Friday, March 31, 2017

End of 31-31 Art Challenge

But, the Desert Botanical Gardens, Scottsdale Artist League paint out continues for two more weekends. The works I created at the gardens will go on sale next weekend. Starting Friday, April 7th, through Sunday, April 9th from 10 - 5 Fri.-Sat. & Sun. Times may change depending on the gardens wedding schedule. This time of year there are always weddings and special events, like the art show. There is a fee to get into the gardens but it is well worth the visit. I am planning to be at the show Friday till at least 1:00, Saturday about the same and Sunday I will be there in the afternoon 1 - 5.

Here are some of the works that are going to the show unless you wish to purchase them first. The matted and framed works are $300.00 and if you purchase it before Sunday April 2nd I will cover taxes and shipping. Without the frame $225.00 it will be matted for protection or without a mat rolled in a shipping tube for  $200.00.

Those that have "Liked" "Loved" works this month will be put into a drawing. I just found out about a on-line way to add names and the computer does the drawing. If I can figure out how to make that work we will go with that, if not I will have Rick draw a name the old fashion way. The drawing will take place after next weekends show and sale.

To get an idea of what you favorite piece is, let me know by selecting #1 #2 #3 etc. If it goes unsold it may just end up on your never know! You can post to the album on FB or email your favorite or comment here on the blog.

#1 Quiver Tree          #2 S/W Sunrise            #3 Sunflower 
#4 Ancient Mesquite         #5 Barn Owl         #6 Spring Roots

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Taking It To The Movies

I have been doing a few demonstrations lately on the reductive technique using soft pastels on Rives BFK paper. The paper is cotton rag and is not sanded. The softness of the paper allows it to be toned with pastel or charcoal. It does have a tooth (roughness) to it and works beautifully for drawing. This paper is used for conte, charcoal, pastel, lithographic print making and can be used for painting water color, acrylic or oils,

This is the recent barn owl that I started as a demonstration piece at the AZ Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, followed by hands on demo with the Tucson Pastel Society. The piece was finish in my studio. The little video is composed of pictures taken while working under several lighting conditions. It gives you a quick look at how I begin and the final piece. 

Sometime in the future I will try to put together a more detailed video of the toning of the paper and the beginning of the work using the eraser. Until than I hope you find this helpful. If you have any question, would like to learn this technique or set up lessons please email me at:

linda hp at Desert Museum Tucson AZ

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Art Birds And You

Just recently finished a barn owl pastel using the reductive technique with a limited palette on a non traditional un-sanded paper. What does all that mean? You could come take my class "Birds in Art" at Common Ground on the Hill and find out. We will be using pastels, charcoal, pencils and optional materials such as: pen, ink, watercolor, possibly coffee staining. I have arranged with Bear Branch Nature Center and #Hashawha #Environment Center to have raptors for a day of drawing. If you have never drawn from live birds before, this is your opportunity. If you want to improve your drawing skills or just love birds and what to learn more, sign up before the class fills up.

The classes at #CGOTH are geared for all levels, beginner to advanced. The class is limited to 15, allowing lots of one on one instruction. The class is already beginning to fill up and it looks to be very exciting. If you want more details check out the web site  Traditions Week I Visual Arts "Birds in Art" or my web site to see some images of raptors created with pastels and mixed medium or you can email me directly at

The class is held at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD June 26-30th. You can stay on campus or commute. CGOTH offers meal plans, lots of classes in visual arts and music, evening concerts and so much more. Hope you can come join us and release your creativity!

I see you 

CGOTH pastel class 2016

McDaniel Campus

Monday, March 27, 2017

In Search Of A Tree

I have already posted the finished piece for Day 26 of the 31-31 Challenge for March. Here is how the piece came to be created. On Saturday I walked around the Desert Botanical Gardens with camera in hand. Checking on the hummingbirds, the baby had fledged and the nest was empty. Cactus flowers are starting to bloom, wildflowers are plentiful and trees are in full color.

I try to have an idea before going to the garden as to what area I want to work in or subject matter I want to create. I had it narrowed down to 3 - long narrow landscape, long narrow tree or square format for birds. Since, the hummingbirds were gone, I started looking at landscapes and trees. Landscapes were not grabbing me, it became a search for a tree. I just wanted one tree.

I knew what I wanted to do for the background, some of which is purely happenstance. I wanted to use the water color crayons, spray them with water, followed by alcohol and allow them to do their thing. I know they are not alive but sometimes when you are creating you do become one with what you are doing, it is a part of you and how you create. A little deep for a Monday morning, so I will move on to the tree.

I took a break had lunch and while sitting in a nice shady spot saw a tree that might just work. I moved to another shady spot and started working on a quick pencil sketch. This will work. I pulled out the paper, got the background finished let it dry, which in the AZ sun does not take long. Using pens, and watercolor pencils to add the finishing touches. I will tell you that I did start the background in the studio knowing that I wanted the drip part to dry a little slower and allow it to run down. This part is a little messy and I don't want to leave drips of paint anywhere in the gardens. As usual it take take a little more than a day at the gardens but it was finished at the gardens.

Here are a few pictures from my morning walk-about along with the sketch and finished piece.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Slow And Easy

Years and years ago I did my Master's Thesis creating lithographic prints using low toxic techniques and handmade papers from the Amazon River area. Shipped to me by a friend. For the images the Smithsonian National Zoo had opened the Amazonia Exhibit which featured under the river and in the canopy displays. Why am I bringing all this up, well when certain people, Beccy & Wayne, posted a video of a sloth it brought back a flood of memories. Then they posted parrots and monkeys.

For my thesis research I went to the zoo a lot, taking pictures, doing sketches and waiting. The sloth likes to be up in the canopy of the trees. So, you wait to see them come down. They do come down a couple times a day, usually once in the morning and once in the evening, maybe. I did get the pictures I needed of all the animals to create the Amazon Books.

For today's FB post you will find a variation of the sloth.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What's A Quiver Tree

Last week I posted a couple Quiver Trees. I first discovered Quiver Trees in South Africa. They are the national plant of Namibia and are native to South Africa. They are in the Aloe family, Aloe dichotoma. They got the name from Bushman who use the branches to make quivers for their arrows. The Quiver tree is said to bring good luck to those that worship trees and nurture them.

There is much information on the worshiping of trees, nature, spirit of trees and the mythological stories. I tried to find some information on how or when the Quiver tree came to North America, especially AZ. The closest I can find is that as aloe plants became popular the whole aloe family of plants came to the S/W. They like the climate and thrive here in the desert. One day I hope to have a quiver tree in my yard. Until than here are some pictures of Quiver trees.

South Africa Quiver

Desert Botanical Gardens AZ Quiver

Quiver in bloom  - AZ

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Learning Curve

Still learning how to use the new layout for the blog. Took me a couple minutes to find how to write a new post. Saw this morning that is it World Water Day. The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22, 1993 as the beginning of International World Water Day. This is to bring forth the importance of water and our environment to our survival.

As I was looking for images to use in my post I realized I have included water in a fair amount of my prints. Today only these images will be for sale at $20.18 (3+22+1993= 20.18) plus partial shipping, I pay part you pay part and we will round it up to $30.00 for a hand pulled print. Descriptions of the technique will be listed under each print. Plus, there will be a bonus print on the FB 31-31 album.

How do you pay for these prints? You can pay by credit card on either the Square or Pay Pal. There is the old fashion way of check or cash too. To use Pay Pal just go to there are additional small fees to use Pay Pal. For credit card email me at or PM on FB and we will coordinate the sale.

To learn more about International Water Day or make a donation go to

"Save Our Oceans" silkscreen approx size 12X18" limited edition hand pulled print  
"Landscape II" hand pulled stone lithography limited edition approx. image size 9X11" 

"Reflections" hand pulled stone lithograph limited edition approx. image size 10X15"
"Blue Reflections" monoprint one of a kind approx. size 15X22"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I changed my mind on what I was going to write today and will save that for tomorrow. As I logged in to write the blog I had options to refresh the look and make it more mobile friendly. I hope that applies to writing your blog on the phone too because that has been a challenge lately. It keeps knocking me off if I write too much too fast.

I thought lets try a few layout changes and see how we like it, let me know what you think. It is nothing major, I am not a big, bold, bright person so soft and gentle is applied. These are there recommended colors in groupings. The first options was kind of pink, opted for burnt sienna family but not looking that way as I type. Might need to go back and adjust a few things. Over the next few days it may change. If you see something you like or don't like let me know.

For my picture part of my blog, there will be trees. It is also International Day of Forest or also known as World Forestry Day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Little Trees

Today, Monday, March 20th is International Happiness Day and the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. I thought I would focus on those things in nature and art that make me happy. Since, everything in AZ is blooming this month that would include some spring time pictures.

March is my favorite month in AZ. The weather is nice, starting to get warm but not too hot yet. The hillsides/mountains are covered in color. The green of the palo verde, with it's bright yellow flowers just coming out. It is a pretty special space this time of year. I am not your traditional plein air painter but in March I do go out and paint in the gardens, National Parks, State Parks or just in my own backyard.

Here are a few photos that make me happy and celebrate spring.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Watching The Signs

A few weeks ago at the botanical gardens I saw a barrier protecting a small tree. That was a sign. I went up to the barrier, looked to see what might be hiding within. There near the top center branches, a hummingbird nest. Saturday, I checked on the nest and there was one baby. Mom was not on the nest, the baby had developed it's feathers and was hunger. Shortly, Mom returned to feed her baby. She left almost as fast as she came to find more food for her quick growing young one.

Sometimes we just need to be still. Watch  for the signs, follow our instincts. and act accordingly. I  waited for Mom to return. I did not invade the space but stood still, Mom came to me and then went on to feed her baby. I love these moments in nature.

Baby waiting for Mom

Baby testing it's wings, it won't be long now

Monday, March 13, 2017

Colors Of The Moon

The last two nights Rick and I have sat out back to watch the full moon rise from behind the mountains. Once it starts it takes only 3 minutes to appear fully in the sky. How do I know this? Rick timed it. I did try to do a little video of it rising but I did not have my tripod, so deleted it as it was a bit shaky. I did get some nice photos of the moon. I kept playing with the setting to try to pick up the colors around the moon.

I did a little research this morning to see if I could find out more about the colors, rings around the moon. There are crystals that are up there in the sky, that refract light. The dust particles, also called diamond dust and pollution create variations in colors. The cooler colors are pushed away and the moon takes on warmer tones of red and yellows. The rings, sometimes called Moon Dogs or coronas, refract light within cirrus clouds and the ice crystals.

A little folklore, mythology: Rings around the moon means bad weather is coming. The cirrus clouds, low pressure equals a storm. The rings usually occurs 1 to 2 days before the storm. I think this may hold true for the east coast.

This full moon has tribal names: "Full Sap Moon" as this is the time when maple trees are tapped for sap/syrup. Other names are "Full Crusted Moon" for the hard crust of snow and "Worm Moon" for those area were the earth worm is making it's appearance.  

Here are a few moon shots.

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Little Birdie Told Me...

That this will be the month of the owl. I finally finished the second of the graphite drawings on coffee stained wood panels. I was looking at the dates on some of the photos and I think I finished the first one in October. I started the second one in November, it still needs to be sealed but it is done in March.

I will be doing a few more owls this month. I was playing around with the watercolor crayons yesterday and have a barn owl in process. Next week I will be in Tucson doing two, yes, two demonstrations. I will start a barn owl in color at the AZ Sonora Desert Museum, Ironwood Gallery. I will be there from 10 - 1 and will finish the day at the Tucson Pastel Society doing a step by step follow along with me kind of demonstration with charcoal on Rives BFK paper from 2-4. I will end that demo with how to take the reductive technique in charcoal into color using the piece I started earlier that morning. It will be a full but productive day.

So, looks like the word, work, for the month of March is Owls. Who knows one of them may be a special sale or even a prize at the end of the month. Remember if you "like" or "love" one of the images on the FB album 31-31 challenge your name goes into the drawing,

Red Screech Owl graphite on wood

Grey Screech Owl graphite on wood

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Little Things

Sometimes it is the little things in life that keep the inspiration going. I have been trying to get motivated, find inspiration and create art. Since, life has been getting in the way, it has been harder to have real studio time. One of the reasons I created my own little 31-31 challenge and am doing the paint out in the gardens. I made the commitment and I will stick to it as best I can. 

In the mail yesterday I received a package, in it was a little journal. Not your usual blank pages type of book but one with quotes, ideas, projects to do each day. It is a book to help keep inspiration in your life. The timing was perfect I needed a little something to help me get through this month. Thank you Wayne & Beccy, it truly is just what I needed. 

The first assignment is to write a epigraph. A quote, something inspirational. I went to my Artists Quotes and found this one to start my day: "He has the deed half done who has made a beginning." The quote is an old one dating back to 65 B.C. a Roman lyric poet known as Horace (Quintus Heratius Flaccus). Let the beginning, begin!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hard At Art

This was a working weekend, I literally was hard at work doing art. Which was a very good thing. Saturday I spent my day at the Desert Botanical Gardens drawing one of my favorite mesquite trees. Sunday I drove up to Prescott for a opportunity to draw from a live great horned owl. It was a long day but with photo references and some intense sketching time, it made for a very motivational day.

Pictures are downloaded and ideas are flowing. Drawing from live animals presents it's own challenges. You do focus and work faster than you thought you could. Even though the bird was sitting on a perch, his head never stopped moving. He did change his body from time to time, fluffing out his wings, turning from one side to the other. As if to say okay now the rest of the class can see this side of me, as he continued to pose turning his head side to side than up and down.

I am preparing myself to teach a workshop the end of June at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD June 26th-30th. If you are interested in drwing from live raptors, check the web site under Traditions Week I.

Until than I plan to do more panting, sketching at the botanical gardens, maybe the zoo, of course my own back yard and using my photo references to do some finished works of owls, hawks, kestrels and even a few trees for them to sit upon.

Great Horned Owl feather

working on techniques

quick sketch

Working from live great horned owl

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