Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Iris From the Garden

One of my favorite flowers in the garden. My husband loves to collect different kinds and colors and I love to paint them. They have wonderful names, like "Prissy Miss" and "Superstition." I am not certain of the name of this one, but I think it is "Early Dawn." My husband used to have a chart with the layout of all his gardens so that he could keep track of the names of them all, but some of them did not survive the wet springs we had for two years. I guess he will just have to collect some more. This painting is in watercolor, not one of my usual mediums, but every now and then I like to do something different. Of course, they don't look like this yet - this one was done from a photo from last year. This painting has sold already through Art Helping Animals, but I usually do more of them when the Iris begin to bloom. So watch this space.

by Della Burgus
Watercolor on Arches
10.5 x 13.5
Matted size 16 x 19


20% will be donated to
Old Dog Haven

Goodbye my Gentle Little Friend

We had to say good-bye to our little friend Nala yesterday. She was the Manx kitten that Barney and Larry found on the sidewalk last summer. She had a genetic condition, commonly referred to as Manx Snydrome. It is always fatal and usually if kittens do survive, they don't live longer than four months. We spent lots of time with our wonderful veterinary because we believed we owed it to her to give her as many good days as we could. Despite her health problems, she had a happy life, though it wasn't as long as we wanted. God blessed us with this dancing little sprite for nearly ten months, and now Heaven is a much better place because she is there. I know that someday the tears will stop or at least slow down, and I will have only happy memories.
Good-bye, and thank you, my little friend...
More about Nala
A Painting of Nala

Friday, March 27, 2009

Little Lamb

He Restores My Soul
by Della Burgus
Pastel on Wallis Sanded Paper
Image size 9 x 12, Matted to 14 x 18

Click on the link below to view the auction for this painting:

20% will be donated to
True Blue Animal Rescue

For many different reasons, we all could use some "soul restoration" right now.

New little lambs are one of the early indications of spring in this area. Seeing them makes me smile. If you have never read Philip Keller's book, "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23," I would recommend it. Amazingly, it turns out we are very much like sheep in our attitudes and behavior. While they are sometimes considered "dumb," that is a harsh and unfair judgment. Actually they are simply naive, somewhat gullible, trusting, and they tend to follow other sheep into dangerous situations, instead of following the shepherd into safe pasture. Sound familiar? But the good news is that the sheep actually do know the shepherd's voice, and as long as they are listening for him, they can't be fooled, even by the most clever wolf.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This painting takes us back, back to the endless, lazy, carefree days of summer, days of long ago, before the world was such a frightening place. When little girls could be little girls, dressing up, playing, living simple lives. Before the days of cell phones and rock stars - when "dressing up"meant looking your best. Inspired in part by Sargent's painting The Daughters of Edward D. Boit, this is one of my favorite portraits. Oh, how I long for those long, lazy summertime days again!

This painting is available for purchase directly from the artist.

Summertime Dress-up
Pastel on Canson Paper
Mounted on foam core, with a double mat
Image size 17 x 17. Matted to 23 x 23
Ready to frame.
20% will be donated to
Old Dog Haven Rescue

For more information or
to purchase email the artist
Email Della

Friday, March 13, 2009

American Gothic Revisited...

An American icon painted by Iowa's most famous painter made it back home recently, and the whole state is turning out to welcome it. It is normally housed in the Chicago Art Institute, which makes no sense at all, but evidently they wanted it and the Des Moines Art Center didn't. Go figure. As far as I know, Des Moines owns only one Grant Wood, The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, and even that one they share with Minneapolis. As the Good Book says, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own people. Still, he is drawing large crowds this time around.

I am certain the original painting is quite familiar to everyone, so I have posted a rip off that my husband and I painted many years ago. Not too long ago - it was in the public domain so we were not arrested or anything, though from the look on our faces we could have been. It was purchased for a company picnic, and countless people stood behind the board and put their faces in the holes for a photo. People didn't have a lot of entertainment back then. Nowadays, it would all be done seamlessly on Photoshop.

I think they look a little better with smiles on their faces, but what do I know?

Black and White and Black - Kittens by Della Burgus

Two little kittens - one peaceful and serene, waiting to cuddle on your lap and purr; the other ready for action, looking for something to stalk or chase...

A friend of mine found this painting buried in my blog. I had listed it once on eBay, nobody looked at it, so I put it away and forgot about it. But my friend chose it as one of her top twenty favorites of all my artwork, so I gave it a second look. I dusted it off, renewed it, cropped it a bit, re-photographed it and here it is. Not a rerun, but a restored original! The moral of this story is: don't give up on anything. Just continue to paint the world you see, and sooner or later someone will appreciate your viewpoint.

Black and White and Black
by Della Burgus
Pastel on Colorfix Pastel Paper, 12 x 14
mounted on foam core, matted with a double white mat


20% will be donated to
Tabby's Place, A Cat Sanctuary

To purchase email the artist
Email Della

Monday, March 09, 2009

Waves on the Shore

My husband and I used to enjoy traveling to the North Shore of Lake Superior and sit along the shoreline to paint. Sometimes we would just watch the waves and listen to the gulls. Somehow it was exciting and peaceful at the same time. The word that always came to mind was "timeless." No one really knows how long the waves have been hitting those rocks, how many people from how many nations have looked on in awe and wonder. It always makes me feel small. It also reminds me of some of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs:

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance..

Because of family obligations, we haven't returned for several years, but I can still hear the sounds and feel the cool breeze on my face. When we go back again, and we WILL go back, I hope that it hasn't changed.

And, when YOU get the choice to sit it out or dance,

Rocky Shoreline
by Della Burgus
Oil 11 x 14
All edges painted, no staples show
Display with or without a frame

Shipping is free

20% will be donated to
Malibu Pet Companions

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dinner Plate Hibiscus

This is a dinner plate hibiscus, so named because of the size of the flower. It grows behind the garden shed and always makes me think of exotic places I will never see.Every summer I take its picture , even though it doesn't change much, and every winter I paint it to remind me that it won't snow forever. This is my first in pastel, the others were in oil. If you think you see a Georgia O'Keefe influence here, you are right. There was a time I spent a lot of time doing large canvases of flowers like this, but I have moved on. Now I am revisiting my past passions, because life is a cycle and it is time to paint flowers again. Soon I will be painting landscapes and seascapes, perhaps even portraits. Whenever I rummage through my old photos I get nostalgic for something or other. This flower always says "Summer" to me, and I love the summer. However, the huge canvases with larger than life paintings of just one bloom are a thing of the past. With the shrinking economy it no longer seems practical. So instead, a 9 x 12 pastel, almost life-size.

Pastel on Wallis Sanded Paper
9 x 12
Mounted on foam core, with a double mat
Matted size 14 x 18

20% will be donated to
Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center

To purchase email the artist
Email Della

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wildlife Art. Portrait of a Raccoon

Pastel on Wallis Sanded Paper
8.5 x 8.5
Mounted on foam core board, with a double white mat
Matted size 14 x 14

This painting has been sold.
Thanks for looking...
20% of the Sale will be donated to
Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center

One morning early last summer, I glanced out of the window in my bedroom and saw a raccoon, sitting very still on the limb of a tree, watching me through the open window. We stayed there for a few moments, gazing at each other in silence, until she slowly slid behind the tree trunk. She is a familiar sight in our neighborhood. Every year she moves into the hollow of another tree on our property and raises a family. Midsummer, she can be seen leading them to the field at the edge of town and on down to the river. I don't know why she was in a different tree that morning, but I enjoyed her company. I felt a peculiar connection to her because we were going through similar passages in our lives. Her family was nearly grown and she would soon leave that phase of her life returning to her river home. My oldest son was about to be married, my younger son had moved half way across the country. So it was time for me to return to the "river" and find a new direction for my life. I look forward to seeing her again this spring. I think of her as a friend and fellow traveler.

This painting has been sold. Check out Art Helping Animals for more great art.