Coming soon-My blog about an unbelievable and unpredictable internet journey, that will change the course of my family history as I know it and they once knew it. I can't wait for this one!!!!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
We are drawing closer to the exhibit and performace at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum beginning February 3. The newest addition to our exhibit will be live webcams....we can't wait to implement this feature and look forward to ongoing webcams in the future.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
This roadrunner was a hoot......he came right up to our campsite and stole an entire hotdog from our hotdog pack and ran away with legs moving as fast as the roadrunner in the Bugs Bunny Show. We couldn't get over it, laughing ourselves silly. He was a real pretty bird, and we haven't seen him since the incedent.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I thought I would share with you some pictures from my Nanna's old picture books. Above is my grandfather as a kid (on the right) doing some yard work with a friend. Can you believe that is a lawnmower? Boy things sure have changed. The photo to the right is my Nanna with her fishing pole and catch for the day. I would guess these pics were taken sometime in the 1930's.
To the left is my grandfather with his catch of the day, and man did he love fishing...and hunting...and the outdoors. I remember spending much of my time as a youngster fishing with him and watching him tie flies in his workshop for hours and hours. My Nanna was a school teacher and would read stories to my sister and I, collected boxes of trinkets for us to look at and play with and would occasionally break out the toy china for us to have a tea party together. These pictures take me back to my childhood, even though they were taken long before I was born. I will post more olden goldie photos from time to time and share with you some of the history I have become so fond of.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I finished the texture and lighting on the bottom of the background...it looks quite fuzzy in texture, very soft, and scribbly. It is a bit different then what I originally set out to do, but it grew on me and think I'll keep it this way. What do you think?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This is a close up of what James has become famous for...his arm tattoos! Kids and adults are goo-gaa over them and has he ever come a long way with his painting since we started in Kansas City 4 years ago.
A pic of a butterfly sunning himself in the Butterfly house, where you can also find 100% humidity in the desert.
I thought these orchids were incredible...also photographed these in the butterfly house at the gardens.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
James and I have been in the company of 2 big owls living right above our RV in tall palm trees. Yes, there are several palm trees here in the desert. During the day they sit up there snoozing and occasionally open their eyes and give a look to see what's going on. They blend in so well, it is hard to see them most of the time, and most often, I forget that they are even sitting up there. In the evening, right after sunset, they begin to hoot, and then disappear into the night on their hunting adventure.
Friday, December 08, 2006
A close up veiw of the ruby feathers after partial carve out....I'm gearing up the courage to begin the very complicated left hand side of the throat today and hope it won't be as difficult as what my mind is telling me it will be.
What Achilles looks like after the new work over the past couple of weeks. The lighting is really beginning to pop him and I plan to paint the final coat on the background this weekend.....more to come later.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Last evening I had nearly 30 Desert Trails residence participate in a drawing class. It was fabulous. With signs of talent and promise, these older kids from around the country drew their hearts out, and not only amazed me, but amazed themselves as well.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Here are 2 examples of highly magnified hummingbird feathers taken from my specimen by Stephen Buckman here in Tucson. The red feathers are from his throat, and the green ones are from his back. I wish I could make these pictures bigger, so you could really see the intensity of the details.
Friday, December 01, 2006
I thought I would honor our #1 fan, aka, graffiti mantis with a macro photo I took here in the Sonora Desert upon our arrival a couple of months ago. We love you and miss you back there in KC, and most of all love your creative imagination. You are the best and you know who you are! Thanks for everything!!
Here are 2 new detail pics of Achilles the hummingbird painting. I have begun to carve out the feathers on the tail and back. I still have a long way to go with detail and color, but it is exciting to see how he is shaping up with just the simple definitions coming into play. Will post more photos soon.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I decided to start carving out the tail feathers with the specimen under the microscope and the black line drawing overtop of the block in began to take shape. Little shifts and adjustments in form is a very interesting way to develope your painting and take it to the next level.
This is the final pic of shift and base color correction, before I proceed with the microscopic details as I see through the microscope. I find this part to be the most fun, but the most challenging is still to come. Look at the difference between the first tail pic and the last...quite a difference!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I have just finished the second coat on the painting and have one more to go before I start the layers of microscopic detail. He appears very dark at this stage because the undercoats need to be this way in order to pull off the iridescent qualities in the layers to come. I am not used to painting this way, and I'm finding it to be quite a challenge to this point. The lighting and shadow are also difficult as I am making it up as I go along based on the vision I see in my mind. This is typical of all the insect paintings I have done, and takes several layers and tweaking to get it right, which I don't mind, I just end up using more paint and it takes a bit longer.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
I had to shoot this photo of James peering under this crazy sign as we are in the insect business. What's funny is they say poisonous insects inhabit the area (here in the desert) and show a picture of a scorpion for an insect. We've been told over and over again, that scorpions and spiders are in fact arachnids, not insects, from our public fans and visitors. So I find it peculiar that when everyone is so up in arms to be politically correct about everything, the State authorities who made this sign didn't get it right either.....all we can do is the best we can to teach people what we know and be politically incorrect from time to time...especially when dislexia hits. That's all I have to say about that! So over and out until next time.
I thought I would share with you the pastel layout of the very large hummingbird painting I have started here in Tucson. I have named him "Achilles" and chose to paint a hummingbird on my few months off for a few reasons. First, because I was given a dead specimen of a Ruby throated a few years back and am able to view it under the microscope just as I do the insects I paint, second, because of the irredescence challenge as I face with many of the insect subjects, and third because a large part of a hummingbird's diet is insects. Most people, unless they are ornathologists or birders don't know this about hummingbirds. I have had the opportunity to watch many species in the wild over the past year in my travels, have photographed them and also been able to obtain information from the specialists. So this fall, I am painting "Achilles", the name does have special meaning, as I will reveal over the next months of progress the story of "Achilles and Hector", as the image completes itself....stay tuned.
Friday, November 10, 2006
James and I have made it to Tucson, Arizona...where the cacti and sunshine are plentiful. We have been here for a month and love it. Getting ready for our gig at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and learning a lot about the Sonoran Desert in the process. The sunsets are beautiful here and the wildlife is amazing. We have several great horned owls that take up residence right out side our RV in the trees and howl right at sundown. As for current paintings between now and February, I am painting a 72" x 72" Ruby-throated hummingbird with all of the microscopic details and plan to enter it into an international competition in 2007. Our campground here is awesome... and the people are great.....with great stories to boot. Mostly all retired, they are all like our grandparents and excited about our project.
As for the bugs, I have captured many great insects on the camera some of which I am to include in this blog. I have spent hours since arriving here getting my photo files in order, as I must confess, they were as disorganized as a marching band out of tune and rythm. So with that said it is time to post some new photos....and photos of my new painting (the hummingbird named Achilles) coming soon. The picture above is a skipper butterfly I caught landing on a flower and the one below is a damselfly I caught sunning himself on the grounds of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and boy did I have fun taking pictures on this day. Bugs where everywhere! I captured 433 pictures of the desert invertabretes in just 2 hours! Watch for more to come! And painting live on webcam as that is beginning Feb 3, 2007. Until next time....
Saturday, September 16, 2006
It is coming up on the end of warm temperatures here in Denver, Colorado and this means I will have fewer insects and arachnids to photograph for the next couple of weeks. I found this tiny spider amidst this beautiful violet flowering bush and thought the image has great color and light. I am considering it for my next pastel, although the decision is difficult among the thousands of pics I've taken in the past 2 years.
Next stop is Tucson, Arizona where the daytime temps should be high and I can begin another round of macro photos in the desert. Very exciting!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Our second documentary is in the works and hope to have it release later this fall. Our first documentary was screened at 4 different film festival nationwide this year, so we are looking forward to the new release of Project InSECT-Denver. We have also added T-Shirts to our product line, which is something I know a lot of you have been asking for over the past few years.
Our next stop is Tucson, Arizona where James and I will be performing and showing at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.....we can't wait.
Monday, May 15, 2006
These were just a couple of favorites of the many I have shot in the past few weeks of spring.
Look for more postings coming soon along with the current paintings in progress......Phyllis the Golden tortoise beetle and Vincent the question mark butterfly.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I thought I would share with you a few new pictures I shot with the camera over the past few weeks. Of course, they are mostly flowers and insects, and should be posting some video footage of the bugs in action to our website (education page) soon.
Stay tuned for more pictures! I have literally shot thousands of them over the past three years.
If you have any cool insect stories, please let us know ! Everybody has some kind of bug story, unless you've been living under a rock.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
We also spent some time relaxing and eating great food with a couple of old friends that I haven't seen for several years. Being in Denver in May, we expected it to be somewhat warmer, however, it was rainy and cold all 5 days until the morning we left. On Friday, we broadcast our 4th Opal Program in conjunction with the Johnson County Library, which is archived and posted on the Opal Program section of our website.
Friday, April 28, 2006
I am pleased to announce that we are now live with our brand new site!! Thanks to our new awesome web designer. We welcome your comments.