Monday, October 26, 2009

Workshops, Fall Wildflowers, Chamisa Oil Painting

Oh, my blog is gathering dust again!

I had an unexpected workshop opportunity plus my regular yearly workshop over the past few weeks. The unexpected workshop was from Bob Butler. I love his use of color and I study with him every chance I get.

Last week I was in Fredericksburg, Texas. I don't know if it's my favorite spot in the Texas Hill Country, but close! I have taken a workshop there from Guido Frick for the last 5 years. Guido studied under the wonderful artist Sergei Bongart. Every time I take a workshop, I wonder how many life times I would need to paint as I would like!

Workshop paintings are generally not to be shared, (hidden in a closet is more like it!) so this post will give you a taste of our beautiful fall. I'll get to painting in my studio this week.

Mist-flower is blooming! The rains we've had backed by cooler weather finally gave us wildflowers. There is a group of trees just outside of my studio and a nice patch of these light violet beauties grow there in the shade. If we get a few well place rains, they should bloom through December.


About 10 feet from the mist-flower is a wonderful group of lantana shrubs. It's so deeply colored. Lantana is toxic according to my book, but some small birds may eat the fruit. It's a plant you see often in our area used for landscaping. It enjoys our sandy soils and can handle our summer heat. I've never cultivated it, I just enjoy what grows wild. It's an excellent plant for xeriscape needs.


These are the little berries that come when the flowers are finished.


This below reminds me of northern New Mexico's Chamisa, which I've painted often. It's some sort of desert broom and it blooms every year from early fall until the first freeze. I'm not sure what it is, in spite of my 3 books! I love it. It's a sure signal that fall is here and cooler weather is a reality.


Stella loves to walk with me and she checks out everything I stop to photograph.


Oh, I can post a Chamisa painting!

This was painted several years ago after a painting trip to Taos, New Mexico. The Chamisa is beautiful there in the fall.

"Chamisa" Original Oil painting, Jean Levert Hood ©2007

Chamisa is available on my web site, it measures 11x14 inches and is available for $395.00. Prices on my web site include shipping and insurance.

I grew up in South Louisiana, so fog was a very familiar site. Here in my corner of Texas, fog is not a familiar site! It's such a seldom occurrence that I thought this shot from the game camera was really special. Seems so different, doesn't it?
© Jean Levert Hood

Since the drought has been so hard on the land, along with the excessive summer heat, we feed protein to the deer in addition to corn, along with medicated salt licks.

© Jean Levert Hood

The ducks love the feeder, the corn, the grain, and the protein blocks!

I don't see too many turtles, but this one is really large.


I have more to show you already in my camera for next time. So, until then,

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They seem to like the whole idea of fall.

Crock and Red Flowers - Oil Painting, Antelope

Crock and Red Flowers is an oil painting measuring 14 inches tall by 11 inches wide and is available for $395.00.

Arrival of the Black Buck Antelope!

Black buck antelope are native to India. As the name suggests, the males darken with age and the females remain this lighter brown. We're hoping that these 3 are happy here and enjoy our grasses and browse.

They're already enjoying the field in front of the house, happily eating with our deer. I was looking out at them all together, the deer and the antelope, and it happened. ♪ where the deer and the antelope play♫♪♫, and yes - "Home, Home On the Range" stayed in my head all day!

They were released in the field in front of Lake Jean. They bounded off, bouncing on, then slowed down when they reached the thick brush on the other side of the water.

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I'm amazed at how high they bounce, must be springs on those feet!

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This is the only photo I have from the game camera. They're eating in the field in front of the house, but my photos from the patio are through the patio fence - not too exciting.

Antelope, © Jean Levert Hood

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Don't miss my website for my oil paintings!

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Please visit my Etsy store for original watercolor paintings priced from $10.00. My Etsy store carries my small works.
DSC_0076resizedStill no name for New Kittie, but then again, my helpers don't have names either!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chickens, Roosters, and Ducks

In honor of The Chicken Yard that has so successfully housed our new ducks, I'm showing you these two oil paintings. Next I'll get to the Chicken yard/Duck story.

Young Rooster is 10 inches by 8 inches,

and Chicken Strut is 8 inches by 10 inches. Both of these pieces are available on my web site. They are $200.00 each, which includes shipping and insurance. Both are painted on Gallery Wrapped Canvas, meaning the painting continues around the sides of the piece, so it can be framed or not.

These are the last photos of the ducks in the chicken yard. The process of getting them to the lake (mostly uneventful) happened this past week. Those little top knots are getting pretty wild!

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ducks 11

I thought I'd throw in a picture of the chickens since you haven't seen them in a while. And, I know you were just waiting to see them!

chicken 1

So, this is the process. We bring one duck to Lake Jean, wait a few days, make sure all is well, bring one more, wait a few days, make sure all is well. At this point, we decide the remaining four can go.

Don and I are in the chicken yard catching the ducks to transport them to the lake. I fall down.

Now, you may be wondering why it is blog-worthy to tell you that I fell down?

Trust me, just put this on your "note to self" pad - A Chicken Yard is not a place where you want to fall down!

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Here's the first one at Lake Jean:

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Finally, this one makes it to the water's edge. We had to drive around to the other side of the lake, this little guy kept running back to us! These pictures are from a little distance, but I think you'll enjoy them.

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The 3 ducks from June are curious and come to see the stranger.

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a little closer,

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Contact! Successful mission!

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And off they go!

ducks 1

We have black buck antelope now! Next blog, I'll show you their arrival.

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They are spending quite a bit of time with the new kitty.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oil Painting Study, "Pears and Cherries," Hummingbirds and Ducks

This is a small study I painted this week. It's 6 inches tall by 8 inches wide. "Pears and Cherries" is still wet on the easel. I'm working on a larger still life with pears, cherries, sunflowers and a nice vase.

It will probably take a while to finish - the weather is so gorgeous that I just have to paint outside! It's finally cooling off a little and I am so ready to go and paint outside. So, I'll be working on the still life a bit here and there.

The hummingbirds have been enjoying my salvia. I love this colorful plant and I think they do too! This is taken through my patio door, one of these days I hope to get closer for some larger views. They come often in the morning.DSC_0187resized


Look at those tiny little legs in the photo below:





One of my favorite times of day is the late evening when the shadows are long. I often sit on my porch at that time. I see the strong shadows coming from over the house, casting the dark across the field in front of the patio. The light at this time of day is wonderful.

This photo below with the long shadows was take on a walk and it shows me why I love to paint! I see the photo and know how differently I'd paint the scene. I see it as so beautiful as it is, but if I would paint it I would change so much color. It truly is wonderful to be able to paint what I see inside, instead of just a photo.DSCN0595

I always notice the old dried out tree trunks and roots. I saw these 2 pieces of wood laying just as you see here. The small piece on the left is totally sun bleached from age. The piece on the right is not.

I love my walks. I find 'treasures' every time. And yes, I have to make sure that I don't come home carrying everything I've found, from wood to rocks to flowers!DSCN0604resized

These dead branches catch my eye every time I pass them. They really set off this Spanish Dagger.


The big ducks who are at Lake Jean are venturing out a bit! They're starting to check out the feeder. They seem to do fine with the deer. Yesterday we saw 8 ducks at the lake swimming with our ducks. We have many come through in the winter and some stay a while. This seems early to start seeing them migrating, though.

We've enjoy herons lately, and egrets. I can see from the house with binoculars and of course, love it when the game camera catches them. My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

Please visit my Etsy store for original watercolor paintings priced from $10.00. My Etsy store carries my small works.

Don't miss my website for my oil paintings!

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

I've been asked several times if they've chosen a name for their pet. (yes, I said they could keep it.) Not yet, I'll let you know!


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