Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
16 x 20 x .75
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This is a view of the world from my studio window. We added the room to our house about 23 years ago, and at the time I wanted north light for color clarity, so we have a bank of windows plus a skylight. Now I wonder what I was thinking. No matter how wonderful the window, how great the installation, it is cold in the winter when the wind blows. Even if it is all psychological, I would rather spend my time in some other room in the house.
The neighbors' "snowman" is almost buried by the real stuff. The wind whips his arms around, giving my dog something to bark about.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
by Della Burgus
Acrylic on Studio Wrapped Canvas
8 x 10 x .75
This painting is Sold,
The gentle sparkle of the stars in your eyes,When I look in your eyes
In your eyes, I see the deepness of the sea
I see the deepness of the love
The love I feel you feel for me...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
There is something peaceful and comforting about the sight of an Amish style horse and buggy traveling down the road. It takes me back in my imagination to another time, a gentler, simpler time when community and family were the core of life, and when faith was real and solid. These two horses were drawing a buggy through the town where my husband's late parents had lived. The owner was a very kind man who graciously allowed my husband to photograph his horses and buggy, and even chatted for a while. It isn't often you see two horses with a buggy; usually it is a single horse. But the man said they had been working together for eleven years and seemed to prefer it that way.
Recently I read a book entitled Think No Evil, by Jonas Belier, who had been raised Amish and was still close to the community. The author tells the story of the Amish schoolhouse shootings from the point of view of the Amish themselves, but goes beyond that by giving us a glimpse into their community and way of life. He explains how generations of Bible teaching had enabled the Amish to forgive the person who so violently attacked their precious little ones. He describes their concern for the shooter's family and their refusal to seek any sort of vengeance or retribution. The more I learn about the people who are a part of the Amish and similar communities, the more I admire them.
This pastel was done on Wallis Pastel Paper, and will be available through EBay, Art Helping Animals and Daily Painters on Tuesday. 20% of the sale will be donated to True Blue Animal Rescue.
For more information at this time, please email me.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Animals often develop strong emotional attachments, just like we do. Sometimes it is with other animals, either one of their own species or someone entirely different. A few weeks ago, I wrote about a friendship between and elephant and a dog. You can find all sorts of stories like that in the bookstore or on TV or the Internet. But sometimes a favorite toy becomes a best friend. Our little poodle had a toy lamb when he was a pup. We called it "Buddy." He knew it by name. It played with him, slept with him, was his constant companion until he loved it to death. We replaced it, of course - twice - with another just like it. Now he has a somewhat sturdier toy, a long blue dog, which seems to be able to endure the kind of "tough love" that Button gives it. Cats, being more independent, seldom become attached to inanimate objects, but this one does like her Teddy Bear. Actually, I believe the Teddy Bear belonged to one of the children in her family before he became her special friend. She can and does spend a lot of time away from him, but enjoys having him around, especially for her afternoon naps. She gets a little cranky when he does not occupy his regular spot on the couch.
We all need friends. To find one who is loyal, caring, loving and accepting, visit your local animal rescue or shelter. They give a lot and don't ask much in return, just your heart.
Tabby's Place - A Cat Sanctuary
Pastel by Della Burgus
12 x 19 image size
Matted and ready to frame
Friday, November 06, 2009
Recently I shared the news that two of my paintings have been selected for Volume 2 of Best in America Pastel Artists, and left it up to you to figure out which paintings were selected. Well, here is a hint for you - it isn't the Magic Bunny...
I heard from my publisher today, (I have always wanted to say something like that!!!) and was informed that there has been a delay in printing so the books will not be delivered until mid-December. This is somewhat disappointing because I was getting really excited about seeing it this month, but I will just have to wait. Several weeks ago they sent me the "proofs" of my two page spread, so I do know what is coming. The printing and layout are beautiful. I also saw a "flip version" of the book online and I am really impressed with the other artists and their work. I am in very good company. It is a great honor and very humbling to be included.
I have to tell you that this is a dream come true for me - winning a spot in a book with such talented artists! Don't ever give up on your dreams - if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Albert Einstein once said, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." To me, Tiger is one of God's special little miracles, a gift given at just the right time. He had a job to do and he did it well. I don't know what sort of job he has now, but whatever it is, I am sure he is doing it equally as well.
This painting is a pastel on Wallis Pastel Paper, the image size is 13.5 x 17.5, matted to size 18 x 22. It is mounted on foam core board and comes ready to frame. Frame is not included.
It will be available through the Daily Painters and the Art Helping Animals blog, and also through eBay. 20% of the sale will be donated to Tabby's Place - A Cat Sanctuary.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
You probably aren't aware of this, but Sunday, October 25 is International Artist Day. We have a DAY! Isn't that great? It is wonderful to be recognized for our contributions. Everyone needs a little appreciation now and then.
Marilyn Hurst says it so well in her article on this website:
October 25th is International Artists Day and it's gaining support worldwide. This grassroots movement is not mainstream as yet but artists and galleries in communities everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon. Perhaps an overview is needed to explain the concept.
Artists are a much ignored group although almost anything you use day to day has an artistic design at its root. Throughout history art has been the most important defining characterization of a culture or people. Art survives personalities, dynasties, movements and civilizations. Artists are pioneers and are usually at the forefront of changing times and events. We might well ask why.
True art is timeless and universal and recognizable to all. Where does the inspiration for art come from? What makes some art priceless and other art mediocre? The artist themselves are the lynch pins. Art that is inspired comes from the “unexplainable” and is translated by the artist. If the artist is “tuned into” this area of consciousness, masterpiece works in painting, sculpture, music or prose can manifest. There are thousands in the arts over the centuries of this magnitude, they are natural conduits and are household names because of the recognition of their contribution to culture and humanity.
In another article, she suggest ways to observe this great day:
1.Visit a gallery and explain why you're there.
2.Purchase a piece of art to support an artist. This is a good one!
3.Visit an artist studio.
4.Take an artist to lunch and explore their world. I like this one, too!
5.Come up with your own ideas to participate.
This Blog brought to you only partially tongue-in-cheek by an artist who is tired of her relatives asking, "What do you do all day?"
P.S. I didn't make up any of this - both the website and image are legitimate, and so are the articles.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The second painting, the cute little donkey below, was listed on Daily Painters, Art Helping Animals and sold through eBay before I wrote about it here. A 9 x 12 Acrylic painted from a photo I took at the children's area of the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. I loved his demeanor, his big brown eyes and his soft furry coat....
By the way, I did an elephant a few weeks ago. It is still available....
Click on the image above to see the blog,
Monday, October 19, 2009
Disturb Us, Lord
When we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
"Disturb us, Lord,
When, with the abundance of things we possess,
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
and, having fallen in love with life as we know it,
We have ceased to dream of eternity;
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.
"Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
"We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
"Sir Francis Drake -1577
Friday, October 16, 2009
Two of my works have been accepted for a new book being published this fall. Best in America Pastel Artists (Catchy title, huh?) will be available in November. It features the work of 123 pastel artists throughout the country. According to the publishers, "The selection of artists work is based on numerous factors with the most important being style, innovation, and uniqueness." Each artist will receive a two page spread with two works plus contact information. I am thrilled, it is an amazing honor for me.
Can you guess which two of my paintings were chosen? I am not going to tell you now. You will have to keep guessing for a while.
More information as it becomes available. Watch this space for further development...
Hint: this is not one of them. This is a pastel painting, finished recently. It has been listed on Art Helping Animals , and Daily Painters, and is currently available through a fixed price listing on eBay.
Pastel on Canson
16 x 16
Matted, mounted on foam core, ready to frame
20% of the sales will be donated to
Tabby's Place, A Cat Sanctuary
To view eBay listing click here
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Poodles have always been among my favorite people. Intelligent and sensitive, with a highly developed sense of humor, just a tad stubborn, but at the same time desiring to please. They are loving, loyal and energetic. I happen to share my life with a white Toy Poodle named Button, but have known many different Poodles in many different colors and sizes - from teacup to standard, and they all share these characteristics.
This painting was done from a photo taken at the Des Moines AKC show. The handsome young subject was awaiting the "novice obedience trials." His person told me he had been a rescue dog, and had been nervous and fearful. She wasn't expecting a "win" but thought the trials would be good for his confidence. He was a delightful dog, friendly and very devoted to his person, and I wished them both well.
The event was simple: after performing a few exercises, the dogs would be told to "stay" and their owners would walk to the other end of the ring. A cute little dachshund followed his mommy as soon as she turned to walk away. A gorgeous young Burmese Mountain Dog got tired of waiting and went to his person after a few minutes. All the other dogs did as they were told.
And in the end, my elegant new friend went home with the prize.
The real winner, however, was the lucky lady who had found this wonderful dog, and had the kindness and patience to open her home and work with him. Now she has a devoted friend and he has a forever home.
This painting has been SOLD
Monday, October 05, 2009
Chow Chow is an acrylic painting on canvas, 11 x 14. All the edges of the canvas have been painted and no staples show on the sides, so that the painting may be displayed with or without a frame. 20% of the sale of this painting will be donated to Old Dog Haven.
Monday, September 28, 2009
14 x 18 x .75
All edges painted, no staples showing.
Display with or without a frame
Monday, September 21, 2009
Acrylic on Stretched, Wrapped Canvas
9 x 12
Dog shows are fun, and most of the people I meet there are fun also, because they are almost all dog lovers just like me. They love talking dogs, don't care that I am a total stranger, they love sharing about their wonderful friends. And the dogs seem to have a good time also. To me it seems the Golden Retrievers are having the best time of anybody, but then, they do have a knack for enjoyment that is somewhat beyond most of us on this planet.
Everybody seems to have a favorite breed but I have never met a dog I didn't like, and the more I see of them the more I like them. What is that old saying, "The more I see of men, the more I like my dog."? Well, I won't go that far, but there are a few people who might learn some manners from them, as well as compassion, patience and faithfulness.
Pictured below are two sweeties who might have felt a little overwhelmed about the whole competition thing, but they did find a safe place to be, with someone who loved them. That is the best thing that could happen to any of us. And that is my prayer for all of us today.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Watch for this painting on EBay and next week on Art Helping Animals and Daily Painters. 20% of the sale will be donated to Old Dog Haven. Click to see EBay listing. Or email me for more information
Monday, September 07, 2009
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
11 x 14
Of course, I have never traveled there at any time except summer. Winter would probably cool my enthusiasm, forgive the pun, but memories of the North Shore have carried me through some difficult times in the past, and the more time I spend there, the more I fall in love with it.
This is an acrylic on stretched canvas, 11 x 14. All edges have been painted and no staples show, so that it may be displayed either as is, or in the frame of your choice.
Click to view auction
Sunday, September 06, 2009
The photo above is Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Friday night at Aaron and Keegan's wedding rehearsal: a spectacular sunset, cool but very pleasant breeze, lots of people.
The photo below was taken Saturday morning at the wedding. A tropical storm had blown up the coast and met something that had come down from Canada. But when you are young and in love, that is all that matters, who cares about the weather?
It had been such a romantic plan, to be married on Cadillac Mountain at the first light of day, the first place the sun rises anywhere in the United States. The bride had been out there early the day before to check out the timing so that it would be just perfect. And it was - some of us were certain we had seen just a glimmer of light at the very edge of the horizon. According to Aaron, Plan B was "slickers and umbrellas," so that is what we did. And, yes, it was a very beautiful wedding. Later that day I came across a plaque and couldn't resist buying it for Keegan. It said, "Even on a cloudy day, the sun still rises."
Below is a wedding picture taken along the shore when it finally stopped raining, and a photo of the breakfast muffin they shared, courtesy of the hotel that served us breakfast. We love them and wish them a wonderful, happy life together.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This photo was sent to us via my husband's computer and then he sent it to me. It is a low resolution and didn't enlarge well, but I hope that you can see the happy couple in the beautiful surroundings. We couldn't be happier for Aaron, because he has never been happier. I can't wait to see them and to take my own photos of them and of the wonderful state of Maine. I am sure that Maine and Acadia will appear in the artwork I produce this fall. In the meantime, if you would like to see better photos of Aaron and Keegan and Maine also, check out Larry's site.
I did find photos of their dogs, Penney and Hannah in the snow last winter:
They are also beautiful, and I can't wait to meet them!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
There were some lovely, realistic, delicately painted wood carvings. Birds and ducks and a tiger, all sorts of elegant and beautiful works. And I loved them all - well, almost all of them, but this is the one that grabbed my heart. The imagination, the joy, the attention to detail - I just couldn't tear myself away from it.
Hope it brightens up your day, too.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. One of the great things about the Iowa State Fair is the "Butter Cow" It has been a staple at the state fair since the early 1900's but it was Norma "Duffy" Lyons, who began sculpting in 1960, that brought it to the center stage. She created not only cows, but a Butter Elvis, a butter country school house, American Gothic and The Last Supper in butter, among other things. She retired in 2006 and was followed by Sarah Pratt, who had worked with her for 15 years. We in Iowa take our butter sculpture very seriously. When it was suggested earlier this year that a Butter Michael Jackson might be in order, it created such a furor that the state fair board decided to let the people of Iowa decide between the King of Pop and the First Man on the Moon. As you can see good taste prevailed and the Astronaut won.
All the art at the fair was not in the refrigerator, however, as they have a great art and photography show every year. Seeing creative efforts always inspires me to let myself go, push myself farther, higher, to try a new medium or a new subject. I will write about the non-refrigerated art on another day.
So many other things to see and do at the fair. My favorite was, of course, the horses, and the other animals. Bunnies, chickens, goats, and sheep. No dogs or cats, though, if they do show them, it happened on another day. I got lots of photos, and you will probably see some of their inspirations in drawings and paintings during the weeks and months to come.
The food at the fair is amazing. They put everything on a stick - corn dog on a stick, pork chop on a stick, chicken on a stick, fried Twinkies on a stick for Pete's sake, chicken lips - whatever that is - and even egg on a stick. I didn't try any of those, but I did see on the news that a woman was trying to eat everything that came on a stick - all 55 different foods!
We waited until today, Friday, to visit the fair in part because the weather forecaster promised us a good day. As we sat shivering in a tent outside the pork pavilion, with the rain pouring down and the wind blowing, we wondered why we ever listen to them. But the funnel cakes were good, the ice cream was great, the horses were out of this world, and the bunnies were adorable.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Pastel by Della Burgus
Image size 9 x 14
The painting is being listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals as an example of my commissioned portraits. For many years my primary work was in portraiture, and that influence is still evident in my art to this day. I love to do intimate little paintings that show the spirit and character of my subjects.
A limited number of pastel portrait commissions from photos will be accepted before Christmas. In order to purchase a portrait as a Christmas gift, it must be ordered by September 8. Image sizes range from 8 x 10 for a head and shoulders pose, up to 12 x 16 for a three quarter pose, as shown above. Prices range from $120 to $170. All pastel paintings are matted to a standard frame size and ready for you to frame. Email me for more information.
10% of the sale of this particular painting is being donated to Old Dog Haven. When you commission a portrait, I will donate 10% of the sale to the Art Helping Animals charity of your choice. Those are listed on the Art Helping Animals blog. Please click the link for more information.
Since there are so many children in this world who do not have the happy childhood depicted in this painting, I will donate an additional 10% of the sale to Children's Cup - International Relief. Please click the link for more information.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This little gem was sitting on a fencepost preening himself at a local zoo I visited recently. As there was no hen in sight, we weren't treated to a display of his breath-taking tail feathers, but he seemed to be aware of his audience and did strike a lovely pose. I snapped about four disappointing pictures and one good one. He was a great model and seemed to enjoy all the attention.
We, in our culture, are bedazzled by the jewels and precious stones buried deep beneath the earth. Billions of dollars are spent digging them out, cutting them and fashioning them into jewelry. (There is probably a parable in that, too, but I will let you work that one out.) Many of the colors that I used to paint this picture were originally made of these stones, or at least inspired by them, and they still carry their names - emerald green, ultramarine, alizarin crimson. And this gorgeous creature is more wonderful than any of them, because he is alive and breathing and able to interact with others of his kind, as well as the people who appreciate him. I had to just stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of this little jewel. He was an original, made by a true Master Artist.
This painting is available on Art Helping Animals. 20% of the sale will be donated to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center.
Monday, July 27, 2009
On Stretched, wrapped canvas
14 x 11 x .75 inches
All edges painted, no staples showing. Can be displayed with or without a frame.
Sorry, this painting has been sold, but please visit my website for other work still available.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We used to spend hours along the North Shore of Lake Superior, painting pictures and enjoying the peace and serenity of the place, but haven't been able to visit for a few years. This was a sort of sentimental journey for us, remembering those good times, taking pictures, and making plans to return and STAY LONGER! Next time we will make time to sit along the shore and paint, if only for an afternoon. There is a timelessness about the lake that takes me to a place of peace and tranquility. It was there long before I was born, and hopefully will still be here long after I am gone. It is easier for me to experience God's presence here, away from all the stress and busyness of everyday life.
All of these photos and more will probably be used to create paintings of my "Sentimental Journey," so look for them in future blogs.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This is a painting of a day lily from our garden. We have lots of them - we are always finding some new color or variety. This one has been around for so long I have forgotten her name, so I just call this Portrait of Lily. I am a portrait painter by nature. I think God made me that way. For years I painted and drew portraits of people, then I branched out into animals and flowers, but, as you see, it still has a portrait "feeling" to it. I tend to focus in on a subject, to capture its nature, its essence, the core of its being. (Well, that may be a little too deep, even for me.) I do enjoy painting landscapes and seascapes occasionally, but more often than not, I find myself focusing in on the one thing that captures my attention.
So here is Portrait of Lily. As with many of my paintings, a portion of this sale will be donated to an animal charity. I have chosen Tabby's Place, a Cat Sanctuary, in memory of my kitty Nala, who loved flowers. I miss her very much.
Portrait of Lily is available through eBay.
and Art Helping Animals.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Today I am sharing a page from my sketchbook, the preliminary drawing for a painting of a golden lab. I have decided to let you see this, with all its problems and rough edges, before I do a painting in pastel. For me a sketch is a plan, a map, of the finished artwork, so I can see what it will look like, and if it is really going to work. In my mind's eye (don't you love that phrase?) I see the finished painting, with color, value and line all working together to create a composition. Probably all anyone else can see is a rather weak, unfinished drawing that needs a lot of work! Sometimes I think my life is like this drawing: full of promise, but needing a lot of work. I am glad that God sees me as a beautiful painting, all the elements pulled together in a perfect composition. I still need a lot of work, but He is the Master Artist and I trust He can pull it all together.
Like everyone, I was horrified by the story of the largest dog fighting ring in the history of the United States. Over 400 dogs were seized and rescued. Many others were not so fortunate. There are no words to express my anger at the monsters who abused and tortured these innocent creatures. I have friends with Pit Bulls. They are gentle, loving dogs with the same loyal dispositions that other dogs have. They have been raised with love and give love in return. Although the dogs are not to blame, as is often the case, they are the ones who have to pay the price. This has become a more personal sorrow for me, because some of the people involved come from central Iowa, one even from my small town. Thankfully, I do not know these people, nor do I want to, but I feel somehow our town has been diminished by their having lived here.
I hope and pray that many of the rescued dogs can be rehabilitated and find loving and understanding people to care for them.
You can read more about the raid and rescue on the Humane Society of Missouri. Currently these dedicated people are taking care of their physical needs. Please consider sending a donation for this good cause. Click on the link below for more information.
Humane Society of Missouri
“We are committed to giving dogs who have come from such horrible abuse the absolute best chance for a good life,” said Debbie Hill, vice president of Operations for the Humane Society of Missouri and director of the temporary shelter. “It is a tragedy that because of mistreatment by humans for financial gain and so-called sport, many dogs used in animal fighting may not ever be able to be placed in a home situation.”