Announcing my new calendar for 2012. Visit my online store to purchase.
Announcing my new calendar for 2012. Visit my online store to purchase.
I’ve been a bit distracted here with a myriad of assorted things, one of which is a new puppy. He is a border collie, which is a breed my husband and I have had and adored for many years. Puppies are a LOT of work. They are also a whole lot of FUN!
Here is a commissioned painting that I finished recently. It is entitled “The Edge of Autumn”, done in acrylic. The painting is 24″ x 32″. Enjoy!
A pair of Titmice have decided to set up house-keeping in one of our front boxes. I joined them in my lawn chair and watched them move in. My presence didn’t bother them at all. In fact I was waiting for one of them to ask for my help in exchange for pizza!
This load was too big to fit through the front door. I’ve tried that before myself and have not had good results.
The pretty little Titmouse spouse watched and “bossed” from a nearby tree. You know how it is. Spouses can’t ever do it the “right” way…
(below) ” Wonder what comes out of here…?”
This moss might work well for new carpet. Too bad it’s the color that everyone HAD to have in the ’70′s. These Titmice don’t seem to mind the out of date color at all…
Suddenly a bluebird arrived. He had his eye on the same house. But the Titmice outdid him and got there first. Maybe they made a better offer to the seller?
(Below) This is a once in a lifetime shot. I was focused on the Titmouse, and only seconds later noticed there was a bluebird in the same shot. A VERY quick aperture change, and wa-la!
One of the proud new home-owners…
Is there ANYTHING on the planet that is cuter than this???
I’ve been painting up a little storm this fall and winter. Below are some new paintings!
This first painting was inspired by time spent on my beloved kayak this past fall. Belted Kingfishers are one of my very favorite birds. They are notoriously difficult to photograph, as they are flilghy and frankly kind of spastic. They love to tease and taunt photographers. I’ve been very lucky to get fairly close to some of them in my boat.
The Kingfisher below is a female. She has just caught a minnow in a cove on a nearby lake. She will gulp it down VERY quickly so that other Kingfishers in the area won’t have a chance to steal it from her!
“Maid of the Mist”
(Belted Kingfisher) 11″ x 14″ acrylic on masonite.
(Cougar) 11″ x 14″ acrylic on masonite.
This painting was done to pay tribute to one of North America’s great predators. The epitome of secrecy and stealth, cougars are now being found in areas far east of where they are normally expected. They can live right under our noses without our notice.
(American Robin) 9″ x 12″ acrylic on masonite.
I often refer to robins as “mind their own business birds”. They are in just about every backyard east of the rocky mountains. Although common, I think they are beautiful birds and love their way of staying out of the “drama” often caused between other bird species. Robins just go about their business and stay out of trouble.
This painting was inspired by watching robins gorging on berries this past fall. I loved the idea of doing a painting that used largely one side of the color wheel (red, orange and yellow). This Robin is just about to snatch a berry. If you blink, you’ll miss it!
When the average person runs the idea of a “tool” through their mind, an image of a hammer, screwdriver or table saw might pop up first. Tools of course differ greatly from one profession to another. Wildlife artists and photographers have their own set of challenges. The subjects that they pursue for their life’s work are largely afraid of them. Animals and birds in the wild can disappear within a millisecond, IF you were lucky enough to see them in the first place.
My recent acquisition of a kayak (an early Christmas gift from my husband) has been a real game changer as far as wildlife reference gathering goes, in particular my experiences with birds. Animals and birds are not naturally as reactionary to things that they don’t already associate with danger, such as a small craft silently approaching in water.
A recent trip to Truman Dam in Southern Missouri, revealed not only an abundance of stunning views, but also some really special wildlife viewing and photographing opportunities. From within my trusty kayak, I could watch animals and birds behaving naturally and not just see their hind ends as they make a hasty escape.
The Truman Dam was constructed in the 1970′s. There are more coves to explore there than one could ever find the time for. I love it when I run out of time before I run out of territory!
With nature, it nearly always pays to get out of bed early. In mid November, the warm days of autumn were hanging on with the last of their loosening grip. Cold nights, warm, sunbathed days…it doesn’t get better than that…
(Below) This is a typical scene on any lake in the country. This gull was there to greet me as I pushed off in my kayak for the day’s adventure. The fall color beyond the gray and white bird was amazing…
Rocky bluffs along the shoreline were covered in autumn color at it’s peak…
While exploring deep within a cove, I ran into this big fellow. He was nearly crazy with testosterone, chasing other bucks off the beach. There must have been an “interesting” doe very close by. I was able to watch natural whitetail deer behavior, which is always a treat.
Meanwhile, while I was watching the deer titans battling on the beach, two bald eagles circled overhead. It was hard to know where to point my camera…!
Coming out of that same cove I was in for another surprise. A young buck was making his way across the water. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and he apparently knew all about that. I could tell that this was not unusual behavior for him. He seemed quite comfortable in the water.
I was able to paddle my kayak faster than the buck could swim, and it occurred to me that for the first (and likely only) time I had the physical advantage over a whitetail deer. I didn’t take it, as it would have scared the life out of him. But it was an interesting thought just the same.
Opposites are attractive…orange and blue…
While eating our lunch on the dam, Alan and I met this little fellow. Stray cats have made the dam their home. We could tell by how hungry he was that survival is tough for them. He was too feral to touch or catch, but we did make sure that we shared our chicken lunch with him so that he had a full tummy, as least for awhile.
This is the face of homelessness. Please, be sure to spay and neuter your pets!
Back out on the water, a Great Blue Heron eyes me as I drift by…
This crow apparently has not read the sign….he is not allowed to “park” here…
(Below) My new painting entitled “The Nut-Cracker” (Read-headed Woodpecker) was inspired directly from my time in the kayak.
During autumn, these birds split acorns into pieces of fairly uniform size and tuck them away into holes that the birds have created in almost perfectly straight lines in old trees. This tree was way out in the water, so the nuts will be safe from four-legged thieves…a pretty smart strategy I think!
(Below) Another painting inspired by my kayak time entitled “Silver Lining” (Forster’s Tern).
These aerodynamic birds are true athletes, able to hover in one place over the water just before a lightening-fast plunge for fish. They are wonderfully fun to watch.