Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blooming Tuesday - Flowering Maple

It has been a long while since I have seen a bloom in my garden. Even now, no blooms in the garden but imagine my surprise when I walked into the dining room and found that the Flowering Maple had a couple of blooms. It was such a lovely surprise. This crazy flower usually only blooms for me during fall. I will take it though. It gives me such hope and expectation for spring. Yes, the days are getting longer. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Animal Wednesday - Short-eared Owl

Last evening we went to an area near here that you can usually find Short-eared Owls during winter. They are such lively little (15" or 38cm) owls. They course across weedy fields in search for their prey. They are so active if you find an area where they hunt they are easy to see when they come out at dark.

Unfortunately we found one that was dead by the side of the road. It must have been hit by a vehicle. They look like a good sized bird when they are soaring but when you see one up close you can see that they are actually small. They appear to be all wings.
I took this opportunity to paint a couple of those wing feathers. Birding sometimes offers sad situations. I tried to make the best of it by honoring the little owl with a painting.
I want to wish you all a Happy Animal Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bird Bills

This morning I got to thinking about birds (no surprise here) and their bills. Bird's bills are as varied as the birds themselves. Some are very colorful. I thought I would do quite a few bills on one page. When I got started I realized if I didn't put the heads on too they would really look odd. So it all became more involved than what I originally expected to do.
After that I got to thinking about all the details I like to put onto my sketches. One thing leads to another. I just love details. Altoon Sultan at Studio and Garden is a great artist and I love the way she writes about art. Today she wrote about details in paintings. You might find it interesting.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lilting Sparrow

This weekend the sun was out, the snow melted and we were all thankful. The Song Sparrows around here all seemed to take the sun shine as a cue to practice their territorial songs. Maybe they were just as happy as I was that the sun came back out. I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bright Yellow House

I was working yesterday and as I looked out an upper window I could see this house a block away. It is one of the old homes that has been refurbished in the area. The Rock Pigeons were flying about in the cold wind. Probably trying to find a warm place to roost. I hope you are warm today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Waiting Room Inventory

I am glad I didn't have to wait any longer. I drew everything and everybody that I could and not make anyone uncomfortable. The room was small. Not much in it except a tv and a couple other people. The people weren't positioned so I could draw them unless I turned toward them. Not a good thing.
Please let me add that nothing is the matter. Just a check up for my DB. You know how DRs are.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Animal Wednesday - Staghorn Fern

I debated whether to post this for Animal Wednesday or not but it is the only animal-like subject I have right now. This is a "Staghorn" fern that lives here with me. It has nearly taken over the plant table as it is 40" wide. It loves sitting there in the window in it's perch. It keeps growing and growing. I don't know what I will do with it when it outgrows this space. I didn't paint all of the leaves, just enough to give the idea of how big it is. Happy Animal Wednesday Everyone. I hope all of your animal friends are happy and healthy this winter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Testy Tuesday

I have been having lots of fun playing Scrabble. I think I am a little obsessed. Sorry if I am repeating myself. That is what obsessed people do. They repeat themselves.
Are you obsessed with anything lately?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Monday

This past weekend we did a lot of tv watching. It is fun to have a team to watch that at least has a chance to win a game. Go IU.
Did you watch anything good this weekend?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My New Hat

I can't thank Pat enough for my new hat. She presented it in a hatbox that had velvet cut outs on the sides and a big polka dot ribbon as a handle. I tried cutting out some black paper in a similar pattern as the pattern on the box to put on the front of her thank you card.
I didn't do the hat justice. I think she will appreciate my effort. I more than appreciate her efforts. She makes beautiful hats.  It has a herringbone pattern on flannel with a big black silk ribbon and feathers. The lining is a baby blue. So warm and it fits perfectly.
I love to wear hats. Do you like to wear hats?
If you had one like this I bet you would like to wear it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fox Squirrel

Our garden is over run with gray squirrels. There is one Fox Squirrel that comes to visit the bird feeders. He is very cautious. He approaches slowly and takes time to sit up and look around. I caught him just outside my office window trying to decide which way to go.
What kind of squirrels roam through your garden?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lapland Longspur

We did the Knox County Christmas Bird Count January 2. It was the worst winter day we have had yet. The wind was howling, it was COLD, it blew snow around most of the day. Needless to say we didn't have the best count ever. We did find the largest number of Lapland Longspurs I have ever seen in Knox County. A conservative estimate was 450. These little sparrow-like birds breed in the high Arctic. They are only around here during winter. To them this weather was probably about like their spring. They glean the corn fields for seed and put up quite the chatter as they busy about. This drawing is ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Happenings

While this may seem redundant, and it is, I just wanted to start posting my daily drawing, sketching, scribbling as you might have guessed goes on around here. Normally I just put up the ones I think aren't as bad as some of the other sketches. This year I am thinking that I will put up the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope I don't put  your eyes out. This way I will be more inclined to keep up the pace as it may be.

This drawing is of the night sky as we walked out into the New Year. The clouds had parted a bit and the big half moon and a couple of planets were showing. Speaking of the night sky, tonight there is supposed to be a meteor shower. If you are up late enough maybe you should look out to see what is happening.
That is about as close to a resolution as I am going to get. Have you set some goals or decided upon a resolution or two for the new year??