Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for December, 2014

Happy New Year!

Why the bed is not made!

Why the bed is not made!

Happy New year to all of you! Wishing you a great year full of all the people and critters you love. As you can see the cats are going to start the new year as usual and I won’t be making the bed. Hubby gets up early(5 ish) makes kitty breakfast, then rolls up two blankets into kitty beds. When I wake up …..yes, considerably later, this is the scene. These guys stay there all day until dinner time, then come out and stare us down until someone produces the gourmet meal. If you don’t have a cat, you cannot truly appreciate the power of a kitty “stare”.

Charlie1

Charlie – Hahn’s Macaw

Meanwhile back at the ranch….after the kitty breakfast is prepared, the birds start screaming for their gourmet breakfast. Once that is done and served….blessed quiet, while the parrots eat, throw food and start planning the day’s chaos.

This has been a good resting week. I am really having to rest after chemo week and Christmas coinciding. Even though it was quiet compared to a normal Christmas, we still were surrounded by loved ones. SO here is the result of this week’s art therapy. I started a colored pencil on the mixed media paper – of Charlie. My little Hahn’s Macaw is known affectionately to the rest of the family as Hannibal the Cannibal. I don’t know where they get such a name!?!?!? Charlie is very affectionate with me, but from the blood evidence on the members of my family who dare to try to handle Charlie, maybe the name fits her? All I know is she is a little bundle of feathered joy to me. Charlie and Sunny have been the excuse for many an art store binge, after they have run down my arm and chewed up brushes and pencils. Like I really need an excuse to go to the art store, LOL.

Once again, as I look back over this year, I am Thankful for all of your prayers, good wishes, and positive thoughts. This year, together, we will continue to STOMP on cancer and win this war.

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Sunny progress….new chemo side effects

Sunny 2- Colored Pencil on Multi media board

Sunny 2- Colored Pencil on Multi media board

Sunny is almost done! I will post several progress photos, so you can see the process. Also on the semi final, I am cropping so you con see the whole board(18″x24″), which I will cut down to 16″x20″ so the background using Zest-it, will be more obvious. Feel free to comment or ask questions, this is an experiment! I am liking it, so am going to do another one (Charlie), using more of the Zest-it technique. For those of you who have recently started following the blog, I have four parrots, so cannot use any smelly solvents. Zest-it is one which is citrus based and doesn’t give off obnoxious, dangerous fumes.

Sunny 3 - Progress

Sunny 3 – Progress

So just when we thought we had figured out the chemo thing a new side effect rears its head. It is called Chemo Burn. The bad side of this is the mouth and intestinal lining feels like it has been burned. Luckily they make a wonderful compounded mouthwash that helps immensely. So you are probably wondering what the good side is. I have an awesome looking tan. The palms and bottom of my feet look stained like I had a fake tan done, LOL. But the rest of me looks totally tanned, like I have been to the tanning booth, even though I haven’t and have not been outside much. I should look pasty white, LOL. Just to show you, there is always a silver lining!

Almost Done!

Almost Done!

And here is the “almost done” Sunny (Don’t forget to click for a larger view)……..Got to go to chemo for this week, so I will probably sleep ’til Friday, so I am wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas, and hopefully will be awake in time to blog for the New year. Thanks so much to all of you for the prayers, good wishes and positive thoughts!

Half Way, Hats, and Sun Conures.

Just another day in Chemo.

Just another day in Chemo.

Six chemo treatments down, six to go! Whooo Hoooo…halfway through the war. One battle at a time. Here is a picture of my husband, George, who has been there every step of the way. He is modeling the chemo treatment chair. They give us a pillow, a warm blanket and life saving drugs.(Even though you feel crappy or sleep for the next week, LOL.) They are warm, caring, helpful, and good listeners. I am so Thankful for my medical team!

Gypsy Scarf

Gypsy Scarf

Ok, you asked for it, you got it, I am posting some photos of the chemo hats. At least I still have some bangs, but the rest of the hair is getting VERY thin. The guys are waiting on pins and

Beret

Beret

needles to see if they are going to have to shave their heads. Maybe I can glue the bangs on my head……wait…..maybe I should save all the hair when it falls out, and I can attach it to one of the hats, LOL! Ok this is enough of the hats, I will post some more of them next time.

Now to the newest art project! This one is exciting for me, since I have not worked with colored pencils for a long time. Being on a roll with the black paper, I decided to do a

very colorful parrot on black. SO of course, my own little Sunny is modeling for this one. With black paper, I have to do a grissaille first to allow color to develop. The marks in the border are tests to see how the different white pencils act, and

Sunny

Sunny

how the color shows on the white. Colored pencil work is very time consuming and must not be rushed. It takes many layers to fully cover the paper and give it a finished look. Caution, these are not your mama’s colored pencils, LOL!

Caterpillars, Ravens, and Birthdays

MonCat5a

Nom Nom Nom!

The Monarch Caterpillar is still nomming on the Desert Milkweed flowers. He is getting pretty big, not too much longer! Hope he makes it before a freeze, or we will have to put a light out with the plant blanket to keep him from freezing. We actually moved him to a bigger plant because he was running out of flowers. It is amazing watching these guys! Can’t wait for the butterfly! I posted some other shots of him on FB a couple of days ago.

Are you lookin' at me?

Are you lookin’ at me?

The raven is done, de done, done. Oh you want to see the drawing, of course you do. Let’s see where did I put that file, hopefully somewhere the cats can’t find it.  Oh yes, I remember now. Hope you enjoy!  So I am thinking a colored pencil or pastel on black paper for my next project.

Another birthday gone by. My wonderful family made dinner on Sunday, since they knew I had chemo on Monday. We had a very nice dinner with cake and presents. I now have a collection of hats to wear with my thinning hair. Beanies, Beret Beanies, Slouch Beanies, and a couple of scarves. My head will be among the best dressed this winter. Also some nice warm jammies with nice warm house boots. No chance of getting cold this year! Also another cat added to the household, luckily this one is ornamental and does not need feeding and affection, it was a gift from friends who went to the Tempe Art Fair.  It was nice to go into chemo after such a nice day. Had a rough time Monday evening, lots of nausea and filling up a couple of barf bags. Am feeling so much better today. You had better believe all through the nausea, I was saying….it is worth it, it is working! It IS worth it, it IS working. We are halfway through, only six more treatments to go!

Stay tuned, you never know what is going to happen around here!

Ravens and Transitions

Raven

Raven

SO resting week started with a migraine, which has now has subsided thanks to modern medicine, luckily, there is some progress on the raven drawing.

What is is it about cloudy days that make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and just veg. It has been cloudy a total of two days and seems so gloomy that the couch/book idea with a nice blanket, fire, and a warm cup of cocoa sounds awesome. I have access to a ton of new books on my iPad since hubby signed me up for Scribd! Yes, I know it is in the 70’s, but in Az that is downright sweater weather! When this blog is written, you will know where to find me! I am taking my cue from Rusty, he is vegging in his new heated cat bed.

For some reason lately, I have been thinking a lot about transitions. They seem to be hard to handle as an artist and as a person. You would think, since we are almost continually in transition, we would be very good at handling them. As an artist, people rarely talk about transition, but it is one of the very important elements in a piece. How do you go from dark to light, from color to color, from line to line from shape to shape or even from texture to texture?

There are no spoiled cats in this house!

There are no spoiled cats in this house!

Each element of the art must transition and flow, leaving a path for the viewer’s eye. Focal point, shadows, and complementary colors are some of the ways I cope with transition in my art.  But in my own life, it seems like I am always behind in getting the transitions…one day I am healthy, the next day, I am a cancer survivor. Where was the transition? It took me weeks to accept the change, but only seconds for it to happen. Then more weeks for me to even realize what a big transition it is. Ok, so now we have a new normal….has it changed again while I was not looking?

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