Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Off to Maine for a wedding!!

Going to Maine for the wedding of son Aaron and his beautiful bride-to-be, Keegan. They will be married in a very small ceremony on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Early in the morning. EARLY, EARLY in the morning.
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

A Porkestra, Popcorn Art, and Noah's Ark

State Fair Part 2

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so this should let me off the hook for a while. We spent quite some time at the Cultural Center at the fair. Besides being a good place to go to get out of the rain, there was some great art, wonderful photography and amazing woodcarving. Of course, I didn't agree with all the judging, no one ever does, but I enjoyed seeing everything. Here are just a few highlights. Unfortunately I have the artist's name for only one of them, so if you are or know the artist responsible for any of these delights, just let me know and I will be glad to give credit where credit is due. Be sure to click on each picture for a larger view.

Porkestra, carving by Judith Veeder
Click on the photo for a larger image. It is amazing.

Beautiful painting of the state fair. Incredible detail. Should have won more than a yellow ribbon.

These artworks were made of popcorn. Only in Iowa!

And my favorite - Noah's Ark...

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

Iowa State Fair, Part 1

One man's art is another man's butter...

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

Child's Portrait

Click on image for larger view

"Joyful Spirit"
Pastel by Della Burgus
Image size 9 x 14

Commissions accepted

This joyful little darling is a commissioned piece that has just been finished. To me the expression on her face says "Childhood," that beautiful, innocent time of life when the world is a wonderful place full of love and happiness, before our lives become overtaken with cares and worries.

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

Peacock by Della Burgus

A Living Jewel
Acrylic on Canvas
6 x 9 on Stretched, wrapped canvas

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.