There's a lot that speaks "Louisiana", but the Louisiana Iris is one of those things that speaks loudly. As a child I didn't think Iris' came in any other color than purple with a yellow tounge and that they all looked like this.
I've never seen one of these beauties out in the wild, but at the Brookfield Zoo outside of Chicago they have a fabulous aviary .. a "free flight" perching house exhibit. This Scarlet Tanager captivated me. I'm visiting Chicago in June and am looking forward to visiting the zoo again - camera in hand.
You can take the girl out of Louisiana, but you can't take Louisiana out of the girl!! Today is Easter Sunday and I'm wishing I were sitting at a table full of these beauties. I'm missing south Louisiana right now! Happy Easter "all y'all"!!
My good friend in Dallas, Stacy, is blessed with this fabulous dog as her roommate. I don't think I've ever met a more "Zen" dog... Sam is the epitome of "gentle giant", a mixture of Great Pyrenees and Husky, he thinks he's a lap dog and gets his beauful fur cut each summer for the heat of the South. Dallas recently had bunches of snow this past winter and he discovered what it was like for his DNA to kick in and romp in it.
Since I was out of town the last two days and didn't get to paint, I decided to do two daily paintings today. I'm in a kitchen mood today, it seems. So I've painted two pieces today that work well in any kitchen! I love fresh beets. Once one cooks them, they'll never go backed to that canned mush.
Today's tiny tidbit is dedicated to my Aunt Phenie Cannatella Jerome... she's a matriarch of the Cannatella family and when my grandfather died when dad was 6, Aunt Phenie quit school to take on a job to raise money for the family and help support six siblings. She's in her mid 80s now, and still power walks 3 miles a day at the mall! This is one of her coveted tea sets... well, coveted by ME!
As soon as we moved to Corpus Christi, one of the first things we did was head to San Antonio and travel the route to see the missions. The Franciscans established 6 missions along the San Antonio River in the early 1700s... Five flourished... The Alamo (which was Mission San Antonio de Valero), Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Francisco de la Espada, Mission San Juan. The original Convento had only nine 14 rooms, but a major reconstruction was begun by the Benedictine monks in 1861 to expand... work that was never completed.
Its way hard for me to force myself to paint fast and loose... with mere suggestions of forms and calligraphic lines. I'm normally so detailed, that yanking myself away from this within an hour was tough. But I enjoyed "practicing" this quick study of the San Antonio Riverwalk.
South Louisiana - even the air is alive! The swamps and bayous of Louisiana has its own still beauty. I used to kayak along this body of water when my family had a camp on Bay Sec off little River in Marksville.
Any time I am at a hotel high-rise, I often spend my time looking out the window and making quick sketches of things that capture my interest - in this case, the long shadows. I love the birds-eye-view perspective. This was out my window when visiting Phoenix, Ariona and plucked from one of my sketch books. I left a lot of the linework in - it reminds me of my early drafting career when I did watercolor renderings for an architect.
I lived in South Louisiana when hurricane Katrina hit. Much of the mourning I went through was in the loss of so many locations that I used to paint. And I often wondered what happened to the street people, the musicians, the tap dancers... This guy was one of my favorite subjects. I used to go listen to him play his trumpet on the levee in New Orleans (for a small fee plunked loudly in his box) I decided to force myself to paint this one in a shorter amount of time than I've been spending recently... so it is quick, looser, and reduced to flat shapes. It just seemed to fit the mood I was in when thinking about the hurricane aftermath.
This is inspired by my love of the blue heron. The first thing we felt good about when moving to Corpus Christi is being by the shore again. I love shore birds and having the herons and pelicans so close by is most relaxing. The heron has been a totem of mine for a long time.
I just loved living in Oak Park, a village on the west side of Chicago. Every Saturday morning there was a fabulous Farmer's Market... easily 10-18 musicians showed up for a bluegrass jam at the market... it was one of the highlights of living there. I moved back to the south in 2007, and my husband and I have traveled to back Chicago every year since moving. Though we don't miss the 7 months of winter (ugh) we DO miss the vibrancy of that city.
When my 9 year old grandson came to visit me last Christmas, we went down to the marina and a shimper was feeding the pelicans. He gave my grandson several fish and he got to feed them, but seemed a bit overwhelmed with the birds storming the pier for the fish!
Today's daily painting took twice as long! I began it yesterday (which is why I didn't have a post yesterday) and it took me 2x longer than my usual hour I spend on my daily paintings to just do the rocks. You may notice that this is 2-3 times larger than my normal daily paintings because of the format. Today I painted in the water. I'm still not sure its complete, so I haven't signed it yet, but for now I'm calling it done!
One of the things I loved the most about my travels in Italy is the breathtakingly beautiful countryside. At every turn of the road, it seemed a new vista opened up with vineyards and stone farmhouses built hundreds of years before our nation was etablished. "Old" has a different connotation in Europe.
Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle is the smallest and the rarest of all sea turtles and critically endangered. I am fortunate enough to live near one of its nesting areas. There is a huge conservation effort at Padre Island National Seashore to gather clutche, aid in hatching, then release the hatchlings within 24 hours after hatching. The temp of the nest determines the sex of the hatchling. Conservationists raise the temperature to produce more females to repopulate this nearly extinct turtle.
One of the fabulous things about living in Corpus Christi is having Padre Island beaches so handy. I spent one afternoon sketching this little girl with her puppy, who did NOT want to get in the water. They were too cute together. Today's tiny tidbit is 5.5" x 7" and titled "Beach Walk".