Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plumbago Oil Paintings, Birds and Birds, New Assistants

I'm painting outside this week. It's gorgeous and our winds aren't at gale force for a nice change. My plumbago bush seemed the perfect thing to paint. I painted a larger piece of the bush, then did this small 8x6 piece of just one flower. When they're dry, I'll get a better picture for you. Scanning always gives better results. Here is a preview of my efforts.

Detail of Plein air, Plumbago Bloom, oil, 8 inches by 6 inches.

plumbago bloom closeup  resized

My plumbago:

plumbago bush resized

This is a 9x12 oil painting:

The flax seed feeder is a huge hit. The number of birds that can hang on that thing at one time is amazing!

flax feeder all resized flax feeder red resized

I'm not sure what the rose colored bird on the right is. I don't see it in my book.

This is the Orchard Oriole:

orchard oriole resized

and our Hooded Oriole is a huge fan of 1/2 an orange:

hooded oriole on orange resized

The Hooded Orioles pick the orange completely clean.

I hope you enjoyed this week's blog. I appreciate all of my readers and enjoy your comments too. I love getting to share my little corner of Texas with you.

You'll find my small watercolors and smallest oils in my Etsy store . Work on Etsy is priced from $10.00.

You can purchase my oil paintings and studies on my website . Check out my "What's going on in my studio this month" feature!

And I'll leave you with my Outside Studio Assistants:

my assistants resized

My little helpers have time off this week since I'm painting out. Hmmm, seems like my other helpers are a little more enthusiastic! Until next time!


Karen Faulkner said...

Loved this post (of course, I love birds too)! The plumbago bloom and your painting of it are gorgeous--my favorite shade of blue.

ZudaGay said...

Lovely paintings, Jean! I love the colors and I always love flowers! The birds look like they are enjoying themselves and your helpers seem to be taking a break from helping. I always enjoy your posts!!!

Manon Doyle said...

Beautiful painting! I'm so jealous that you get to paint outside all the time!!

Michelle (mkc photography) said...

your blog (and of course, your work) looks fantatic!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Thank you Karen!! We don't have too many blue flowers, and none this big and showy. I love them!

Zuda, I'm so glad you like my post. Thank you for commenting. Yes, our birds are just amazing!


Manon, the winds are back today, so I'm not painting outside, but sure hope to again tomorrow.


Michelle, Thank you, what a lovely thing to say!

Sixsisters said...

Jean how much fun you must have ! LOVED the painting of course. I love seeing the birds and all of the plant life. Thanks for the lovely treat . Joan

Anonymous said...

Plumbago is always beautiful..

Looks like Stella is just exhausted from stalking deer.


Martha said...

Fab paintings, Jean. What a luscious blue. I wish I could see that little red bird on your feeder better - I'd love to know what he is.

John said...

great birds, orioles, and of course your paintings...bird pic is too small to id but size of it an orange toned house finch?

LisaBongZee ~ Island Dream Life said...

Nothing beats painting outside. Love your plumbago, you do fantastic work, Jean ! I'm sure the kitties had the time of their lives too!

Lynn said...

Jean, you've been awarded for your "Uber Amazing Blog." Check out the entry for today, April 25, to pick it up.

The plumbago painting is wonderful.

Mary said...

Just visited your wonderful blog for the first time and am so glad to find you! I saw your comment on my friend and landscape painting mentor, Linda Blondheim. Your use of color is amazing.

Mary Lemmenes

Jean Levert Hood said...

Hey Joan! I really do have fun. Watching the feeders is a treat, it's really a beautiful place.


Janis, yes, Stella needs her power naps. Sigh.


Martha, thank you so very much! Yes, it is a beautiful bush. I keep trying to get a better shot of my red bird.


John, I'm so wanting that little bird to get closer! I've taken dozens of shots. It is truly rose toned, and the size of a house sparrow. our little goldfinch are much smaller. I'll let you know when I get a better shot. Thank you for trying to help!


Lisa, I love painting out! of course yesterday that didn't work out, I was all set up and painting, and the wind started and CRASH! It all came down. I had to move to the studio.


Lynn, Thank you so very much! I'm honored that you chose my blog! I appreciate that.

Hi Mary - Welcome to my blog! Thank you for such a nice compliment.
Don't you just love Linda? She's such a sweetie.
I'm off to check out your blog now!

Clare said...

This post has 2 of my favorite things - birds & blooms. I love the plumbago. I live in the south where it grows an easy 4 feet high. When the temperature is in the high 90's the coolness of the blue makes me feel cooler. Your painting made me feel the same way.

Andrea Kobayashi 小林アンドレア said...

You've clarified a long-standing areas of fuzziness in my mind; I have never really known what Plumbago is - I kind of thought, or assumed, it was a sort of pudding dessert, with plums... Now I know! You have really captured the blooms well. I find painting blue or purple flowers in oils always very difficult; so hard to get the chroma right, they can so easily sink and look murky (well mine do). Well done. The bird feeder looks great too!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Clare - yes, you know they are 2 of my favorites too!! You see them so often on my blog. I can't imagine plumbago at 4 feet - wow! What a nice thing to say about my paintings, thank you!!


Hey Andrea! You are too funny! Plumbago without the plums!! It is hard to do the blues, and harder to get the color right on the computer too. I generally end up mixing blues to get what I want, cobalt and ultramarine. Often one is too strong and the other too weak. Good to hear from my far away friend!!

Nancy and the fatties said...

Jean, every time you place blue or purple on your canvas, it makes my heart just sing. These are amazing and so vibrant. I can hardly wait to see what you paint this spring, now that the flowers are finally blooming in Texas. We had big thunderstorms for our visit to Fredericksburg last weekend - I hope it gives all the flowers a little kick in the pants so you have lots of inspiration!
hugs to you and the helpers...

Kim said...

you have certainly captured the colour and vibrancy of this flower Jean :)
I received your gorgeous painting in the mail today ...thank you...I love it :))
cheers Kim

Jo Bradford said...

Hi Jean

I love plumbago, we have a white one in the conservatory. Your painting of it is perfect. Hope you are well xoxo

Jean Levert Hood said...

Hi Nancy!! Oh, what a lovely thing to say, I truly am honored at your compliment! Yes, those storms are bringing such needed rain, and we finally have wildflowers again. We may get more rain tonight. I always appreciate when you comment on my blog, Thank you.
Hugs to the Pugs!

Kim, thank you so much. I am so very glad you like your painting. Thank you for letting me know, too, when something goes overseas I always wait to know it's arrived.


Jo, A white plumbago! I've never seen one. Have you done a photo of it? Your blog is so very lovely, I hope people will check it out.

....Jo's blog is :

Her photography is wonderful. She's a great artist.

Loredana said...

The Plumbago is one of my fav wilde flowers also if here in Italy you can't see a lot of it. Nice artwork Jean!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Loredana, how wonderful that plumbago grows wild in your country!
Thank you!

Genie said...

I think it's just a red finch, we get a lot of them here in the yard. I know there are different kinds of red finches, I think ours might be Purple Finches but I'm far too lazy to research it.

I love the way you photographed the plumbago painting!

Jean Levert Hood said...

Genie, I got a much better shot of the little bird, and yes, it's the house finch. It's just so much more colorful than what's in my bird book that I wasn't sure it was the same thing.

Jean Bittkau said...

Hello from one Jean to another

I came across your blog while looking for paintings of plumbago. What a pleasant surprise! We seem to share a similar lifestyle - birds, cats, art... My husband and I are renovating a 1870's cottage in a pretty village, 3 hours from Cape Town, South Africa. As I work in ceramics I am about to start making the tiles for our kitchen and thought I would try and incorporate the wild 8ft plumbago I have growing close by. Now I am rather daunted after looking at your fabulous paintings - you have captured the vibrancy and joie de vivre of the plant so well! Still, I will try a few samples. Luckily blue is one of the easier colours (I hope) to use in ceramics. Plumbago is indigenous to SA but I believe it is found all over the world now. I saw it everywhere in Australia earlier this year. We have a new cultivar 'Royal Cape' which bears more flowers and has a more vivid blue - yours seemed to be this one. The original has paler blue flowers but just as pretty. We have a white one which is lovely too.

I am interested in your flax bird feeder. Could you please tell me what it is made of? I have quite a few feeders dotted around the garden and studio and also enjoy the huge variety of birdlife that they attract. Recently I have added a sugar- bird feeder but so far have only seen yellow weavers using it.

Carry on painting - I love your chillies too! Now I am going to view your other works.