Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Posts tagged ‘Conures’

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



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



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!


Done went and done it!

Red Fronted MacawsOr done, done, done, done,………..DOOONNNEEEEE! MingusGuess it is hard to show singing on a blog, unless you use a video, LOL. Since there is not much chance of that happening today, you will just have to settle for some photos of the 99% finished pieces. The piece is NOT really done until it is signed, and some minor details could change between now and then. Hopefully you will be THRILLED to learn that the Red Front Macaw Piece is going to be raffled off. Mary Rose from Chirping Central has agreed to run the raffle and the winning ticket  will be drawn at the Parrots International Convention later this year. All funds raised will be donated to the Association Armonia Red Fronted Macaw Project. Of course details will be available right here on the blog as they unfold!!! So stay tuned!

SO what about Mingus??????? The painting is done, and I am still awaiting a very special guest blog to give you more details. In the meantime,there are some subtle hints in the painting. Type of bird, type of flowers …….so put your thinking caps on, sit back, enjoy the painting, and ……..Stay tuned! Don’t forget you can click on the paintings to see a larger version!

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

R U Talking to me

R U Talking to me

Ya just gotta love Arizona! Last week, we had five days of FREEZING temperatures and this week it is back to spring weather. Last week, with the hard freezes at night, we wrapped our fragile plants in blankets. We set up a warming light for our Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis and wrapped it’s plant in blankets. The whole Phoenix Metro Area looked like a giant blanket sale, LOL. We gobbled up hot drinks – coffee, hot chocolate, hot cider, anything to warm the hands and core temp! So here we are on Tuesday, and we are back by the pool with sunglasses on sipping a lemonade! Got an extra lounge here by the pool, wanna join me?

Excuse me for a minute, the phone is ringing……..OK, ANOTHER JUNK CAll !!!! SO what is up with the “Don’t Call List? You put your number on there and people call anyway?!?!?!??!? It is the same as the “click on this button to get off of our e-mail list”, I click, and the junk e-mail increases! Guess it is the price we pay for technology.

No, I did not forget, there are updates! As you can see Mingus is starting to get “in your face”. Colored Pencil class is going well, except I found out I was afraid of the darks. LOL, funny how, when you haven’t worked in a medium for a while, it is almost like starting over. So here are the Red Fronted Macaws to date. That is all for this week – stay tuned!

No longer afraid of the darks!

No longer afraid of the darks!

Birdie WIP – Finished!

The tooth is finally settled down, now for the adventure of getting a crown put on. As you probably noticed, it is kind of hard to paint with a toothache, it is even hard to blog with an aching tooth, well hopefully we are back in the saddle. Oh…yes….this is supposed to be about finishing “Birdie”….well if you insist, back to the subject at hand, I mean wing, uh……whatever. Ok, as you can see…Oh yes, you can’t see until I put the photo up. Hang on just a sec:

You can click on the photos to see them a little bit bigger.(I know, you are asking me why I didn’t tell you this at the beginning of the blog, just go back and look at them again.) OK, here we are. As you can see, I have done some more negative painting in the crevice shadows with cool colors to push the shadowed areas back, and have highlighted some areas with warm colors to pull them forward, so hopefully Birdie is taking a little more shape. Now he is pretty much finished. However, there is one  final step of this whole painting process. I set the painting where Beenie and I  can see it frequently while doing various chores, and let the painting sit for a few weeks, and see if anything jumps out at us that needs to be done. Hey, this is the most important step, you never know what you have missed, and it kind of seeps on the back burner of the sub conscious area of the brain, and sometimes there is a little flash of insight into  one little change that could improve the painting. So Birdie goes on the back burner for now. Hope you have enjoyed this Artistic journey with us. Those of you who did not read the rules have become a little more colorful with the red splotches in your hair, but the rest of you seem no worse for the wear!

Onward to the next painting, the subject this time will be a baby owl that came into Liberty wildlife this year during orphan care. Luckily, he was put right out with foster parents and has been released back into the wild. So we should not have any issues with lawyers, strikes, and such since he was on the other side of the property away from the ravens and crows. And as far as I know he had no contact with parrots. That darn parrot union!

Birdie Wip……Almost Done!

Arleenie Beenie decided to show up today to help with the background for the Birdie painting. Thought you would like to see our guest painter, so snapped a little photo for you. Now as I have said before, the Beenie gets kind of carried away with painting and gets a LITTLE messy, so I hope you have all remembered to bring rain ponchos, plastic, or umbrellas. Due to the unorthodox painting style the Beenie uses, I have taken the time to mask the edges of Birdie, and cut a piece of paper to put over the painted area for protection.

 Once this has been accomplished, I let the Beenie take over. I will sit in the peanut gallery with you guys and try to describe the process. First Arleenie Beenie uses the big brush you see pictured, and TOTALLY covers the paper with plain water. Then, she starts splashing paint (blue and red, I believe) onto the paper. OK, she is now heading towards the peanut gallery. It looks like the people in the front row are pretty much covered with purple paint splotches. Meanwhile, the painting is just starting to dry, she takes a spray bottle filled with water, and sprays up into the air over the painting. Oops, the front row just got sprayed with the spray bottle. Oh, no, it looks like the folks in the second row got it too. ER, excuse me while I move to the back of the room…….she is going crazy with the spray bottle. Whoever brought the popcorn today forgot to cover it. I hope the spray doesn’t make it back here! Well, guess I had better stop her before a paint fight breaks out! BEENIE!!!! That is enough for now!!!!! Thanks for the help, I have it under control, you can go back to the farm until we need you again! Say “Hi” to all the Beenie family. Yes, give Uncle Admiral Navy Beenie a Big hug! Of course give hugs to all the cousins! (String Beenie, Green Beenie, Kidney Beenie, Jelly Beenie, and Chili Beenie[he is such a GAS]) Ok, we will see you again soon! Phew! Ok, well, here it is. 

We never know if the paintings will survive the Beenie treatment, so one more survives and now just needs some minor adjustments to be ready to sign. The good news for those of you now sporting purple splotched hair, is that we did not use staining paint, so that watercolor should wash right out………uh what………Oh……ummmmmmm…..sorry……….. well I guess the red is a stainer…..uh, Ok, er um, the good news is that the blue is not a staining color, so you will only have red splotches in your hair. Uh what did you say??? You didn’t want red splotches in your hair. It will go away in a few weeks, er um months…………Maybe Ripley is ready for human clients.


WIP – Birdie Cont……….

Good afternoon, at least it is here, don’t know about you. Before I post the photo of today’s progress, just thought I would give you an update on Missy…….After a long soak in a bubble bath, the gum still would not come out of Missy’s fur. Candy sounded a little worse for the wear….apparently cats don’t like to take a long soak in a bubble bath, so Candy is covered in bandages. WELLLLL, guess there is nothing else to do but to shave poor Missy…..will get back with you when that is done……sooooooooo whether not we are allowed back at Candy’s next week will probably depend on whether or not Candy is still covered in Band-aids, so whoever gave the gum to Missy – NO More GUM chewing allowed. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Now back to the WIP, as you can see the head is coming along pretty well.  Just a few more washes will be required at this point, and it is time (Oh NOOOOO!) to call in Arleenie Beenie (my clown persona) to do the background. It would be better to just get this over with, so after the background is dry I will be able to see what adjustments are needed. BUT, if you have never been through a WIP with me, you probably don’t know what a disaster….oops I mean a treat you are in for. Suffice to say, it gets a LITTLE messy so  this would be the time to bring your protective gear.

Since Thursday is My volunteer day at Liberty Wildlife, I may not have the energy or fortitude to deal with the clown until Friday, so don’t be surprised if the update is not done until Friday.

In the meantime, there may be a delay on the WIP, as Birdie is in talks with his lawyer, Ripley the African Grey. It seems he is tired of working for birdseed and peanuts, and is in negotiations for a better paying contract. I don’t know if a strike is eminent or not, so stay tuned……..Don’t worry folks, if things are not settled, I have plenty of other birds who will model. If the situation gets desperate, there are always Raptors to work with. As long as the parrots and corvids don’t get to them, they work really cheap.

WIP – Tuesdays with Candy

SO today we pick up the paper, paint, brushes and go to Candy’s house. Yup, it is a date,every week on Tuesday, we go to Candy’s house to paint. You didn’t know that  painting is such a social activity, did you? Taken any classes lately – it is a highly social event this painting activity!

We will miss the sounds of the zoo, but NOT to worry, we will still have cat hair. Now while visiting my studio, you will notice black and white long hair from our Tuxedo Kitty, along with short red hair from out Rusty Cat. At Candy’s house, Missy, the resident feline, provides a variety of colors of medium hair. Once again , if scientists could harness the sticking, floating, ubiquitous properties of cat hair, just think of the advances in technology! It boggles the imagination.

Meanwhile, back at the WIP, I have continued with the negative painting up near the eyes, then, Taaaa Daaaaa, we finally get to do some positive painting. The beak and top of head provide plenty of opportunities for positive painting, and we are getting close to dessert! Yes, I love to save the eyes for as long as possible, since they are my favorite part to paint, and if they are not right the whole painting goes out the window!  Let me exercise my psychic powers here and venture to guess that you are thinking, “What a dope! If the eyes are wrong and the painting gets tossed, she did so much work, why not do the eyes first.” Well, you are right. But just look at all of the practice I got while working on rest of the painting, and look at the pressure it puts on me to get the eyes right. And it did give you time to make some popcorn, have a couple of food fights, and make fun of me, so we all win! OK, guys, let’s pack up and head back to my studio. Bye Candy, see ya next week.  What? It wasn’t me, I was painting. WHO spilled the red Koolaid all over the floor. ARGH! Who gave Missy chewing gum? NO, I did not bring purple taffy. Yes, they follow me everywhere while I am blogging, I can NOT be held responsible for their mess. You don’t want us to come back next Tuesday?!?!?!!??!





WIP, Continuing On

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….I mean Blog……as you can see, the WIP is continuing. Same ole, same ole, more negative painting, more washes on the feathers.  See,  I told you this would get boring, and of course, since we took a break, no one remembered to bring snacks and drinks. Don’t look at me, all I have is bird seed and nuts.  You really didn’t expect me to paint and provide snacks for you did you? No you cannot have Loki’s pistachios, we need them for clicker training, no you can’t have the bird’s almonds and walnuts, Charlie might decide that we don’t need visitors and take a little nip at you. Since my family has nicknamed him “Hannibal the Cannibal”, he takes particular pride in being the “Guard Bird” of the flock. Now the birds might be willing to share their pellets, oh you think you will pass….OK. Well, take a look in the fridge and see if there is anything there, but I think you will be out of luck. It is filled with pellets, seed and nuts, and what human food was in there has probably been consumed by my perpetually hungry son. What it is it with sons? They are as skinny as rails consume 300 million calories a day and never gain weight! I gain lbs just watching him eat. Oh yes, there is some cat food, can’t forget about the feline members of the family!

You think it sounds like a zoo here, well it is a little noisier than usual, we have a guest with us until Tuesday. Meet Ripley, the African Grey. The “meowing” you hear along with all of the sound effects are coming from his cage. Yes, I know Rip, Mikey likes it! Yes you are a good boy, oops is that the dryer, or Ripley, is that the real microwave, or is it Ripley again? At least I am getting my exercise going around rechecking the appliances. Oh yeah, the microwave is off. The dryer is on though, so better check on it. See ya for the next installation of “Birdie’s WIP”!

First WIP…..still continued

Now for a word from our sponsors…….oops, ya caught me watching TV, but not to worry, even after a full morning of volunteering at Liberty Wildlife I managed to get some work done on Birdie. Well, Ok, not on Birdie, but on the painting of Birdie. SO where were we, Oh yes, after finishing some negative painting to form the feathers, I have gone back in with positive painting and filled in some edge color and a few washes over the feathers. This part of the painting is all done wet on dry, which just means I painted on dry paper. When we get to the wet on wet, it gets really messy, so I will remind you in advance to bring umbrellas, raincoats, or some kind of protection for your clothing.

Some more random bird trivia, did you know that some birds have crop milk? Doves, Pigeons, Flamingos and Emperor Penguins all produce crop milk for their chicks. Of course it is not like mammal milk since birds are lactose intolerant.

Let’s see, we should deal with the mail before going much further. Thank you Dina for the nice comments……. I won’t tell anyone you are my cousin, or that I paid you to comment. Thank you Candy for the encouraging words………. I won’t tell anyone you are my cousin, or that I paid you to comment. Debi, what do you mean you did not throw popcorn at me, Oh, right, you would never waste good food by throwing it at me. Then what was that you threw….spit balls….. aaaaaaaarrrrgh… EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW. That is worse than being kissed by your sister, germs!!!! Ugh!!!! I paid you to say nice things, Oh……yeah, I didn’t pay you because you are my sister. What do you mean I paid my cousins so I should pay you to make nice comments? Birdie…..I am not going to pay you for modeling for me…….what do you mean I paid Charlie and Sunny to model….I did not, they work for peanuts!

First WIP on the Blog

The new painting is of Birdie the Green Cheeked Conure. Before I start this WIP or Work in Progress, just thought I should go over a few rules:

  1. A WIP can be a long ongoing process, so to keep from getting bored, please feel free to comment on the process, and be sure to bring plenty of snacks and drinks.
  2. If you decide to start food fights, please do not throw the aforementioned items at the art work.
  3. When Arleenie Beenie enters to finish the background, umbrellas, rain coats and plastic covers are advised, as it gets a LITTLE bit messy when the Beenie starts throwing paint around.
  4. The artist is not to be held responsible or liable for any damage to clothes …….. you were warned in advance.
  5. No whining unless you bring plenty of cheese and crackers.
  6. No tomatoes or ROTTEN fruit allowed, if could accidentally get on to the artwork.
  7. If you have a seat in the front row, please be considerate of short people and let them see what is going on.
  8. Debi and Dina are not allowed to sit next to each other, especially during food fights.
  9. DO NOT leave children behind after the demo, they will be fed sugar, given puppies and sent home.

OK, that should pretty much cover everything, if I forgot anything, we will bring it up later.

The first step is to find a subject……since I was never good at English, that is one of the most difficult steps. Once you find the subject, it is time to look for the verb…..wait this isn’t English, it is art.  Oh, yeah…… Ok, well…..Since this is my first WIP on the Blog, Birdie has graciously volunteered to be my victim, uh, ah, oh…..I mean volunteer.

SO now we have a blank piece of paper in front of us, and it is my job to get Birdie on the paper. Uh, ummmm….BIRDIE, that is NOT newspaper………..excuse me while I get another piece of paper.

That was my last clean sheet of paper, so let’s take an art store break, THEN I will continue this WIP.

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