Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Posts tagged ‘Charcoal’

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

Advertisements

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.

Four left….More Dreamcatchers

Eight chemos down and four to go!!!!! The CEA count is down to 41! So it is still working!!! Have been doing the Rip Van Winkle all week, but the news was so good, I had to wake up to let you know. Once again, I have to thank all of you for the prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes! You help me fly through this experience on wings.

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

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

Last week was a good resting week, so I got another wolf Dreamcatcher done. Will get back with you when I wake up, now it is nighty night time again.

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!

Catching Dreams

What a ride the last week has been! Very glad to be out of the hospital and home! “There is no place like home. Tap, tap, there’s no place like home!” The colon surgery went well, they got the original site out and there were signs that tumors had been there, but no tumors! It looks like they had to take the whole right side of the colon out, feels like it too. Whoooo Hoooo! The chemo did it’s job. I still feel like I got “runned over by the damned old train”, but feel a little better each day. Thursday, is the appointment to take the staples out, we will see what is next. Right now just taking it one step at a time.

Raven Dreamcatcher

Raven Dreamcatcher

Before I went into the hospital, I started a new project. I want to do three large dreamcatchers, each with one of my favorite artworks redone on Black Velvet Paper. I am using white charcoal pencil again and am using a fixative to try to help make the drawings more permanent. Of course the first one requires the biggest learning curve. I decided to fix cloth on the back of the drawing, to stabilize and keep it from tearing when applied to the 19″ metal hoop. After several botches, I finally accomplished this task before going into the hospital. I learned…..attach the fabric before you do the drawing, otherwise you have to redraw most of it, LOL. My friend, Noelle, took a photo and posted it on Facebook. But I was really too involved in the whole surgery prep to blog about it, and haven’t felt well enough to follow up.

Now you get the follow up! A trip to the craft store was in order while I still felt like it, so I grabbed the stuff I thought I would need. Found an awesome little hole punch tool by Martha Smith, even though pricey, it works great. Found leather cording and sueded cording. Feathers are in plenty around here, but no black, so I ordered some on the internet. 19″ metal hoops…..check. 23″ wooden hoops…….check. Well, wish I would have gotten beads, but will get them for the next one! Found some really cool little spring coils that crimp on to the ends of the feathers, so they will hang on the leather. Of course that means buying a little tool to crimp them, LOL. Dang it if I didn’t get sucked into the jewelry making aisle and drop a small fortune there. Just in case you are wondering what the final result looks like, here is the first of three – Raven Dreamcatcher! Hopefully Eagle and Wolf to follow.

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?

On the other hand…..

PotteryAHaving had a really good week last week, I made a lot of progress on the new charcoal on black paper. This is one of those pieces which has bugged me to get going with it, but I had so many other projects that needed to be done, that it kept slipping back in line. Think I took the ref photos a couple of years ago, intending to add this one to the “Hands” series which is on display at the Beatitudes until Dec 3. There is just something about black and white which makes me want to keep my hand in and do one or two a year in between the birdies! There are more hands coming, but I think it is bird time after this one, LOL.

SO hubby and I are noticing that it takes a little bit longer after each chemo treatment to recover from the fatigue. Had a little more nausea than usual, but am feeling well now, just very fatigued. Usually by the weekend, I have recovered and am ready to go. Well, four down and eight to go, so we are one third of the way, and may get a break during Dec if they decide to interrupt after chemo 6 to do surgery. The nice thing about chemo week, is that the kitties stay close and we have a lot of kitty therapy.

Herons and Hair

BCNHfOk, so I got a little excited about the Hyacinth Macaw Party and forgot to post the progress on the Black Crowned Night Heron! It is almost done, just a few little picky details and a visit to Candy to make sure it is ready to sign!

So this is resting week, and after each chemo treatment, I am seeing improvement. The pain levels are going down, the swelling is going down and after most of the week of resting, the energy levels are going up! So when I complain about the chemo week, I just have to stop and look at my progress and put one foot in front of the other foot and keep going. As my cousin, Dina says……”put on your big girl panties”, LOL. Thanks for that saying , Dina!

So looking into the bathroom sink, I am wondering if all of my hair is running down the drain. Apparently, I am not supposed to go bald, but the hair will thin with this chemo regimen. Well, the silver lining to this cloud is, Hubby and a couple of friends have offered to shave their heads is I go bald, and I FINALLY GET BACK AT THE CATS! LOL, they now have to put up with my hair all over the place. Nanner, nanner, nanner! Ok, so they are ignoring me, imagine that. It must be the first time cats have ignored a human……….you don’t say……..that is normal for a cat…..Oh…….. ….thought it was just me they ignore. Oh well, back to the drawing board, maybe I can think of something else to annoy them…..stay tuned!

Time out for Cancer

BCNH2Found out from the Dr. on Friday, I have Stage 4 colon cancer. The good news is that it responds well to treatment. So the battle begins! Thank God, I have a great support team in my family and friends. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. There are still a lot of paintings in me waiting to get out! Have had a lot of fatigue, but have still been working on this one. This is the continuation of the Black Crowned Night Heron.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: