Bird A Week

Springtime Song - Bird A Week #21

I know this post is about my bird of the week, but this time my bird is perched high above one of my hares.  He is singing joyfully about the coming of spring and for the new little hare that mama has brought out for the first time.

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The first two hare paintings I did sold right away - within 2 days of completing them, in fact.  So, I knew I had to make some more.  I love the hares anyway and it is difficult to sell them at all, but I can always make one for myself again, right?

May 28, 2011 032"Springtime Song"  Approx. 6 x 12" overall
Reverse enameled, kiln fired glass tile on wood

Not a fancy picture and in fact I had to take this pretty quick because the
adhesive is still drying and I had to lay it down again before the tile slid right off.

I will share the other 2 hare paintings that I finished this week with you soon.  In the mean time, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and salute all those who are currently serving and the thousands before them that have served in our American military. This household is very proud of our men and woman in uniform and support all that they do.  Remember.


Pink Allen's - Bird a Week #20

My mom gave me a beautiful, handmade hummingbird feeder a couple of years ago.  It is a chunk of repurposed redwood fence post that has been drilled out and has a glass tube and feeder spout for hummers.  I have hung this functional art in the cedar tree just next to our back deck.

Number 20 Bird of the Week is this soft and gentle Allen's Hummingbird about to go in for a snack. This piece is about 3 x 7", another piece mounted on some locally found driftwood.  The color of an Allen's is really more orangy/peach, but sometimes my enamels play tricks on me and this one came out definitely more pink/salmony.  Still, very pretty and the purple of the flower came out exactly as I had hoped.  I had to mix lavendar, blue and a little black to achieve the right tone.  

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It seems I am usually later than I should be putting out my hummingbird feeders, but this year, I got them cleaned out and filled the second we saw the first little guy.  Now they have been coming and going quite regularly all day long.  

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This year my husband (who gets to hang out on the deck so often) has decided that we need more feeders to attract and accomodate more hummingbirds.  I am currently on the lookout for unusual, handmade feeders and have even asked a friend who is a gourd artist - Jeff Whitney from Gnome Home Living - to design one for me.  His gourd art fairy houses are great for the garden and I am sure he could adapt something into a feeder - can't wait to see what he might come up with!

Another Owl - Bird a Week #19

Just for fun, I drew a little fantasy owl.  You have to know about me that I can draw things more true to life if I have the item or a picture in front of me.  I have more difficulty getting proportions and other angles correct when I try to draw from my head.

Maybe that is one reason that I tend to like to draw trees, leaves, things like that.  They might not look truly realistic, but they still look like the object I intended and can even be more interesting.  

So, when I draw off the top of my head I call them fantasy drawings.  You (hopefully) recognize the item or animal I am drawing, but it really isn't something you would ever see in real life.

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So, this owl is just a sweet, fat little guy.  I had fun with his lines and shape. He is mounted on a piece of drift wood I found at Lake Silverwood that I sawed in half to create a flat portion for the glass to sit on.  The owl is about 3-1/2" tall and the overall piece is about 5" high and 10" wide.

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Birds #17 & 18

I feel like I have been swamped.  I was doing so good at posting often, but now haven't posted since April 25th!  Wow!

Well, since I missed last week, I have for you my bird-a-week pieces for week #17 and #18 here today.

Bird #17 - 
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This is titled Bluebird on Gold.  You might recognize this as actually being the image for my bird #16.  Last time you saw this it was just a pencil drawing.  The painting came out quite pretty and vibrant.  It is a 4 x 4" tile, mounted on gold fabric and framed. 

Bird #18
May 2011 048

This was titled by my husband - "Night Stalker".  Sounds gloomy, but really seems to fit, I think.  The tile is about 7 x 7" and is mounted on some reclaimed fence boards and framed by small tree limbs.  

You might recognize this piece.  I believe I originally showed this as a water color pencil drawing.  Again, the painted glass is so much more vibrant.  I am hoping to use the glass image for some greeting cards.  

I am going to do my best to keep up with the weekly birds.  But I also finished several other pieces this week and will be posting those real soon.



San Francisco and Bird a Week #16

Pretty much have not done any glass work in about a week.  We took our trailer up to San Francisco for 5 days and played tourists.  While getting out and visiting other places and cities can be fun, it can be kind of overwhelming to be in a big city like that.

San Francisco April 2011 046On the boat ride back from Alcatraz

My favorite part was taking the boat over to Alcatraz.  We have been to the city several times, but never took the chance to see this island.  They have a group of volunteers that are refurbishing the gardens over there.  They are really neat, all tucked into a courtyard and built into the ruins of basements of buildings that have burned out and been demolished.

San Francisco April 2011 035Gardens on Alcatraz

We also went to Ghirardelli square, rode the cable car, the bus and BART train, toured an American submarine, had a Delicious lunch of soup and sandwiches at Boudin Bakery, visited (and got locked in at) the Italian Cemetary, had the most amazing vegetarian "meatloaf" at Ananda Fuara, toured the cable car museum, and took walks on the beach.

San Francisco April 2011 028Sailboat through the ruins


San Francisco April 2011 004View from our campsite


All in all, a nice trip once you get past all the PEOPLE!! and traffic.

I did bring my sketchbook and made a couple of drawings for glass tiles.  This is the only bird I attended to, though, and the sketch is rather plain, but my bird of the week is:

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Little Blue - Bird A Week #15

More jewelry finished this week.  I drew several new designs, but also used a couple of previously drawn sketches. 


The little birds from my coasters are so cute and simple, they work well for the small 1" format of my framed pendants."

This little guy has a bright golden background that shows off the blue bird quite nicely. 

I have been experimenting with different settings and cording.  I used chain on some of the pieces and am leaning towards the chain on all of them now.  It gives the pieces more weight physically and metaphorically.

Here are some of the others I finished.



Black & Tan - Bird A Week #14

Quail are simply adorable birds.  They are plump and scurry around for food in the brush, leaves and grass.  I love when their little families follow them around poking here and there.

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I focused quite a bit on getting the black and texture of this painting right.  There is quite a bit of detail in the feather coloring of a quail.  I couldn't do just my shading techniques to get this right.  

April 1, 2011 029

Again, I did just a portion of the bird.  The tile is 7 x 7" and framed with a large mat and wide frame.  I used a black patterned fabric to mount him on and I love the effect.  These pictures are somewhat washed out, sorry about that. 

April 1, 2011 027

 I have just spent over a week dealing with a virused computer and ended up getting a whole new lap top.  Of course that meant that I had to reload all of my programs.  Unfortunately, the old system was XP and the new is Windows 7 - alas, my photo editing software that I love is only for XP and older, so I will have to either find an update of that program or learn a whole new one.  Oh well, I am grateful for the technology and what it can do for us.  I try pretty hard not to get bogged down in some of the headaches they tend to create. 

Enough with technology for now - Back to making art!!


Spring Pose - Bird A Week #13

I have been so busy, I almost forgot to post my new Bird A Week.  As usual, I can't make just one at a time, so I actually completed several birds this week.

However, I will feature just my little Robin here today.  In honor of spring, I reverse painted and kiln fired this gorgeous bird posing with a very pretty pink flower.

April 1, 2011 019 

This one was a bit of a challenge, because the back of a robin tends to change color depending on the lighting (to me anyway).  Sometime they seem gray and sometimes brown.  I had to custom mix this color to get what I was after.  Mixing can often be tricky because during the firing, one color can often "take over" and the color will shift one way or the other.

I consider this a success.  And the cool thing is that, in real life, it actually appears to shift from gray to brown depending on the lighting - a nice effect.

April 1, 2011 021 

Bird A Week #12 - Barn Owl

Last week I started several glass paintings.  Then the storms hit our town - rain and snow - and my dear husband decided it was time to silicone and paint the gaps in our wood paneling.  You see, we have an old house, no insulation and tongue and groove wood paneling inside the whole house.  Since we installed the new forced air furnace several month ago you can now feel the cold air being sucked into the house through these gaps in the paneling.  We had done nearly the whole house already, but had not tackled my craft room/office. 

So, long story short - I did not get those pieces finished this week. 

I did, however, have time to finish up some drawings for future works.  One of them includes a graphic rendition of a Barn Owl - Hope you like it!

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March 26, 2011 022 

I can't wait to get started painting this one.  The drawing is about 7" square.  I might make it this size in glass, but am considering making it quite a bit bigger - maybe like a 14 x 14?  We'll see what I do.

I have actually finished two other drawing similar in detail and size  - one with a raven and one with a hare.  I think when they are done and I can take pictures of the  glass pieces, they will make stunning greeting cards.  Or -I might actually paint the paper drawings (something I  have never done) and use those images for greeting cards.  We'll just see.....

Bird A Week #11 - Singing Coaster

I created just one of these drawings for a coaster. 

March 14, 2011 004 
 But, from past experience, I know that most people want a variety - or variation on a theme for each coaster in a set. 

For some reason, I could  not fathom what to do for the other 3 coasters in the set that would match/go with the original.  My great friend, Pam, says "just draw more singing birds".

Duh!  Not sure what I would do with out the input of my friends.  Sometimes the obvious can be so mysterious to my little brain.

March 14, 2011 002 

So, I drew and painted all four designs on clear glass in black paint.  Filled the bird in with a pale blue and then fused it with a white glass background.

I think I am going to make 3 more sets with a different color on each set, then mix and match the colors so each set has one bird of each color - Cute, Huh??

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