Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review – Thanks everyone!!!!!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Eye, Eye, Sir!

MilMacWip9Or is that Aye, aye, Sir. At any rate, it is time to step away from the painting and see if there are some areas that need more work.  So aye will leave this piece sitting on the easel for a couple of days and if everything still looks good, will sign it. Wishing all of you and your flocks a very HAPPY New Year filled with lots of fun stuff!

Time Marches On!

MilMacWIP4The background is in! Time is marching on so fast, it is REALLY hard to believe this year is almost over and soon we will be welcoming the new year in! Happy New year to all of you. Wishing you all of the best for the year to come.

MilMacWIP5Since the Holidays are still here, you get another WIP photo today. On this one, the red feathers have been painted in. Not long now, just get the eyes in and Candy will be telling me to Step away from the painting. Hey Amber, are you seeing these updates while you are on vacation? If not, you will have a surprise when you get back!

It is such a blessing that Chulla did not have to come to my house to pose. My flock would have told her to stop working for peanuts, and would have given Chulla Ripley’s(the African Grey Lawyer) phone number, and we would have had a strike on our hands and would probably end up paying for modeling with pistachio nuts. Hopefully the word doesn’t get out until after this painting is done!

Wishing all of you a HAPPY New Year!!!!





Marching Along….

MilMacWIP2LOL, couldn’t resist. Since Amber is sitting on pins and needles waiting for this update, thought I would go ahead and post two updates before the holidays get here and there is too much celebrating to get any painting done! SO Amber………these two are for you! Chulla is just starting to pop out of the paper. Hope all of you have wonderful holidays, eat lots of good food, get some great presents, and spend some wonderful time with all of your loved ones! Human, feathered, furred, and scaled friends….wishing all of you a Happy, Joyful New Year!  March, March, March, March…….. the parrots go marching one by one……hurrah………MilMac3

Introducing………..Amber and Chulla…….Guest Blog

165784_1686675521290_4501607_nIntroducing my friend, Amber Puckett, and her beautiful friend, Chulla:

I first met Chulla, my beautiful 12 year old military macaw, in December of 2007. I was babysitting for a friend who rescues unwanted parrots, mostly macaws. Chulla had been placed up for adoption one year earlier by her owners because she was very loud and had a tendency to bite on occasion. At that time, I considered myself an “Amazon” person and not so much a “macaw” person. I had lived with my double yellow head amazon, Rudy, since 1992 and she was the biggest parrot that I had owned. I didn’t have much experience with macaws except for my occasional babysitting adventures.

During the week that I babysat the 36 macaws, Chulla followed me all over the house. I could put her at one end of the house and within minutes, she would come find me. This was a little intimidating at first, but she was so beautiful that I gave in to her and we started our relationship. Once my friend came back from her vacation, I visited Chulla every day after work for 6 months to make sure that we did in fact have a real connection and that I had what it took to be a full time macaw mom.

Now, 5 years later, I cannot imagine my life without this funny, sweet, gentle giant green bird. We have a connection that I can’t describe. “She picked me” is what I often tell people. I’m glad she did.

Earlier this year, Mary Rose told me that she had met Carlos Bonilla, the biologist from the Military Macaw project in Mexico, while she was at a conference in Canada. I had never heard of this project except when our bird club participated in the “Pennies for Parrots” program in 2011. I needed to find out more about them. Mary said that they had trips available to Mexico with the biologists and you could go see the military macaws in the wild. I decided that I was going to put that on my list of things to do ASAP! Being friends with Mary Rose has allowed me to visit the Puerto Rican amazons and have a dinner with Bennett Hennessey , so she is a pretty valuable person to have in your friends list! Thank you, Mary!

So, speaking of having dinner with Bennett Hennessey, that is how this whole project came about. We were having dinner with a few of our bird club members and Bennett before he talked to our club about his Blue Throated and Red Fronted macaw project in Bolivia and Arlene just happened to mention that she was looking for a new project to work on. I spoke right up and said “You should paint a military macaw! The group at Macaws Forever needs help with funding!”  You see, when Mary mentioned the Military Macaw project in Mexico, I looked them up online, joined their group on Facebook, followed their posts, started my own Military Macaw owners group to help get other people interested, and started the Facebook group for Artists Supporting Avian Conservation so that the artist community could do projects like this to raise money to support the parrots.

Next year I am having one of those “milestone” birthdays and I am planning on celebrating it by going to Puerto Vallarta and visiting Claudia, Carlos, and 114 wild military macaws that they help protect. The Macaws Forever group is made up of volunteers such as researchers, veterinarians and biologists who genuinely care about protecting their native macaws. They fight such battles as stopping illegal trade and protecting the macaws native forest (from a potential 500 room resort that wants to build on the land where the macaws nest). The group also goes into the local schools and educates the children about why the macaws are so special and why they deserve to be protected. The work that they do is very important and they are just a very small group. They need help with funding so that they can continue the amazing work that they do. Please consider purchasing raffle tickets for the finished painting when they are available so that the Military Macaw program can continue to grow and visit their website to learn more about them at

Military Macaw WIP

My friend, Amber Puckett, has a beautiful Military Macaw, Chulla, in her flock. As a responsible flock member, Amber is very concerned for the wild Military Macaws in Mexico. She has connected with an organization who works with the Macaws, trying to repopulate their declining numbers. They have a hard time raising operating funds, so Amber would like to ask us to help this beautiful species. This next painting will be donated to Amber’s Military Macaw Organization. Amber has graciously consented to be a guest blogger, to explain the situation and tell us about the organization. Once this painting is dome, we will raffle it off through Chirping Central to do what we can to help. Amber is planning to make a trip there next year, so maybe when she returns, she will do another guest blog to tell us how the struggle is going for these birds. Remember, “Extinction is an option”. If we as human beings take on our stewardship of the earth seriously, we must try to help however we can. I can’t slog around in the jungle, guarding nests, but I can donate my time and talents to those who can. Please join me for another walk on the “WILD” side.

Here is the work so far.MilMacWIP1


Another One Bites the Dust………….

GBHWIPFSCharcoal dust – that is. It is time to step away from the Great Blue Heron Drawing!

Dust is on my mind today…….charcoal dust, house dust, dust bunnies. Speaking of Dust bunnies…..why does everyone else have dust bunnies while I have dust kitties and dust birdies? When I sweep, I find enough cat hair to make a cat, and there are enough feathers to make another VERY large parrot. Don’t mind the charcoal dust, because it is lost in the dust kitties and dust parrots roaming the house. It is not like there is enough dust in Arizona anyway, LOL! Dusting is a futile exercise here. As soon as the house is dusted, you must go back and begin again. If the AZ dust hasn’t settled yet, one of the critters has shed hair or feathers, which combine with the dust to form dust critters that roam the house, insinuating themselves in every nook and cranny. Then they hide until you have finished dusting only to appear and stick their little dust tongues out at you. Na na nana naa na! It is time to start a watercolor, LOL, and get away from all of this dust for a little while. Aaaaaaaaaaachooooo! Achoooooooooooooo!

Great Blue in Black and White

Hope you are having a Dandy December…….still don’t know how it got here so fast! Here is the newest work, a Great Blue Heron. Once again, back to white charcoal on Black Paper. This is Arches Black Cover, 22″x 30″, am trying it to see how it works. Sorry, I got a little carried away, and this guy is almost halfway done. LOL, it is hard to stop working and take a photo, it is easy to become engrossed in the work. Enjoy!GBHWIP1

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