Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2/21 Creative Exercise

Well, day two of this creative exercise and I'm still here! Actually woke up this morning looking forward to posting a sketch. I'm addicted to the Falcon-Cam here in San Jose (see yesterday's post) and did this sketch while watching a feeding. My new thing....right after walking the dog!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 1/21 Creative Exercise

I've decided to join Alicia Padron and her talented group of blogging buddies in a 21 day creative exercise. Sketch for 15 minutes everyday...they say it takes 3 weeks of doing something consistently to form a new habit. You can check out the other participants and their work on Alicia's blog links list. You'd think sketching everyday would come naturally to an artist, but like everyone, life gets in the way. The premise is to try something new, step out of your safety zone, so to speak. So here goes with day one! 

I've been fascinated with the Peregrine Falcons that are nesting atop City Hall in San Jose, California. The eggs hatched on Earth Day and Carlos and Clara have been busy catching local pigeon to feed their growing brood. You can catch them on the Falcon Cam that has been set up by the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz. Here is a sketch of Clara with her chicks from this morning taking a cat nap waiting for Carlos to bring home the chow!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Watercolor Workshop

On Friday and Saturday of this week, I stepped out of my box and took a watercolor workshop from a fine artist and fabulous watercolorist, Jann Pollard. The class was held at Filoli in Woodside, California which is one of the finest historical country estates of the 20th century. It was a gorgeous weekend and the gardens were in full bloom. An incredible place to visit.

I've always struggled with watercolors. Part of my problem is that I learned how to use them from an illustrator's perspective, always rendering and noodling everything to death. So taking this class forced me to give up on some of that mindset (no colored pencils to rescue me!!)  and just use color and value and the looseness of the brush. We worked from photographs, and I picked an interior setting because painting a landscape seemed too overwhelming for me. Our palettes were limited and we had to paint a predominately warm or cool painting...whatever was opposite the photograph we were using. So, this was my attempt, which took me about 4 hours....sweating all the way. The hardest part was knowing when to quit....luckily our teacher was hovering close enough to say "Fini!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Madly working on collections for my trip to Surtex in May. Nose to the grindstone. Seems strange to be working on winter holiday collections when the weather is so great in California right now!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Today was a really good day!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Illustration Friday: Save

Some years ago, I helped run an organization in Palo Alto, California called Wildlife Rescue. Our mission was to save injured and orphaned wildlife. Several thousand birds and mammals would come into our shelter seeking treatment which was staffed by one or two paid employees and the rest volunteers. Our rescue hotline number was 494-SAVE, and we got all kinds of interesting calls from the frantic public with wildlife issues that needed to be solved. Some of the more fun calls were from stores or markets who had hummingbirds fly in an open door and then became trapped inside the store. A couple of volunteers would be sent out with nets to try to "catch" the hummingbird. Sounds impossible....but the hummers eventually would run out of gas and would land, completely exhausted. After being transported back to the shelter, they were set up in a temporary cage for the night with a syringe of sugar water to regain their energy. The next day, after being tested in an aviary, they were released. 

This piece was partly inspired by my experiences with raising baby hummers and rehabilitating the injured. I'll never forget the baby hummer that took it's first flight in my studio!