Monday, June 22, 2009

Althea - Oil Painting, Baby Chicks and Ducks, Lavender, Helper's Vacation

Althea is a new oil painting, 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide. It's not listed for sale just yet, it needs to dry a little more. If you are interested in this painting prior to listing, just let me know!

Althea, Oil Painting

Althea, Detail:

Althea, Oil Painting


We have baby chick and ducks!

The order was for 6 "assorted" ducks, so I have no idea what they are, and we have Rhode Island Red chickens. These photos show them at about a week and a half old. They grow so fast it is amazing. Some of the photos are a little fuzzy, these little creatures never stop moving!

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This little dark colored duck is my favorite. It looks like he totally got into some serious gel/mousse.

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I'll keep you updated on their growth. Ultimately, the ducks will go to Lake Jean.


Lavender is one of my all time favorite herbs. It can withstand our Texas summers, happily make it through our droughts, and enjoys our mild winters. It even likes our poor soil! In my view, it rivals rosemary in the hardy category and blooms beautifully. I try to have different varieties growing so I can enjoy blooms over a long period of time.

My cats love to lay in the cool under it's shade, then they smell so good!

Lavender is grown commercially in the Hill Country and there are several places where you can pick your own bundles of this scented wonder, as well as enjoy many products made from it's flowers.

You know I love the lavender fields at Becker Vineyards. Their website tells of 4 varieties of lavenders planted, blooming in May and June. I've painted the fields many times, both on location and from my photos. They are located between Stonewall and Fredericksburg. Between Fredericksburg and Johnson City you'll find Hummingbird Farms. They have been growing lavender since 2003 on this working farm. Blanco has Hill Country Lavender - Texas' first commercial lavender farm with 2500 lavender plants.

Through June 30th you can enjoy Blanco Lavender Days fair/festival. There will be special lavender events all month, call 830-833-5101.

You can also Pick Your Own Lavender in Bandera through 30th, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Call the Lavender Farm at 830-966-5105. The Hill Country is a great place to be!

Lavender fields:
These are photos taken at Becker's mid April of last year, which would be early in the bloom season.

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 - it's been updated several times this month. You'll see what's wet on the easel.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

Be sure to click here to sign up for my monthly newsletter!


They decided on the beach.
June beach #1

Monday, June 15, 2009

Purple Heron Oil Painting, Fallow Deer, Nueces River

My somewhat fanciful water bird, Purple Heron is posted on Etsy.

Purple Heron

I have fun painting water birds - expanding and contracting shapes, playing with color. This little oil sketch is 7 inches wide by 5 inches tall and is available for $55.00. I'm working on a realistic painting of a heron at the moment. I'm planning to finish it this week.

detail:

Purple Heron

Fallow Deer

I was out photographing with my friend Genie and we saw these fallow deer. What a beautiful animal! They were beside the road, having escaped whatever fencing they were in. They stayed close to each other and touched one another frequently. These two weren't very concerned with my vehicle and we got to watch them for some time. What a treat to find something so unexpected like this. But it seems that every time Genie and I go on a photo safari, we find something unexpected! It's fun seeing through each others eyes, we notice things so differently.

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I looked them up and found this photograph of fallow deer with mature horns/antlers. Wikipedia calls them antlers and only the males have them. (I'm not sure which they are called, in reading I've found them referred to both ways.) What a magnificent animal! I would love to see some of these antlers.

We have many exotic animals in our area of Texas. I love it when our game camera catches them on our property. We've had elk, axis deer, and others come through. Occasionally they will stay a while, which we love!

Neuces River

This is one of my favorite spots along the West Prong of the Nueces. I photographed it late in May. The reflections are always great, the water clear, the landscape is interesting. This beautiful water flows through the Texas Hill County and is a vacation spot in many areas. You'll find great spots for camping, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking,tubing, bird watching, and nature areas.

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Here's the same spot photographed in Fall and below is my painting of the site.

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Fall colors:

Nueces in Fall, oil painting

© Jean Levert Hood 2008, Nueces in Fall

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 .

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too! Be sure to click here to sign up for my monthly newsletter!

They're asking for a vacation. I'm not sure what to do. I'll keep you updated. Till next time!

mannequin june

Monday, June 8, 2009

Plumbago Oil Painting, Birds, Linda Blondheim

Plumbago in May - original oil painting:

Plumbago, plien air oil painting

I painted outside often in May, the weather was really nice. I choose the flowers on my patio for several of my subjects. This is the plumbago stem I painted. I'd shown a bit of it before, now it's dry enough to scan for you. This piece is 8 inches tall by 6 inches wide, and is available for sale on my website for $75.00, which includes shipping and insurance. These small pieces of art are an inexpensive way to start your original art collection!

Birds and Blooms

We have 9 bird houses on our patio. I caught this bird just as it left the fence headed to it's house. I've been watching it every evening when I sit in my swing. I need to be very ready to get a better shot! The mom and pop are always working in the house.

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I love shots where I catch the unexpected. Check out the very top of the next photo and you'll see the other male flying in, first like a bullet, second shot with his wings out.

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This next shot shows the two males, and one has a red spot in the middle of that beautiful yellow! I've not noticed this difference before. I never cease to marvel at the Painted Bunting, what a remarkably colored bird!

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We have these huge moths that come out in the evening just before dusk. They dart around like hummingbirds. My attempts to get a good photo have been pretty unsuccessful. This is my best so far. The body is about the size of my thumb. My petunias and stock are their favorites.

Studio Shot

It's been a while since you've had a peak into my studio, this is just a part of my flower collection:
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Linda Blondheim

I've mentioned Linda Blondheim in the past. She is a Florida landscape painter, a friend, and a wonderful artist. You may know that I grew up in South Louisiana, so many of Linda's paintings feature scenes that are familiar.

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© Linda Blondheim

I love her trees. She captures the moss so wonderfully in the piece below.

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© Linda Blondheim

Linda's love for her part of our world shines through. She says "I am excited by the landscape and all of its mysteries. From the North Carolina mountains to the deep swamps of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. I love them all and it is a privilege to record them on canvas." Linda captures the Southeastern landscape in a wonderful way. I am honored to call her my friend.

If you're a painter, Linda Blondheim Art Notes Blog is a great blog. It's often like taking a mini workshop. Linda is discontinuing daily posts to this blog, but it will still be up to treat painters to a wealth of knowledge.

Be sure to click here to sign up for my monthly newsletter!

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 - you'll see some of May's work wet on the easel.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too. Till next time!

mannequin with brushes

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sagebrush Oil Painting, Xeriscape plant and Buzzards!

The sagebrush is blooming! We had about an inch of rain in a 3 day span and that seems to be a guarantee that the sage will bloom. It's pretty intensely colored, but I've seen it thicker. Our bushes aren't too thick with foliage in this dry spring.

Sage in bloom, oil paintingThis Sagebrush painting is in oil, it's 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide, and still wet on the easel. I wanted to capture the wet look between the rains, with some of the dead grasses we have due to the drought.

The bloom colors vary so much and of course I like the intense color. Our "sage" isn't really that, it's technically Cenizo. Sagebrush is the most common term used locally to refer to it. It's happy in our limestone soils, can handle our heat and droughts, and gives us awesome displays after rains.

This past weekend I was in San Antonio and was amazed to see how many businesses were using Cenizo for landscaping. San Antonio had more rain than we did, and their bushes are covered in blooms and very intensely colored. It's a great landscaping plant, requiring little care from you after it's established. While I see them trimmed as hedges at businesses, they do grown naturally in a pretty free form. Either way they would make an excellent plant to add to your Xeriscape areas. San Antonio Water Systems has a great page on their web site on xeriscape - plants and shrubs. Carefree plants are a big plus in my book! Sagebrush would be one of the tops of my list.

I have no idea why, but both of our game cameras gave us some great buzzard photos. Maybe they are vacationing here. First, though, here's a couple of our proud gobblers.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

It's funny to me when the buzzards dry out their wings. The stand still for so long like this!

My beautiful picture

This is a fun shot. This one flew up right in front of the camera. Great timing!

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

This is Clothilde's "Can we get that light out of my eyes?" pose.

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Be sure to click here to sign up for my monthly newsletter!

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 - you'll see some of May's work wet on the easel.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

mannequin mayUntil next time!