|This was the beginning and all I accomplished in the class was to put color in the background. This one shows the "resist" which had been painted in to block out color allowing for wetting the background and loosely flowing in the liquid acrylic in a very wet watercolor way.|
|Speaking of color wouldn't this be spectacular in a painting. I used to do a lot of florals but since moving here I moved onto other subjects. This is one of the flowers that the Orchid vendor at the Farmers Market brings. His orchids are always so beautiful, one of my favorite flowers, and unfortunately I have murdered many of them as I have attempted to grow them. They do fine until I bring them indoors for the winter. But when I do succeed in getting one of them to re-bloom I am happy.|
|This beauty is one of the several doves which have returned to our yard after being thinned out considerably last year by Mr. Hawk who liked to catch them, then sit out there and pluck them in my yard or on top of hubby's car before dining.|
|Little Chickadee looks at me quizzically as I snap its photo. I wish I had Bluebirds like my friend Sabrina has on her feeder but mostly I have Chickadees, Titmouses, along with the Doves, a few Cardinals and an assortment of Woodpeckers. There are so many beautiful marsh birds around that I take for granted the yard birds.|
|An off shore fog is a hint of what the week holds as, although warmer, it has been very foggy, cloudy, and rainy not allowing the temperatures to reach the predicted highs and making it seem pretty cool. There have been a few open-door days mixed in though.|
|Fins sticking out of the water are sometimes an ominous sight for those not able to distinguish between the fellows with which you don't mind swimming and the ones to be avoided. This is the time of year when great schools of large sharks gather for some sort of migration further south of us. These fellows though, are our own Bottle Nose Dolphins.|
|They are swimming with only one fin sticking up and swim by diving and playing on the surface whereas a shark would travel in more of a straight line and you would see both the dorsal fin and the tail sticking up at the same time. These dolphins were enjoying the end of the day. I wonder if they could see the pink on the water like I could.|
|The sunset's pink washed both the off shore fog and the beach. I am getting ready to do a couple of commission pieces, one of the beach and one of the marsh. I am trying to gather material to make it perfect for the client and for me to also enjoy painting.|
|This unusual pattern stopped me for a minute as I puzzled over it origin. I finally decided it was the beak marks of one of the shore birds as it examined the sand for edible items.|
|I finally had time, with the finishing of the two Orlando commissions and the Sea Turtle commission to get back to working on the Koi. I wanted to get this one finished before I start the other two pieces. I added the color to the third fish then adding color to the leaves of the bamboo. The technique I had learned from Nicholas was a time consuming process of layer after layer of color. Since it was acrylic I could let it dry for a while then wash it off with a strong stream of water leaving the dried part intact. This may sound strange but it gives a very interesting effect which looks a lot like a piece of batiked fabric.|
Sunday was a good fishing day except that the most fun was catching the minnows for bait that morning. It clouded up about the time we headed for the pier to fish. We were dressed for warmer weather and that was not what we found by the time we were out over the water on the fishing pier. We ended up using only the minnow (as in 1 for each of us) we started fishing with, finally releasing them two hours later (still alive) back into the water. We took our bucket full of minnows back to the pond from which they were caught and gave them the chance to grow up some more. They probably had some tall tales to tell the other minnows about their island walk about.
This photo was taken from the pier of a mom which I had seen riding her daughter on the back of her bike. I was not happy watching the scene below us. The mom was dragging her daughter by the arm, yelling at her and even slapping her at one point when she dropped her doll on the beach and cried to go back for it.
|I went to Jacksonville on Monday to deliver paintings to the Hemming Plaza Jewelry Store to be a part of the JAX art walk. I learned one thing "don't ever expect people to look at art in a jewelry shop". There is just no way to compete with case after case of beautiful baubles. On the way back in my search to find Bird Island I drove out to where I thought it was at the Pumpkin Hill State Park Wildlife Preserve. This place is worth exploring even if it wasn't Bird Island. It was a bit isolated so not somewhere I wanted to linger too long by myself.|
|It had the prospect of being a good birding area though but so far away that I would need binoculars to really see them. There are three different species in this photograph.|
|This is Sleepy, our newest charge. I found him laying on the concrete of my front porch on Monday as I started to leave. I thought it was dead but when I picked it up the back legs moved slightly. I put it in the cage which was formerly inhabited by Charles the Monarch. It was pretty lifeless but managed at bedtime to turn bright green which Lisa says signals that he is happy. I think it is also part of being warm and sleepy and the time of day seems to play a big part.|
|Morning brought back the grey color and some slight movement when touched and by the next day Sleepy even raised its head slightly. I misted it with water a couple of time a day along with adding a climbing stick and a bunch of Spanish Moss to the cage to help hold moisture and give him some of the nature like things which would normally be in its environment. The little Green Anole is our only native Anole. There is a danger that they will be over run by an invasive species, the Cuban Anole, which is a bit larger and more aggressive then these little fellows.|
|Wednesdays beach walk was partly to check the turtle nest and think about the composition for the commission piece which is to be a sunrise with a couple of people on the beach showing our beautiful wide beach and dune grasses. I worked on trying to see how that could be accomplished . Of course the colors will be different but the view will work with taller grasses in the foreground.|
These hardy little plants seem to be pushing up everywhere and the bottom leaves turn such a bright yellow that on first glance you would think they were blooms. To grow on the beach takes a plant that is adapted to sand, salt and weather different from the normal lawn.
I added the color on the fish by lightly dampening the fish and taking a brush dipped in a fairly strong mix of orange acrylic paint and dabbing the color stipple like with the tip of the brush into the damp surface letting the water blend the color into a texture which gave the impression of a scaly surface.
|More layers of color on the leaves and adding color in a wash around the edges of the wet fish so that it begins to make the fish look as if they are down in the water rather then stuck on top. Colors are added to the fish to make them take on more dimension. I continue to work on the whole piece as I feel it needs to be changed. I began to eliminate what had started out to be two other yellow fish underneath the three. They were just not working so I began to build color up over them to make them part of the underneath of the pond.|
|Sleepy was making slow progress as I test each morning and afternoon to see if he is indeed alive. By Thursday evening it (not sure if it is a he or she although the consensus after talking to my know it all about all living things friend, Lisa, that it is probably a "he"). It is my belief that Sleepy was just in a state of hibernation and was confused by the weather. Still pretty lethargic I let him sit on my leg to try to warm up a bit and also to try to tempt him to eat the cricket placed in front of him. His head up and alert he was not moving except to slightly change positions when touched but was turning his head to follow sounds from the TV and computer.|
|By last night he was perky enough to be moving around in the cage and had started to lick the water I sprayed into his cage. By tonight he was climbing all around the cage and hopefully finding one of the many baby crickets running around in his cage kind of like meals on wheels. The weather is too cold right now for Sleepy to be released. As soon as it warms up he will go back into the wild to live a normal life in his own habitat. Right now he seems to be in good shape. Lisa says that, like people, lizards need UV rays to be able to process their food especially their calcium. However since it is too gloomy, cold and damp to put him outside for now I have been leaving him underneath a strong halogen desk lamp all day which keeps him warm as well as lighted. It seems to be agreeing. He stays in my bedroom bath at night, which has our small heater, a situation he no doubt appreciates. Not a bad life for a lizard who a few days ago was laying comatose on the front porch in the cold. I seem to do better with living critters than with Orchids.|
I spent most of the day working on the Koi painting. Mostly working on the water giving it the appearance of having ripples and light reflecting on top of the fish. I added the illusion of rocks underneath the surface on the bottom of the pool also with some of the lighter shapes that were left in the water that seemed to not belong. As rocks they work quite well I think. It still has a way to go but is starting to get the feeling that the end is not too far away.
A busy week for sure and Sunday is a day off to catch up on bookkeeping, housekeeping chores, laundry, (Sleepy may be my name after all that), watch the Super Bowl, then an exciting day trip on Monday to a place I have never been but have always wanted to visit. I'll take lots of photos and fill you in when I return.