Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for the ‘Colored Pencil’ Category

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

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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!

Prayer Quilt, Chemo, Charlie Almost Done

Prayer Quilt

Prayer Quilt

This photo was posted on Facebook, but for those of you who don’t FB here is the photo of the Prayer Quilt. It was done by the wonderful Prayers and Squares Quilt Ministry at the Houston Salvation Army. Each knot represents a prayer said for me. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thanks to all of you for the prayers and what a beautiful reminder of prayers said!

Charlie - Hahn's Macaw WIP 2

Charlie – Hahn’s Macaw
WIP 2

SO this week brings a new result of side effects. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but mouth sores are one of the side effects of the chemo. Well, I sidestepped the mouth sores, but have nose sores. The nurses said to use vaseline to keep them soft and not bleeding. So I have used vaseline and Saline Nasal Gel, which work; however, in the last couple of weeks, I have lost a lot of the sensation in my nose……..resulting in random “nose drip”. LOL, who ever thought I would be a snotty nosed ole lady?!?? Now in addition to checking me for charcoal, paint, and/or bird poop, before I leave the house, my family has to tell me to wipe my nose. This has been a good resting week, the nausea has not been as bad, and shock, I gained a couple of pounds this week. Guess, I will have to cut back on the hot fudge sundaes!

Charlie - Almost Done!

Charlie – Almost Done!

Here are a couple of photos on the progress on Charlie. The one in the middle was taken indoors in warm lighting, and the other one was taken outside in the shade and is closer to the real color of the drawing. Well, better go take a nap and get ready for chemo next week……where are my therapy kitties?!?!!?

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.

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!

About through Horsing Around?!?!?!?

We had a lovely vacation at the Bootstrap in Roundtop, Texas. The Bootstrap is a refurbished farmhouse on a few scenic acres of land in Central Tx. We visited with relatives, relaxed, played dominoes and had some good old Texas Cooking. Early each morning a Northern Cardinal tapped on the window. Then the camera hunt began. I chased down the cardinal, meadowlarks, chickadees, kestrels, jackrabbits, horses and anything moving with my camera. Over the next year or so, some of these images will make it into paintings. In the meantime, you are welcome to browse through some of my photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/53901904@N03/ hope you enjoy!

ArabianWIP4So the colored pencil drawing is about done, and the next watercolor will also be of horses. Got a good shot of a couple of the yearlings at the Arabian farm tours. Bird lovers, never fear, have several good shots lined up! So stay tuned, you never know what critter will be turning up around here!

Horsin’ Around……….Cont.

ArabianWIP3Just a quick update, more layers added and more of the burnishing is done…….stay tuned!

Still horsin’ Around!

Arabian

Arabian

The colored pencil is making progress, the intention is to get familiar with the color palette, then to do a watercolor. In this WIP, you can see several stages of colored pencil work. The layering process, then the burnishing process. It is very time consuming, this piece is 16″x22″, and you can see I am only about halfway through the drawing.

Is the weather in your area crazy? It is here this year. Rain in Arizona, showing up almost weekly….what will be next, snow in Phoenix!?!?!?!? It can’t quite decide whether to be warm or cool. The birdies seem to be loving it, I hear lots of evidence of bird procreation starting out there! The towhees have been chirping like crazy, and I think I hear a tiny little cheep from the nest…the Curved Bill Thrasher was out there singing his head off the other day, the woodpeckers are drumming, and the mockingbirds are starting to sing their best. Looks like spring is trying to get started here.

Stay tuned!

Just Horsin’ Around

ArabianHi! Water has been falling from the sky the last couple of days. Most Arizona residents had to go WAY back in our memory banks to recall the word “rain”.  As usual it is something we always need here in the desert. But I wonder why rain brings out all the wonderful drivers in the state. For some reason, when it rains in Arizona, everyone rushes out to their vehicles to drive somewhere. You would think with the slippery road conditions and flash floods that people would stay home. Not a rain goes by without someone getting caught in a wash. They think, “OH it is not that deep, I should be able to cross”, then the State Patrol is fishing them out of the middle of the flooded wash and they are the main attraction on the 6 o’clock news. This is a time I definitely try to stay home, curl up with a good book, a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. Being the recluse that I am, it is a good thing to have a hubby who reads the paper and watches the news. This last January, he saw that the local Arabian Horse farms were having tours all weekend. SO we loaded up the cameras and went out to see what the tours were all about. These beautiful, graceful creatures with TONS of attitude managed to distract me from my birds for a few days. This WIP is my first effort at drawing an Arabian horse, and hopefully a few paintings will follow.

 

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