Folded Flamingo

Flamingo watercolor painting

Teach’s Folded Flamingo.

Many years ago I went through a bird-painting phase.  A couple of these have made great subjects for my Monday afternoon class.  This Monday just past, I guided the group through creating a flamingo that had folded its long neck up so it could hide its beak in its wings.  Here’s the group having completed their versions of Folded Flamingo.

student group with paintings

Seven more Folded Flamingo

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A regular class

Trilogy in La Quinta is a gated community with an active creative club.  A couple months ago I got the opportunity to become one of the watercolor class instructors there, and teach about twice a month on a Monday afternoon.  It’s a guided-tuition class, a little like the paint-n-wine format in that all students complete the same painting, but with much more of a learning opportunity focus.

I get so wrapped up in demoing and guiding, that I usually forget to take photos of the class in action.  But this time, I persuaded the ladies to let me take a pic of their completed exercises to put on the blog.

Watercolor class students

Yes – they all look great!

They sure do make me work too!  Not only do I need to prepare the exercises, but I get requests of trying subjects that I don’t usually do, so my skills get stretched as a result.  Seems like we’re all having fun, though!

New display at Sm’Art gallery.

displayOct2017Alana, my wonderful gallerist at the sm’Art gallery co-op in La Quinta and Michael Angelo Hernandez have been repainting and reorganizing the gallery.  Here is my strip of wall as we finished hanging it earlier in the week.

While I was putting up a few new paintings, another new artist, Tomasso Biondi, recognized the tall sunrise on the left – he had seen it published somewhere.  If I had it published I lost track of it.  The odd thing is I don’t think it’s the first time that someone had that comment about it….

And yes, those are a couple of pet portraits at the bottom.  After I did one over the summer, Alana thought it might be a good idea to offer them.  (Yes, I can do them remotely…..)

Another sonnet.

Sometimes it gets quiet at art fairs.  There is often a bit of a lull around lunch time.  If I’m sitting at the back of the booth at the desk, I’ll often use the time to work on my bucket list item of more Shakesperean sonnets than Shakespeare.  Flagstaff was productive and I was able to write a sonnet each of the three days.  I sometimes have to search around for inspiration, Saturday’s inspiration was the nest of sparrows within tweeting distance.

Sparrows

The sparrow has more color than you’d think

(but painters know burnt umber, wine, ecru)

and though they seem to flit off in a wink

the observer sees the little things they do.

Sometimes they’ll dust in patches of soft sand

and often in a puddle from the rain

with wriggling bodies, wings aflutter, and

the knowledge that they’ll soon feel fresh again.

The well-trained ear can spot each different call –

the black-throat’s glockenspiel and house’s cheep

the white-crowned sparrow’s sweet melodious trill

and common to them all, the young chick’s tweet.

So if you ever thought sparrows were plain

Take another look and listen, think again!

Another sonnet.

I’m still working on that bucket list of writing more Shakespearean sonnets than ‘The Bard’ himself, and sometimes a quieter hour at an art fair can be productive.  Will had the opportunity to write about sparrow, but didn’t, though I don’t think he would ever have seen some of those mentioned, they just weren’t available there!

 

Sparrows
The sparrow has more color than you’d think

(but painters know burnt umber, wine, ecru)

and though they seem to flit off in a wink

the observer sees the little things they do.

Sometimes they’ll dust in patches of soft sand

and often in a puddle from the rain

with wriggling bodies, wings aflutter, and

the knowledge that they’ll soon feel fresh again.

The well-trained ear can spot each different call –

the black-throat’s glockenspiel and house’s cheep

the white-crowned sparrow’s sweet melodious trill

and common to them all, the young chick’s tweet.

So if you ever thought sparrows were plain,

Take another look and listen, think again!

A Dylan kinda day….

…..blowin’ in the wind.  Had to go to Palm Springs, then Moreno Valley yesterday, then home.  We were forecast a windstorm and we sure got it.  The ethereal, formless sky is very powerful when it moves fast.  I didn’t see any forecast for rain, but had rain coming home through Cabazon and into the desert floor.  (Had I known there was a possibility of rain I would’ve taken the other truck – the windshield wipers on my small truck do not work well.)  Saw lots of palm fronds blowing around in Palm Springs, and plenty of dust, a few limbs down.

When I got home, the trash can was on its side on the front porch, and the recycle can was gone entirely.  At 11pm and hungry, I was in no mood to go hunting for it, but this morning I found it in the side yard.  At that point I also found my 10 foot ocotillo had blown down.  Poor thing was in full bloom, and there was a verdin nest in the upper branches, now on the floor, and a distraught verdin hanging around.  I put the nest in one of the oleanders – it’s a ball-nest so I have no idea if it contains chicks, eggs or at this point, omelet.

Plans are underway to relocate the ocotillo to the south side yard by the fence.  Long shot, but it’s worth a try.  I need to wait until tomorrow until I have two other friends who, with my neighbor will help lift the viciously spiny creature, which probably weighs over 200lb.

Horizontal ocotillo

So many spines….

Newer work #56

This one harks back to ‘Fishing Buddies’ – a painting purchased by a guy I met at a crazy art show in Yorba Linda.  We became friends after another couple commissions from the vacation he’d just returned from.  Within the year we were dating and still together 10 years later.  I guess I was thinking about him when I painted the foreground on this one.

Refractured watercolor painting

#1235 The King of Patience. Refractured watercolor on foamcore, 11×14″ matted to fit 16×20″ frame. $195.