chickens

Moving on a bit

The fire contemplation persists, though not on purpose. This lady rises up on her own, appearing during a string of bad hair days, determined to use that which she has at hand to have her say.

ladyofflames

acrylic and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Lady of flames has moved on to egg laying, using ashes to adorn her hair, and pieces of bark and branches in her hat. And from this unlikely combo sprouts a bloom and a brand new egg.  How amused she is by this hat-become-nest. A new fashion. Combined with a bit of feather and frill it suits her healing spirit. And all the while a heart shaped coal burns softly in her throat, reminding her of the flame from which she so recently arose.

The fire engine red of the trucks and the fire itself has become the firey red of autumn foliage, vineyards in richer warm hues than any palette could produce. I no longer have hens, but I know that they lay fewer eggs when the days grow short. Then each egg becomes a special gift.

Perhaps an egg would heal my hair problem?

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Howl-O-Ween and Day of the Dead

The Plaza in Healdsburg, CA was a busy costumed place last weekend with canine Halloween fashions on Saturday and Day of the Dead celebrations on Sunday. Couldn’t resist showing up to sketch at both events.

howlathon

The Howl-o-ween Dog Parade was a benefit for the Sonoma Humane Society charity veterinary services for fire victims. It was less a parade and more a costume judging contest with lots of ribboned and tutu-ed and hatted dogs in costumes. Also kids and families milling around – in constant motion of course. I got frustrated enough trying to find a subject to sketch and finally just put pen to paper to catch whatever I could!

howlathon3At home later I had fun doing some quick sketches from my pics. Poor Doggie Parton. Her wig and hat kept smooshing her ears and slipping off her head, and  I imagine that tutu was a bit scratchy too.

howlathon2

And the Unicorn pooch was clearly feeling a bit burdened by his white swaddling and extra set of ears. But hey! the event raised money for their less fortunate canine counterparts who lost their homes in the fire, so they were doing their part.

martinraychicks

The Howl-0-Ween event was over quickly and we stopped at Martin Ray Winery on the way back and sketched chickens. Not only does Martin Ray have fabulous wines and wine tasting room but exquisite gardens and even free range chickens that come right up to you begging for a treat. Trick or treat! The sign on the bar reads, “We don’t coop. Watch for poop!”

We had no seed treats for the cluckers, but it did seem like they might have an interest in painting with us. Those beaks got quite close to the wet paint. Be assured though, that the sketch in the following picture is the work of Becky, not our hen hosts.

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On Sunday two streets were closed off around the Healdsburg Plaza for a day of celebrating the Dia de los Muertos. diadelosmuertos2

These days every business, every store front, every organization, and every event is an opportunity to thank the First Responders who confronted the firestorm head on, saving lives and properties, even as so many were lost. So on this day of remembrance, a whole block was given over to the firemen and their life saving equipment.

eldiadelosmuertos

The theme was “An Event of the Heart”. I had to blink to remind myself that I was in Healdsburg and not in the heart of Mexico! Music, dancing, altars honoring the dead and food. Colorful, spicy, and loud. A family affair for all ages, welcoming us gringos as well. A lovely lady was feeding the incense offering to the ancestors.

Winged creatures

winged

monoprint, tissue transparency, acrylic and ink on 10 X 11″ paper

From the heart of a tree in the dark of night

Vibration of winged breath and penetrating gaze

Rising of timber crossing a wingspan

Appearing, then disappearing with a piercing call

Wildness breaking through the night air

Nothing left but the moonlit hairs on my arms

Barn owls.  My favorite with their strange flat faces and golden glow. I traced this one from a calendar picture onto some light and textured oriental paper, then collaged it over a monoprint as a transparency (the Monday Muse Group lesson), and kept painting.

I’ve heard owls at night and sighted from a distance, or in benevolent captivity at the Bird Rescue Center, but they live in greatest wildness in the yearning of my psyche.

. . .which is why it has been so thrilling to watch the Eagle Cam in Washington that is snooping round the clock on The President and First Lady with their fluff-ball baby chicks in the nest. Do give them a visit if you haven’t already. And here is my sketch done while I was voyeuring.

eaglecam

Mom and Pop tag team it, so I’m not sure which one this was. He/she set to ripping apart the collosal dead fish and eating and sharing with the open beaks. There are three chicks now.  I missed the birth (crack).  Darn!

One Rooster, Two Pictures

pen and w/c sketch

It’s always fun to see the sketch alongside the photo of the subject. You get to see what I had time to include (while standing and being jostled in the narrow aisles) and what got left out.

Today I had a wonderful tutorial with my friend Suzanne Edminster on how to go from the art to blog posting, all on the iPhone!  Wonders never cease.  Now I’m really armed for travel sketching!  Thank you Suzanne.

Ready for the Red Carpet

Since I took my Party Chick paintings over for the show at Corrick’s Gallery in Santa Rosa I’ve been missing them.  And luckily a new flock flew into my studio just in time for the Academy Awards tonight.  I wonder what the fashion critics will have to say about their sense of style!

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#1 – Acrylic and “skins” on canvas, 12″ X 12″

I do hope you’ll help me with names!  I haven’t gotten that far yet and could definitely use ideas.

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#2

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#3

chick4

#4

And of course they would love it if you pretended you were an Academy member and voted for your favorite!

Happy Valentines

handcaressinginks, gesso, collage, pen drawing, feathers and lace texture transfer on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Love is leaning against your leg all folded up like a new born calf, soft and subtle and strong as your hands say SAFE.

This one for my valentine and for the men and women lovers in the world.  As I posted this image I realized its connection to the One Billion Rising action today, asserting that our world must stop the violence commited against the one billion women of the planet (one in every 3).  I pray for all women to be able to experience the loving care of men like my husband.  And tonight I will dance with women all around the world in a V-day rising up and demanding an end to this violence against women.

On the art side of this. . .another experiment in relationship collage done in the Muse Groups.  I started out with a quick sketch copy in my hand of a Picasso line drawing.  Ending with the downy inner feathers of a chicken of mine that was taken off by two marauding dogs this week.

Another sad chicken story.  The dogs got two more of my chickens and injured yet two more who are now safe and recovering.  Violence in the animal world as well.