Friday, April 23, 2010

Last Installment - Texas Hill Country Spring and Wildflowers

This is the 3rd blog from my wildflower trek through the beautiful Texas Hill Country, hope you enjoy!

The Indian Paint brush was gorgeous!

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I liked this shot, in front of and behind the barbed wire.

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I took this photo on the Willow City Loop. The light and shadows were so defined on this gentle slope, it made a nice show. The loop had motorcyclist, hikers, bicyclist, photographers, and cars enjoying the beauty of the day.

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This photo is from Fredericksburg Herb Farm. I love this place! I've bought many plants here through the years. The grounds are beautiful and this bird landed and posed for me while we were waiting for a table for lunch. Fabulous lunch!

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




Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clay and Flowers Oil Painting, and More of the Texas Hill Country Spring

Clay and Flowers, Oil Painting, Jean Levert Hood

Jean Levert Hood, ©2010, "Clay and Flowers," Oil on linen, 16x12

I love painting clay and flowers. I've painted several like this recently. I'll have one for a new gallery I'll be represented in next month and one for my Featured Artist Exhibit in October. This exhibition will be at Lee Bunch Gallery in Del Rio, Texas. I'm excited and grateful for both of these opportunities. --Now onto more Texas Hill Country wildflowers!

The Trumpet Vines were amazing all over the area, these were photographed at Wildseed Farms.

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We stayed at wonderful cottages just outside of town. There's a herd of Elk on the property. They were so pretty just laying comfortably in the wildflowers! Bluebonnets are in the back field.

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I'll have more wildflowers for you later in the week, this will take 3 posts to cover my photos! Then, I can't wait to show you more of what I'm seeing here. This fabulous Spring is such a gift, and I'm trying to not wear out my camera!

I want to thank Casey Shannon for interviewing me in
her April Newsletter. Casey paints beautiful Sumi-e. Thank you Casey, I sure appreciate the feature!

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

They're enjoying all of the spring birds!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fredericksburg trip- Bluebonnets and Wildflowers

Last week I went to the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country! I love the Fredericksburg area, although some may disagree that it is the heart of the Hill Country!

The beauty was amazing. I've never seen the wildflowers prettier or thicker. The bluebonnets were nothing short of spectacular, the Mexican Poppies carpeted fields and more fields. I took almost 400 photos, but don't worry, I'll only post a handful here. Well, maybe more, but I'll break it into 2 posts for those with slower Internet connections.

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Here is a nice view of the Mexican poppies with bluebonnets, and hills in the background.

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I love these!

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Becker Vineyard's lavender fields were beautiful, as usual! I've painted on site at Becker's many times. They're so accommodating to artists. It's a wonderful place to spend the day painting in any season. The fields and vineyards are lovely all year.

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The poppy fields at Wildseed Farms were fuller than I've ever seen them. It was a sea of red!

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I'll have more for you tomorrow, along with a painting!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Cactus Oil Painting, Spring Flowers, Ducks and Cats!

Another cactus painting!

Prickly Pear, Oil, 16x20, Jean Levert Hood

Jean Levert Hood, ©2010, Prickly Pear, Oil, 16 inches by 20 inches

This is my largest, actually quite large for me. I enjoy painting small and only occasionally go for a piece this size. I'm getting work ready for a new gallery, as well as a featured artist at a gallery later this year. I want a few cactus pieces for both, in 2 sizes. So, you'll see a few more to come. I've painted landscapes and more flowers in clay pots, too. I'll certainly have to take a break from all of this to paint some of our gorgeous wildflowers!

So - onto our Spring! This next flower is gorgeous and I've only seen it here one other spring. It's blue - and thus it's name, Blue Curls. We don't have many blue flowers and these are just outstanding. You can see the clusters of blooms in this close up below.

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When it's a little further along, you see the coming blossoms along a coiled cluster. This cluster straightens as the flowers mature. My book tells me that these are easily cultivated from seed.

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We are very well protected. Nightly, Stella takes up Patio Patrol. This will continue for some time, until she is sure all is well.

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Clothilde, on the other hand, would rather play. My tomatoes aren't planted yet, but she enjoys playing with the strings that are waiting to hold up the plants.

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Blue Winged Teal are visiting with us as they migrate! It's rare that I get a shot of our many migrating ducks, they generally fly off, so I don't even try to get too close. This shot was luck - I had my telephoto lens with me and I stopped as soon as I saw them. They didn't fly away! Thank you JG for identifying them.

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These tiny flowers area everywhere. They're smaller than a dime.

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I'm not sure what these next flowers are - I've never seen these before! My book has a few possibilities, so I'll have to wait for the blooms to be sure. It may be Stork's Bill but the leaves look different. They're right outside of the patio. I've even watered them to make sure they stay healthy!

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I love this shot of the mallows!

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

They're back, as promised, but still won't ditch the shades or the beach chairs.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Cactus Oil Painting, Wildflowers Everywhere!

I've painted several Prickly Pear Cactus lately.
Prickly Pear Cactus in Yellow, Oil painting

Jean Levert Hood, ©2010, Prickly Pear, Yellow, Oil, 9 inches by 12 inches

This hasn't been posted on my web site yet, it needs a little more drying time.

This Spring is all I'd hoped for! We've been here since 1993 and I'm declaring this the most gorgeous spring ever. The wildflowers are so thick it's amazing. The number of different varieties is truly staggering. I'll have more great flower blogs for you if the heat stays away just a little while longer. We also have turkeys back at the house feeder and the Tree Ducks came back this week.

I showed you the yellow fields we're seeing and now the verbena is giving us lavender fields! It's thick, tall and healthy.

We have 3 kinds of wild verbenas. The Dakota Vervian or Prairie Verbena makes the beautiful show. These will bloom almost all year long if we have a mild winter. Later in the year, they won't match these beautiful carpets we're having now, though. These are very thick with tons of flower heads. Verbena have rich nectar, so you'll see butterflies and insects enjoying them too.

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To the back of this area below, the yellow carpet takes over.

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We have several types of primroses here, these white ones are popping up everywhere.

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I'm sure this is some type of Mallow, but I can't find it in my books. It's one of the few orange flowers we have.

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Photographing these flowers close up can be dangerous:

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We are still enjoying the yellow carpets of bladderpods.

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This tree is blooming right outside of my studio window.
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This feather was stuck on a branch. It is beautiful! I love finding surprises like this on my walks. Each one is a treasure hunt.

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Diane Clancy was so kind to give me a "Sweet Blog Award." Thank you Diane!

Felicia Kramer mentioned me in her blog, and I so appreciate it Felicia!

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

I though "Spring Break" was supposed to be a week, as in one week. And they took the cat! They've promised to be home by next blog. Till next time, Jean

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