Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for the ‘Animal Art’ Category

Put one Foot in Front of the Other Foot…

Got the Lab results last Wed, the CEA count is back up a little to 37. After visiting with the oncologist today, he is not really alarmed. We were hoping for under 10, so I am a little disappointed. However it will be what will be – so no point in borrowing trouble. We will just hope it stays in this range for a while. We have appointments for May to get blood-work  and see the good Dr. again. In the meantime will be putting one foot in front of the other and getting some bird watching and art done in between sneezing from the seasonal allergies. It has been so warm this winter, the plants are convinced it is spring and they are springing with a vengence!

FeaatherworkToday’s art exploration is: learning to wrap feathers with sinew to attach to the dreamcatchers. Sinew is now made with polyester and is heavily waxed, so no disgusting animal parts, LOL. Glad to live in the present hi tech world. The top feather is wrapped, then a silver cone bead was added…..the middle is plain sinew wrapping…and the bottom is wrapped with a copper cone bead added. I am sure my wrapping will get better as I go, since there are so many feathers on one dreamcatcher. Stay tuned….dreamcatcher coming!!!

cards1Have to post the current Christmas card update….no I have not forgotten, and have kept up with the monthly quota. I have a total of 15 now! Wish the glitter showed up better in the photos, they do not look quite the same without it. Everything looks better with some bling!

Good luck with changing your clocks! We are so blessed to live in Arizona where we do not go through the “daylight savings change your clock twice a year.” That does not keep us from being confused about what time it is where you live though. So we do have sympathy pains with the whole “daylight savings” phenomena. The parrots all think clocks are for chewing on, so that is a good thing to them. The cats, as usual, are indifferent to the whole “time” concept. They only care about “meal time” because to them the rest of the time is “nap time.” Speaking of nap time, that sounds like a great idea……zzzz…..’til next time….zzzzzz.

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New Year, New Art Project

So we will have a break from chemo, and hopefully the side effects will slowly start wearing off. I expected to have a lot of energy this week, but didn’t happen yet, so maybe next week. Since it is the second round, it may take just a little longer to get my mojo back, but it will come, so the next weeks are really something to look forward to. Whooo Hooo to being able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, get rid of chemo burn and nose running constantly.

On the art front, I got one piece juried into the Glendale Arts Council Show.

WolfDream

Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.

It is a Wolf Dreamcatcher, and will be there until Sunday, Jan 24th. The show is open daily from 10Am to 5 PM. It is at Sahuaro Ranch Park, 59 Ave & Mountain View, in the old packing building just North of the main building and rose garden.  If you live in the West Valley, you would really enjoy it, there are two rooms of great art. Speaking of Art, I have started a new project for the new year. Thinking of Christmas, I decided to make Hand Drawn Christmas Cards. If I do one a week , should have enough to send everyone on my Christmas list an original. They are 5″x7″ and will pop right into a frame, or can be matted and put into an 8″x10″ frame. ChristmasCSO here is a sneak preview of the first four cards.

On the pet therapy front, I got a couple of photos of Loki during our parrot therapy session. Thought you might enjoy! Oops, Loki is screaming, I mean Loki is calling me to do more parrot Therapy……Later!…..I am coming Loki……nuts, you want to be paid now…..I thought this was volunteer work……hmmmmm…LokiTherLokiTher2

Only Two More!…Raven

Yesterday, the Az Cardinals played football(yes they won!!) and Coach Arians was shown several times saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” The original quote is attributed to Gregory Peck, but I am sure this saying is a lot older. It reflects the spirit of optimism and hope, and is going to be one of my mantras during this battle against cancer. The current CEA count is 29.1, which is fast approaching our goal of under ten! Heading in the right direction! So when I am feeling sick from chemo, I can still say, “it is working, it is working!” Whoooo Hooooo! Only two more chemo treatments! However, I received the greatest birthday present this week. No nausea during this chemo week. It is the first time in almost one year of chemo treatments, and I have enjoyed it to the max! Take that cancer! Pow! Pow!

RupDC

Rupert – Raven Dreamcatcher

 

Here is  the Dreamcatcher I have been working on. Rupert is one of the ravens at Liberty Wildlife. He is quite the character and one of my favorite ravens ever. He talks in different voices and is just so intelligent! Barbara Delve(another Rupert devotee) took the photograph and was so kind as to let me use it for a reference for this special Dreamcatcher. Thanks so much Barb! This one went to Jan Miller as a big Thank You for all of her work at Liberty Wildlife, and her love and support during this cancer battle. Also a big Thank You to Margaret V for giving me a ride to Liberty to deliver Rupert. This was such a fun and special project, it is a blessing to be able to be involved in projects like this.

I have been having lots of kitty and parrot therapy and am felling well, with some tiredness. The guys have been really good, and I am wondering what they are really up to? SO if you figure it out, let me know!!!! Back to Rip Van Winkle land…….zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Almost halfway!………Step Away From the Killdeer

Killdeer - Pastel Pencil

Killdeer – Pastel Pencil

Next week will be treatment #6 – halfway! Only 3 more months to go!!!!  This resting week, I had a migraine Tuesday, but am feeling much better today. No nausea! Whoooo Hooooo! Back to the first New Normal, now maybe I can start having a good week in between treatments. The ole hair is thinning again, but it is taking longer this time, maybe some of it will stay. The Astivan tan is definitely back, so it looks like I have been to the tanning booth. Maybe a few field trips this week as I feel better! Art store, here I come!!!

Three of my pastel pencils are down to the nub, but still was able to work on the Killdeer. Think it is about time to step away from the drawing. Well, maybe a few more adjustments……I love killdeer, especially the fake broken wing act the parents do to draw you away from the little ones. And speaking of little ones, killdeer just have to be one of the cutest of the baby birds, they are just little fluff balls on long legs, with the greatest expressions. Now how am I going to figure out what to work on next. I have been going through my 30,000 reference photos and it is just hard to choose. However, I haven’t done a parrot in a while, maybe I can bribe the guys to pose for me. Hopefully they have forgotten about the wages issue and will work for peanuts again. Stay tuned……….

Treatment # 5………From Stilts to Killdeer

Killdeers

Killdeer

Welcome to treatment # 5 of 12……Whooo Hooooo, almost half way. Even though I have had a lot more nausea and filled a lot more barf bags it does seem like the time is going a lot faster. I had more good days last week, than I have since this round began. The CEA (tumor marker) count is still going down and was 75 at the last reading, Sept 14, down from 85 in August. Because this has been such a roller coaster ride, I got up the courage to ask the oncologist what we will have to do if the tumor marker count does not go down below ten this time. His answer was a resounding “it will” so don’t even go there. So I am happily bouncing along thinking during the nausea, the cea is going down, it is working, it is working. We are working the plan, its of good things will happen after this round of chemo! Traveling to see family, go to Alaska to photograph eagles, moose and bears, bird photo trips, more art…….

Speaking of art, I am continuing my love of pastel pencils and have started a Killdeer family drawing. I love the babies, and the broken wing act the mother does to keep you away from them! Also, I posted on Facebook and Flickr the Super Moon/Blood Moon photos I was able to stay up for during a particularly bad bout of nausea. You can click on flicker on the lower right side of this page which will take you there or click on my Artist page on Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/Arlene-Powers-Art-23414012357/timeline/

This is chemo week, and I am about to Rip Van Winkle, so back to you when I wake up! Stay tuned for more bird/cat and art supply adventures.

One year Cancer Survivor – Stilts about finished

Black Necked Stilts Pastel Pencil

Black Necked Stilts
Pastel Pencil

I just realized the other day, that I have survived cancer for one year, even though I am still in treatment, it has been a year. So I am going to celebrate this and continue the fight. A toast to surviving!*!*!*!*! This round has been tougher, but that means I just have to stay strong and continue the battle. Have been dealing with more nausea this time and the chemo burn has already started. Still have hair for now, and the tan is starting, so celebrate the silver linings! Thanks so much to everyone for the encouragement and support!

During this resting week, I have the Stilts almost done, photographed them over the “Chickadee” frame to see how they would look as a diptych. Hope you like them!

Don’t forget most of my paintings are on my website, http://www.arlenepowers.com if you want to take a look around. The pastel drawings have not made it yet, but will add a section when I am feeling a little better.

The “New Normal”

Buffalo Dream Catcher

Buffalo Dream Catcher

Four weeks on Tuesday from the surgery date and I am almost recovered. Energy levels are up and only a little bit of soreness. So almost to the “New Normal”! Monday will be the first blood work since March, so we are waiting very un-patiently for that test result. This will pretty much define the “New Normal” and give a baseline for the chemo markers after surgery. I will post as soon as we get the results. It is usually two to three days after the blood is taken, since they have to send it out to a lab.

To the left is a photo of the Buffalo Dream Catcher. It is leather with the watercolor ground, then watercolor and colored pencil. Na ner na ner na ner to the guy at the store where I bought the leather, LOL. Watercolor and colored pencil do work pretty well on leather with a little help from the watercolor ground.

We got up at 4:30 AM today to get to the Botanical Gardens at 6:00 AM to get some photos before it was too HOT. Left there at 8:00AM sweating. It is supposed to get up to 107 degrees today. Pretty soon it will be too hot to even get up early to go anywhere (except maybe the mall which has fabulous a/c). This too shall pass! When we are crying about the heat, remind us about the wonderful winters without snow and ice, LOL! We may hibernate for the summer. At least will be staying in the A/C as much as possible.

That is it for now, stay tuned for next weeks blood work results………. it is time for a siesta,……….. it is WAY too hot to type……….Even the parrots are quiet…….the cats are asleep as usual…….. Too hot to draw…….definitely time for a nap.

Recovering….latest projects

The recovery from surgery is progressing. Each day is a little better. The three week check up is scheduled for Wednesday and everything is looking good. There is still some soreness and fatigue, but that is part of the “New, New Normal”.Wolf Dream Catcher

My yard is full of birds. We have been putting out seed blocks, suet , thistle and of course the hummingbird feeders. The fountain is attracting a few birds, but not the hummingbirds everyone else seems to have. Because of the massive seed consumption, we have learned how to make our own seed blocks. Hubby gets the large bag of seed at Costco, and we make and put out two blocks a day. I think those guys would eat more if we put it out! SO far we have seen house finches, sparrows, Abert’s Towhees, Curve bill thrashers, Gila Woodpeckers, cowbirds, White Wing doves, Mourning doves, Inca doves, grackles, verdins, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and Black Chinned Hummingbirds. They are really fun to watch, there are always little dramas going on. I am very surprised at the White Wing doves, they are very aggressive and chase the other doves away from the seed. I had always heard how peaceful doves are. Owl Dream Catcher

Here are photos of the latest Dreamcatcher projects. The third of three “black and whites” is a wolf.  Then I bought a couple of pieces of leather to try it out. Here is the first of two, the baby Great Horned Owl depicted in “Whooo R U?”. Had to learn a lot about leather to do this project. I used a ground first, then did the owl in watercolor and colored pencil. You should have seen the guys face at the leather store when I told him I would be using colored pencil. He looked at me like I am mentally challenged…..he said acrylic or leather dyes will work best. If you are a normal person, that would be true! But he had no idea that I wanted to try the new Daniel Smith Watercolor ground to see if it would really work on leather. As you can see it works really well! So what if one person in the world thinks I am crazy, Ok, well more than one…..but we won’t go there!  I am going to check to see if there is a product to stiffen it a little more, otherwise, I am very happy with the project and am trying to decide what to put on the second one! If you saw the Raven Dream Catcher, the very first project, you will notice that I have improved and refined. There is definitely more feathers and beadwork along with the placement getting better. Of course, I could not drive yet while working on the raven, and had not thought of getting beads before the surgery. But they can always be added later!

The Parrots and cats have been VERY quiet lately. I wonder what they are up to? Hmmmmmm……….if I find out, you will be the first to know! Stay tuned!

You Know – Last Chemo….Foxy Progress

The Last One!!

The Last One!!

Whooo hoooo! Chemo Over! The last treatment pretty well did me in. Last week I was feeling “Happy Crappy”…..our new phrase for the time you are happy it is over, but feel too crappy to celebrate yet. The mouth sores finally made an appearance after 23 weeks of being told, I would probably get them. The nausea lasted until Monday. Yesterday, the nausea pretty much disappeared, so am left a little tired, but recovering rapidly now. The awful taste in my mouth is SLOWLY disappearing and I even have a little bit of energy. This too will pass, as every day is a little better and soon will be back to the REAL normal – not the NEW normal!!! Of course the tan will disappear, and I have to curb the eating habits, but hey, it is better than chemo! So next month is full of tests and appointments to get set for surgery sometime in April. Stay tuned for details.

The therapy kitties and parrots are all doing their jobs. Loki is getting very spoiled having me home all the time. She will not let me have a phone conversation without interrupting by yelling “Hello! Hello! Hello!” or screaming until I finally walk over and let her into the conversation. She knows – even if I am in the very back of the house, hiding in the closet – when I am on the phone. Her hearing is extraordinary.

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Yesterday, I finally had a enough energy to do some art therapy, so here is the Fox almost done….Oh no there goes the phone…….Ok Loki, just a minute and you can say hello……where are my earplugs?

Only 2 Chemos left! Elk WIP

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.

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