United States State Bird Series

delaware blue hen painting

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am in the middle of a state bird series. Each of the United States has its own state bird. I am painting all 50 state birds this year. I am about half way through the series. (I sometimes incorporate the state tree into the painting also). Here is a sampling of the lot. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of a few familiar, but some unusual, birds to paint. (Above is the Delaware Blue Hen)

brown pelican painting

Louisiana Brown Pelican

cactus wren arizona painting

Arizona Cactus Wren

california quail painting

California Quail

iowa goldfinch painting

Iowa Goldfinch

hawaii nene goose painting

Hawaii Nene Goose

Michigan Robin painting

Michigan Robin

Robin Connecticut State Bird painting

Connecticut Robin

indiana state cardinal

Indiana Cardinal

Enjoy the continued series in the upcoming weeks! I’ll post a collection of the second half after they are finished.

Oil Painting Class

Elmhurst Art Museum

Last call for spring oil painting class at Elmhurst Art Museum. This is a great class for beginners and those who want to review oil painting basics. I will be teaching the oil painting class. The course runs for six weeks and is held at the Elmhurst Art Museum on Tuesday evenings starting at 6:30 pm. Hope you can join us!

If you are not familiar, Elmhurst is about 10 miles west of the City of Chicago and the museum is on a museum “campus” at Wilder Park. The campus also includes the Lizzadro Museum, Wilder Mansion, Elmhurst Conservatory, and Elmhurst Public Library. If you have a day off and are nearby, it’s a nice place to visit for the day regardless of whether you sign up for the class above.

Last Few Days for Prints on ETSY

Packages

Due to the high volume of print orders, I am outsourcing my prints so I can concentrate on my original works. I will have more information regarding where to find select prints in the near future. In the meantime, I want to tell all my ETSY print customers how much I have enjoyed meeting and working with you. I hope that some of you will stay and try my originals on ETSY if you haven’t already. And I also hope you will continue to enjoy and find my future prints via these other outlets (details coming soon!)

Above is a typical day’s fulfillment of orders through all my online sales. I usually spend about three hours daily packaging and shipping orders. I want to reduce this time so I can focus on my painting.

I will still offer prints at the One of a Kind art show in Chicago this coming December. I will have more news on my blog regarding my prints in the upcoming weeks ahead.

Prints

Thank you, all, for your orders (you know who you are ;) ).

Stuff Found While Looking Around

barn swallow no. 12
Just some random but interesting stuff found while looking around. (The barn swallow painting is a recently painted piece of mine.)

A very cool lego painting stop-motion movie.

Who knew doodling could make you smarter and that doodling improved creativity.

Marc Kushner, an architect, on why the buildings of the future will be shaped by you.

At EAM

imageIf you happen to be in the west suburban Chicago area, stop by Elmhurst Art Museum to see the latest exhibits.

Ending March 20 is solo show by EAG member Charlotte Cziperle.  The show is called “Contemplation”.

The mostly oil paintings in the show consist of abstract pieces in earthy colors with varying textural qualities to landscape and floral pieces.

The show ends March 20.  So hurry in and take a look before it is gone.

Upholstery Project

Sofa

My latest project is to learn how to upholster. I found this used Room and Board sofa, which had been clawed and shredded by a cat. I’ve always wanted to learn how to upholster. And this sofa feels like the perfect project right now.

Amanda Brown’s book Sprucewas my initial inspiration for this project. I also have a padded bench I will warm up my skills on. Stay tune for updates!

upholstery book

Fabric swatches:

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Oil Painting Classes and Other News

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It was so nice to meet many of you at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago the first week of December. I really enjoyed interacting and meeting so many wonderful people.

I will be teaching oil painting classes at Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, IL starting January 6. The schedule and registration page is here. This is a new endeavor for me which I am excited about.

In other news, SaatchiArt has featured me in a gallery page today here and here. Thank you, Saatchiart.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!

One of Kind Show Chicago 2014

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I feel so excited about my upcoming show at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago December 4 – 7th. I have a limited number of complimentary tickets available for anyone who may be interested. I will be exhibiting in both 7-4043 this year. The show is called One of a Kind Show Chicago 2014. It’s a large holiday-centered show of only handmade items including art, furnishings, fashion, accessories, and much more.

Here are a couple pics from last year’s show.

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Waiting in line to unload at the loading dock at Merchandise Mart Chicago.

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Part of a display wall from my exhibit 2013.

I look forward to seeing some of my buyers and hope to meet many more!

The Pivot and Its Inspiration

the pivot 2 painting

After a lot of soul-searching, I’ve come to realize I should do more landscape paintings. (Just kidding about the soul-searching.) But the though has crossed my mind, “Angela, why don’t you do more landscape paintings?” The answer is simple. I don’t want to paint outside. I like my stuff a particular way and I don’t want to deal with wind, dust, cold, and heat.

But one thing I know, is I am open to change.

I know that because I have been known to change my mind. When I got married, I wanted a silver ring (platinum gold it was called). My husband wanted gold. But now I want a gold ring and gold jewelry all around. This is just one example of many. I’m set in something, and then I change my mind down the road.

On another note, I want to tell you about pivots. After growing up in Chicago and working in the city, it took awhile for me to figure out the ranching. One thing I learned about is irrigating. All the fields (We don’t grow crops. We grow hay and alfalfa to feed the cows.) need to be watered. The climate on our ranch is considered “high desert”. That means we have sage brush, cactus, and rattle snakes. But we also get snow – especially and mostly up in the mountains. We don’t get nearly as much down in the valleys. But we depend on that snow in the mountains for irrigation.

Luckily, the geography of the ranch is such that it all flows downhill. Our ranch actually sits at the edge of the Continental Divide. We are the first property on the Western Side to get runoff. Besides that fact being totally amazing, we also don’t have pumping costs. Many ranchers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to pump water to irrigate their fields. We use gravity. We also practice conservation techniques to use most efficiently and provide waterways for wildlife, including and especially fish. Did you know fish come all the way from the Pacific ocean (steelhead and salmon) and spawn in places like land-locked Idaho? It’s true and totally cool.

Back to my story. Types of irrigation you will find on our ranch. Flooding. This is easy to do. One just makes dams like this orange tarp on the water.

flood irrigating dam

The way this works, one just dams up the water and lets it flood the field. Below is a pasture with cows that is being flood irrigated.

flood irrigation on cattle ranch

The next easiest form of irrigation we use is handlines. They are often used in places we can’t have pivots and other mechanical devices. But a long time ago, they were all that were used. They require a lot of manual labor moving them. Here is my painting of two of our boys moving the hand line in the fields.

handline

And here is a video of the process (not mine but found on Youtube).

Next, we have wheel lines. As you can see in the picture below, they are large aluminum wheels that roll slowly across the field. They have a mechanical motor but need to have the hoses moved occasionally.

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Then there is the pivot. The pivot rotates around its axis and could be long or short. You have have seen the tracks it leaves from an airplane. Those circles on the ground. Those are where pivots have irrigated. The first image is a painting of a pivot. They don’t require daily maintenance like some other forms of irrigating. And also are very efficient at distributing water over fields. Most of ours are powered by hydraulics and don’t even use electricity.

And lastly, there is always the occasional rain. Farmers and ranchers love this form of water (unless its time to put up hay.)

rainbow on the ranch