10, so we are getting there!!!! I slept pretty much from Monday until Thursday this week and woke up Friday with some energy! Not as much nausea this week. Thank all of you for the prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes!

Here is the elk almost done. After the black backgrounds, it seems dull, so I am going to redo him on the black multi media board. That is the nice thing about this time of experimentation, I can try different things without the worry of how they turn out. So another silver lining with the cancer. Am still loving the pastel pencils, need to do a painting soon before I forget how to do watercolor though!

Tomorrow is the closing of the Sahuaro Ranch show, so we will go pick up the drawing that did not sell, a couple of ribbons and a check. Very exciting!

Tonight is the auction for Triple time Blues at the Houston Parrot festival Banquet. Good Luck Laney, hope the painting gets a nice contribution for the Bird Endowment!

OK, i am really getting paranoid….the parrots and the kitties have been really good this week….so I know they are plotting something. Am not sure just what though. Will be keeping a VERY close eye on them this coming week…I hear Loki whispering, see something is up. Oh Hi Loki! What? Nothing, I was just blogging…No I was not talking about you…you want a nut…..Ok. Gotta go get the bird a nut, TTYL.

Triple Time Blues Blue Throat Macaw Babies

Triple Time Blues
Blue Throat Macaw Babies

If you have been following my blog for a while, you have seen my painting, “Triple Time Blues”. This painting was donated to the Bird Endowment, and is going up for auction Jan 24 at the NPRPF Parrot Festival  Banquet being held in Houston. Here is a quote from my blog from 6-10-14 about the painting and my artist mission:

“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: http://www.birdendowment.org – 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 the Blues? 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 has taken time out of her VERY busy schedule to write a guest blog, so without further ado……Laney Rickman

Laney Rickman

Laney Rickman

“*Triple Time Blues* symbolizes Bird Endowment’s mission.

At The Blues Conservatory™ in Texas, our Saving the Blues™ parent-rearing program preserves and perpetuates the integrity of the Blue-throated Macaw cultural identity and provides future breeding birds with the best potential for hatching and parent-rearing their own offspring.

*The Triplets* are the culmination of a series of important milestones. Here is some historical perspective.

Great-grandparents *Ira & Eureka* were our very first pair of Blue-throated Macaws, acquired in 1992. They were also our first wild-caught pair, legally imported in 1981. They had been with several breeders but produced their first chicks with us in 1993. Founder Pair #1 raised *Xena* in 1997.

GO Blue!!!

GO Blue!!!

Grandparents *Xena & Trust* were our first F1 pair (first generation hatched in captivity) to produce and parent-rear offspring at The Blues Conservatory™. In 2002 they raised *Joplin*.

Mother *Janis Joplin* was our first F2 chick (second generation hatched in captivity) produced at The Blues Conservatory™. She and *Buster Blues* were our first pair to produce and parent-rear offspring that are third generation hatched in captivity. In 2011 they raised *The Triplets*.

*Albert Collins, Francine Reed & Junior Wells* were the first, and only, clutch of three chicks successfully parent-reared at our facility. They are still together in The Flock. They represent not only the achievement of Bird Endowment’s long-term goals, but many gratifying memories for me as well.”

Thanks Laney, the best of luck with the auction and keep up the good work with the Blue Throat Macaws!!!!

Oncologist appointment was Friday, where we got some great news! The tumor markers in the blood-work are down to 75 from 225 last month! Four treatments to go and we want the count under ten, so we are making great progress. The original count back in September at diagnosis was 2000. Hubby, George and I were both ecstatic to say the least. Take that cancer!!!! POW!!!

Three Wild Women

Three Wild Women

Saturday, I was feeling well enough to attend daughter Melissa’s play, “39 Steps”, at Mesa Encore Theatre.  Friends Noelle, Margaret, Leo, Paul, and Josh met us there. The play great. We were all proud of Melissa and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. During the intermission we were invited up to try on costumes, so of course the three wild women could not resist. Here we are hamming it up on stage. Thanks to Margaret for the photo! Afterwards, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for a fun dinner. The day was so fabulous! I have not been out since August and just enjoyed the heck out of it, even though very tired today. SahuaroRanchS

As promised, here is a photo of the two drawings in the Glendale Arts Council – sans ribbons. The purchase Award and the second place are both firsts for me at this show. Very exciting! With all of the fabulous stuff happening this week, I am bursting with happiness! Take that cancer! POW POW!!!

Elk

Elk

Also as expected, here is a photo of the new pastel pencil artwork. The photo reference is from a trip we took to Estes Park. This guy is so magnificent, I have been wanting to draw him for a long time. Since I have been playing with pastel pencils, I ordered some Strathmore Charcoal paper, and it is holding the pastel. But still can’t wait to get my Ingres Pastel Paper to try.  Pastel pencils are working well at showing texture, and may become one of my favorite mediums! SO I haven’t been able to get out to the art store for my famous art supply shopping, but I have discovered online shopping! Who Knew?!?!?? I can bankrupt us from home purchasing art supplies! Do your worst at chewing up my pencils parrots, I am armed and dangerous, LOL.

Stay tuned…..a very special blog is coming with guest blogger, Laney Rickman from Bird Endowment!!!!

Almost done! Pastel Pencil on Black Multi media board

Almost done! Pastel Pencil on Black Multi media board

As the chemo progresses, the side effects build, but are still tolerable. Rest week is so important now going into the last part of the treatments. Am feeling good, but tired and if I do to much the ole body lets me know by starting the random intestinal cramping. Since it is the battle of chemo is almost done, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and am so encouraged. My good friend, Mary took me to lunch today and we did a quick run through of the City of Glendale Arts Council Show. It was very exciting to see the 2nd place ribbon there and the purchase award ribbon. The show runs through Jan 25, when the awards will be given to the artists and we pick up our work. Hopefully I won’t be as tired the next time I go and will take some pictures of the art works hanging.

Done de Done Done!

Done de Done Done!

The Squirrel is about Done DE Done Done. I am liking these pastel pencils so think I will do another project since there is one more piece of the black multi media board. “Almost Done” was another phone photo, so today I got out the good ole camera and took the squirrel outside to get some good color, and you see the result….much closer to the real color rendition.

The other day, Loki started screaming, which is usually to tell me she is out of food, someone is coming to the door, or there is an animal in the yard. I looked, the food supply was good, so checked the back yard. Lo and behold our cat, Dante, had gotten outside and was just having a good ole time out in the yard! Sure am glad Loki is a tattle tale, otherwise Dante might be lost somewhere as he is not an outdoor kitty. So macaw screaming can be a good thing, LOL, even if it does some ear drum damage. Oops, she is screaming…..better go check the food supply.

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