I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the Petunia Teacup paintings together on a yellow wall before they were split up! I’ll be bringing Petunia Tea II into Gallery 24 with a number of other Birds and Teacup paintings next week.
I love the whimsy of this sequined tight rope walker in her heels above the dark waterlily pond with its fierce looking birds in this Bergdorf Goodman window display on Fifth Avenue! The manikin is looking a little amphibious herself!
More window shopping along Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman’s, this vignette is called A Bird’s Eye View. These windows glow like jewels at night but during the day they play with the reflections of the city, creating a wintery dreamscape. Beyond all the white feathered birds here, I love the languid gesture of both the peacock’s neck and the manikin’s arm! In the final photo a woman seems to materialize from a glowing curtain of feathers!
Was there a particular Birds and Teacups painting you’d like to have as a card?
Let me know if you’re interested as I’m putting through an order in the next few days… I’ll be donating $1 per card to the YWCA Silicon Valley as part of the womanKIND exhibition, a Coles / Drews Watkins project running December 16-19 at The Citadel Gallery, 199 Martha street in San Jose. I will have a selection of cards available for purchase at the reception, Saturday, December 17 from 6-9 pm and will reserve cards or mail them out upon request.
These are folded cards, printed on premium paper stock with a matte finish and an accompanying envelope in a cellophane sleeve. 5″x 5″ cards are $5 and the 5″x7″cards are $6.
In Anemone Tea I, which I’ve just listed on the website and will be taking into Gallery 24 this morning, I’ve paired one of the Steller’s Jays that hangs out around my studio with an antique blue flow Chen-Si teacup and anemones which signify forsaken love in the Victorian language of flowers.
I just listed Magnolia Tea II on the website and will be bringing it into Gallery 25 with a flock of other Birds and Teacups. In this painting, I tried to bring home some of the magic of spotting a white hummingbird in the wild to capture it in a domestic still life with this unusual, unpainted Limoges demitasse set and Magnolia Grandiflora bloom which represents nobility and perseverance in the Victorian language of flowers.
I love how these paintings come together, often the teacup is the inspirational launching point, but this time I had spotted a Townsend’s Warbler in my neighbor’s camellias and while photographing it (such a shy bird) I began to imagine what flower might suit its sweet masked face… and knew right away that it had to be the black and yellow striped petunia which I picked up in one of my local nurseries, and finding a matching teacup turned to be a cinch on ebay – a Royal Standard bone china classic from England! When I discovered the Victorian meaning of the petunia was “your presence soothes me”, I thought of the mourning jewelry I’ve been quietly obsessed with as of late and included a braided hair locket in my vignette. Of course, it wasn’t complete until I had a backdrop worked out and my yellow cotton dress with black and white feather embroidery seemed perfect. I’ve framed the painting in a sculptural, undulating black frame with a rich patina. I liked this combination so much, I went on to paint a matching Petunia Tea II with a gold locket.
Both of these paintings were just listed on my website and I will be taking them into Gallery 24 in Los Gatos, California this Friday along with a flock which includes a Steller’s Jay, a White Anna’s Hummingbird and a House Finch, which I’ll be posting, post haste!
Rumor has it there’s been a rare sighting of a Painted Bunting at nearby Ulistac Nature Area Restoration (way out of it’s natural range) and I went to see if I could get luck this morning. This is was I found while out hunting for a bunting…
Maybe next time! This is a wonderful park though, full of birds and butterflies because of the wetlands and native plants – it smells heavenly, sages in the hot sun!
The thirty year old camellia tree in my neighbor’s front yard may be the only thing blooming this time of year. It’s quite a show stopper and is attracting a lot of birds – even in the rain!
I had to go over with my camera and see if I could get lucky – I did get a few shots of some birds but what I found myself enjoying even more was the damp fragrance of the flowers and the sound of wings (bees and hummers) buzzing in my ears.
This time I have a group of red transferware pieces with birds already adorning them, a red bird floral by Coalport, a swan with rushes, also by Coalport, and a tiny a child’s cup with a bird on the inside is (also from England). Transferware first came onto the scene by the mid 18th century as a quick (and more affordable) alternative to hand painted decoration. Blues and browns were more common but the red may have laid the frame work for the redwork embroidery that was to become so popular in the 19th century due to the introduction of floss from Turkey which was dyed with madder (roots from the rubia plant) that wouldn’t run like other dyes. Designs were embroidered onto muslin using a simple outline stitch that even children could do, decorating linens and quilt squares reaching a height in popularity early in the 20th century.
Pairing these two up was a no brainer – the bigger challenge will be to determine what kind of bird is portrayed here? The only red bird I know of is a cardinal.
OK, so maybe I always liked dressing up, but these fun themed exhibition receptions, like tonight’s Fur, Feather and Fins reception at the Pacific Art League, are always a great excuse to pull together a look that relates to your work! It’s not a costume party of anything, I’m not going to wear a feathered mask or wings but I do enjoy drawing subtle references to my work in my jewelry and maybe in one item of clothing. To that end, I found this great silk blouse on sale at my favorite store Anthropologie which I’ll wear with a golden feather ring from another of my haunts, Etsy.
I like how these printed birds are as realistic as my blue robin and provide a joyful counterpoint to my painting End of Spring. I also adore the filigree work which I like to incorporate into my Florilegia series.
It will be interesting to see how people respond to End of Spring tonight! The reception runs from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. See you there!