Sunday, March 28, 2010

Autumn Painting Competition, "Hill Country Autumn" oil painting

Jean Levert Hood, "Hill Country Autumn," 9x12, Oil, ©2009

Some time in September 2009, Sandy Askey-Adams, Nancy Medina and I started talking about an Autumn painting challenge to celebrate the season. We chatted back and forth for a while and decided to have the First Annual Autumn Arts Painting Challenge.

The Challenge was free, global and very exciting! There were few rules - the paintings had to be original work, of course, and it had to be completed in the month of October. Art works were posted all month long and it was a visual feast each day to see new works entered.

The artist was free to interpret their October any way they wished. We had beautiful entries of representational, impressionistic and abstract work.

We used Facebook as a platform for the event. We though we'd have about 100 people enter and we'd all get to enjoy some good paintings. To our amazement, we ended up with over 1500 people joining the site and over 900 pieces of art submitted for the Competition! You can go to the facebook site to see the entries, clicking on the "Photos" tab at the top of the page will bring you to amazing paintings!

We were so thrilled that 3 nationally acclaimed artists Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Soon Y Warren, and Marsha Savage said "Yes!" to our request for Judges. These wonderful ladies were a joy to work with and they did have to work very hard! You can see the winners of the competition on our blog. The Judges chose extra paintings for the exhibition in this blog post.

Howard Cooperman, of the amazing Bucks County Gallery in New Hope, Pennsylvania has an exhibition of the winners this month. He sent these me photos of the opening reception.

Marsha Savage, Howard Cooperman, Sandy Askey Adams

Howard also made a short You Tube video of the exhibition and the painting that I submitted to the exhibition is shown first. Thank you Howard!

American Artist magazine did a story on the Challenge in March and the Pastel Journal had a story in May!

Awards for the event were donated by Terry Ludwig Pastels, Qoro, LLC, Kng of Frame, Raymar Art, and Dick Blick. This event brought artists together from around the world to celebrate art. Wonderful friendships were made and continue.

Becky Joy's
oil painting was chosen in the "Judge's Choice" category. These are addition paintings exhibited at the Bucks County Gallery show for the Challenge.

Becky Joy, "Back lit Oak", 20x24 Oil

I hope you enjoy the art on our Challenge Blog and Facebook site!
Thank you,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bluebonnets and Wildflowers

Bluebonnets are blooming! We have a small area where they come up every year and that area has more than doubled! Yes, I'd like to use a whole bunch of exclamation points, but I'll refrain. Then again, maybe not!!!


They're scattered in this very rocky area. The yellow bladderpods are fairly thick and verbena are making a nice show there too.


I wait for this every year!!!! Oops, I mean: I wait for this every year.



I love the deep red violet color on the petals.


Spanish Dagger update:


The bloom is made up of huge amounts of individual flowers. You can see that this one will be bigger soon, when all of the red pods open up.


In my last post about Mountain Laurel, they were just beginning to show color. Now, this is an explosion of violets!

mountain laurel resized

The verbena are getting thicker and carpets of these beauties are starting.

verbena resized

This is a beautiful mix of verbena and bladderpods.

yellow field resized

This next photo wasn't taken on our place, but I couldn't pass up how pretty it was. I wanted a shot without the roadway, but, this was all I could get.

verbena carpet resized

I have so many great spring photos, I'm posting a blog with just these gorgeous flowers. Next post I'll update you on my art work.

Don't miss my website for my oil paintings! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

My helpers said they wanted a "Spring Break." Yes, I was a little shocked, too, but they've sent me a photo.

mannequins on spring break

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's a Gorgeous Spring!

The Spanish Daggers are blooming! This is such an awesome plant! The "daggers" are truly something you would not like to run into. I wait for these blooms each Spring. The bloom is on average about 18 inches tall. This is my very scientific measurement. Here's a bloom just about to open:


I love this shot below! You can see a bit of the distant mountain and the dead tree is great. This is actually 2 daggers, you can see another bloom coming up on the right side of the photo, just about in the middle.


I'll have updates as this opens.

The blooms of the Spanish Dagger and Mountain Laurel are the 1st signal of spring. I've seen them bloom in January often, as we have mild winters many years. This is the coldest winter that I remember in my 30 years here. The Texas Hill Country will be gorgeous this Spring, because along with the cold, we've had such a wet winter.

Ohhhh, I have waited for this - We've had so much rain since January that I knew we'd have a wonderful wildflower carpet! This is the first:


This is the little flower that is carpeting areas. It is simply beautiful! DSC_0404-2resized

This flower is a type of bladderpod. My book on wildflowers for this area shows 3 that all look the same to me. It blooms March - May. With a few more well placed rains, we could have this beautiful display for a while. This bladderpod seems to be the thickest where the ground has been disturbed in recent years.

This is the best display of wildflowers we've had in about 8 years! I will probably post a few extra blogs with just photos of our Spring display.

We have loads of blooms on our peach, plum, and apple trees. The peach blooms are the best. I love the pink and they are fuller than most years.


I cut branches from blooming trees and bring them in the house. Just when the branches are starting to show signs of life, they'll be so lovely inside! The warmer temperatures in your house will bring the buds, leaves, and blooms quickly.

It's wonderful to watch the process each day. I have a large vase with branches 2-3 feet tall inside. They are beautiful! Buds, blooms and leaves, all coming along and the perfect signal that spring is here!

Peach tree branches resized

The ducks at Lake Jean are laying eggs. The only problem is that they're laying them in the wrong places! They haven't used the floating nesting area that we have in the middle of the lake. This is the first time we've had ducks that have ignore it, and simply lay where they please. And that is OK, but it means no baby ducks.


I feel like my walks are treasure hunts, I'm always looking for something wonderful. I never have to look far, because the beauty of this area is all around me. I do love finding little surprises, like this decidedly yellow rock below. It stood out so proudly! It's fun to see through the lens of my camera - plus I can share it with you. A double treat!


This little oil study is dry now:
"Aging Oak, Study" Jean Levert Hood, ©2010 Oil, 8 inches by 6 inches

Aging Oak, Study, is now available on my website for $75.00, including shipping and insurance.

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook! Don't miss my web site for more oil paintings. Here you can find my studies priced from $75.00 and my paintings priced from $200.00. Thank you for visiting!

mannequin, St Patricks day They're decorating for Saint Patrick's Day!

Till next time!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oil Painting - Geraniums and Clay, Early Spring Beauty

I love painting clay pots with flowers. The texture of clay is so appealing and geraniums are just full of color! Here's a piece I finished in January.

©Jean Levert Hood, 2010 "Geraniums and Clay," Oil, 12x9

And here's a close up:

Geraniums and Clay, Original Oil painting, Jean Levert Hood

"Geraniums and Clay" is for sale at Lee Bunch Gallery in Del Rio, Texas. I have 3 pieces in Pam's Gallery, located at 100 West Greenwood Street in downtown Del Rio. You can contact Pat Bunch through her website, or contact me about this piece. Pam paints beautiful watercolors and represents a number of Southwestern artist in her gallery. I'm honored to be represented by her.

Our Mountain Laurel is starting to show color!


I love these blooms. This is the first tree that starts to bloom in Spring. The tree next to the house is full of buds, and color stated breaking through this past week. The scent of this one tree will fill the whole area around the house. It smells like grape kool-aid! Mountain Laurel is cultivated in this area as a drought tolerant plant. It's seeds and leaves are very toxic, but butterflies and bees will be enjoying the nectar soon.

I don't know anything about bird's nests, but this one is very large. It's in the wild persimmon just in front of our house. The wild persimmons aren't budded out at all yet.


We have 2 really nice palms at Lake Jean. I was looking to see if the 1st green frond was fully out yet and was struck by this view.


And yes, that frond is fully up now! I am declaring that Spring is here.


We've had such a wet winter that I'm anticipating a huge wildflower display. It should be spectacular this year. These wet days bring their own beauty. I love how the mist created this pattern of water drops on a spider web.


The Agarito bushes are in bloom. They are so full of blooms this year, as I expect most of the trees and shrubs will be. The red berries to come will be great food for all manner of birds. These berries also make a good jelly, but I wouldn't want to brave those very stiff spiny leaves to pick them.


As she often does, Stella walked with me.


Don't miss my website for my oil paintings!

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

Until next time!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oak Tree - Abstract, Original Oil Painting

Oak - Abstract, original oil painting

Jean Levert Hood, Oak - Abstract, Oil ©2009

Oak - Abstract is an original oil painting, 16 inches tall by 12 inches wide. It's painted on gallery wrapped canvas, meaning the design continues around all of the edges, giving you the option of hanging this piece with or without a frame.