My great grandmother (my father's grandmother) loved cardinals and over the more than 90 years she was alive, she received many gifts with cardinals on them...pillows, salt shakers, figurines, rugs...but of course, it was the birds in her yard that she continued to love and cherish the most. I've got lots of cardinals in my back yard too, and it always improves my day to see them.
I picked one of my cardinal paintings to use as my advertisement in the Christmas shopping guide put out by Mississippi Magazine. This is the first major print ad I've invested in and I'm excited to see what sort of difference it makes.
I was walking on the Natchez Trace not long ago, admiring the spider webs in the trees, when I was struck with inspiration. Spider webs on feathers is a natural fit. The first simple webs with spiders and moths went well and I began to toy with what else I could do with the subject. I'm just getting started, but playing with scenes from Charlotte's Web was fun as a next step. Wilbur is peaking up over the natural curve of the black band of the feather. I realized after I painted it that I could have imposed a symmetrical curve over the natural slanted slope and no one would have known the difference. At first I was displeased with the result, but the more I look at it, the more I'm glad I kept the quirky natural shape of the band.
Mr. Rabbit is a banker, but a kindly one, who enjoys helping his neighbors accomplish their financial goals. He is honest, he plays funny little pranks on his coworkers and makes the workday pass quickly with his humor and patience. He's one of those people who has an effect on all of those around him that leaves them feeling like better people. On the way home each evening, he takes him time strolling through the park, stopping to chat with the squirrels and ducks, where he is often invited in for a cup of tea and often asked to stay for dinner. He's the type of banker who flies kites.
When I was six years old, I heard that if you ate lots and lots of carrots the bottoms of your feet could turn orange from the beta carotene. So I ate lots and lots of carrots. I remember the moment when I was at a friend's house playing and I checked the bottom of my feet, and sure enough, they had an orange tinge. Willie Wonka freakiness.
Hanuman is a Hindu deity. He is depicted holding a mountain because he was sent to fetch healing herbs from that mountain to heal fatally-wounded Lakshmana (Rama's brother). Unable to identify the herbs, he uprooted the whole mountain and brought it back, saving Lakshmana's life.
My Aunt Judy continues to stay young with yoga and t'ai chi. She is an all-around great person. One of her daughters (thus, one of my cousins, if you're keeping track) commissioned this for her as a present. I had to paint her wearing black. She always wears black.
This was a Christmas present for a second cousin who enjoys playing squash. I was on the tennis team in high school and I've played a little racquetball, pingpong and badminton, but squash is a racket sport I've never had the chance to try.
Yesterday I finished painting 180 turkey feathers with the date 3/8/13. They will be tied to invitations for a rehearsal dinner in Virginia, with the wedding taking place the following day. The feathers were provided by a Mississippi hunter, which, I am very pleased to announce I can legally use according to Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Public Notice Rule Number WL-3816. The law changed in December 2011. Feather laws are strict and sometimes confusing, as they differ from state to state. Public Notice Rule Number WL-3816 states that deer and wild turkey parts (antlers, fur, and feathers) can be used for crafting. This does not, however, cover duck feathers that have been obtained legally by hunters. Because ducks migrate, they are protected by federal feather laws (as are all other migratory birds). I can use feathers from ducks that are raised domestically (which I do), but not ones that have lived in the wild. The law is fascinating and I'm having a good time being sure all my ducks are in a row (or at least from the farm), so to speak. Length of feathers for this project: about 3" each
This was painted for a woman who plays bagpipes. I know several people who play bagpipes, partly because my undergraduate degree is from Alma College, one of the few places in the United States where one can major in bagpiping.
For Bob. Trumpet always makes me smile. I chose trumpet in fifth grade band as my instrument because I once heard my grandpa say that he always wished he had played trumpet instead of trombone, which he took up when arthritis forced him to give up violin.
I enjoy painting faux textures such as marble, turquoise and metals. In eleventh grade I was on the decorating committee for junior senior prom and I spent many several weeks applying black and white marble finish to giant cardboard pillars that were used as decorations. I also built and painted miniature matching pillars that were used on the tables as centerpieces. I was proud of my work. It's the sort of work I enjoy.