Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Lion Does Not Sleep Tonight

When I Look In Your Eyes
African Lion

Another in my series of paintings that focus on the eyes of one of God's most amazing creatures.  The look in the lion's eyes says it all, much better than I ever could.  He is beautiful, he is powerful, and he is not tame.  Not really.  Not in his heart, where it really counts. He knows who he is.  No matter what man may think of his own importance, no matter how he tries to control his surroundings, the lion will always be The King of Beasts.  And that is as it should be.

This painting is pastel on Ampersand Pastel Board. 8 x 10.  It was listed on Art Helping Animals on Monday night and has already been purchased. 20% of the sale will be donated to Tabby's Place - A Cat Sanctuary, because inside every kitty beats the heart of a lion.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Things I Learned from Alice in Wonderland

The original Alice books were my favorites as a child.  I read and reread them hundreds of times until I had everything memorized - then I read them again.  I never found the rabbit hole, but that didn't stop me from searching, and every time I saw a mirror, I touched it, just to see if this time it would lead me to an exciting adventure.  All the greatest adventures were in the stories, at least until the newest film version was released.  Last week my husband and I saw the 3-D version in a theater for the third, and probably, the last time. Fortunately for me, he is really into special effects and computer stuff, so I didn't even have to drag him. If the local I Max theater decides to run it, we will see it there, and of course we will buy the DVD, but it won't be the same.  Nothing can compare the feeling of having a teacup thrown at you, dodging a sword, or reaching out to touch a butterfly.  And I have learned so much, each time I have seen it there has been something new

Things I Learned from Alice in Wonderland
The 2010 Version

1. Until you know who you are, you can't fulfill your destiny
2. The Jabberwocky (dragon) must be slain, and only you can do it.
3. You must use the proper sword.
4. The sword knows what it wants to do, all you have to do is hold on. You are the insignificant bearer.
5.  It is better to be loved than to be feared, but it is better to love than to be loved.
6.  Don't ever lose your "muchness."

Now you can look at all  of this anyway you want, but please don't jump to the conclusion that either Alice or I am a violent person. Alice kept telling everyone who would listen, "I DON'T slay, I just want to wake up."  We all have our own personal dragons and for most of us, they are figurative, not literal.  For Alice in this story, it had to do with the expectations of society and family, and the putting aside of her own dreams to please everyone else.  I have read a biography of Alice Liddell, the real Alice who inspired the original Lewis Carroll stories, and I believe she may have encountered a similar Jabnerwocky in her life.  She was a strong, accomplished woman who lived during a time when women were meant to know their place and stay there. I have learned a lot from her, and from this tale which was not part of Alice's original adventures, but it certainly follows the theme.

My dragons are different from yours, and certainly different from Alice's. We are all responsible for our own dragons, and I wish you well in your struggle, whatever it may be.  It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Word Clouds

Hey, have you tried this yet? It's a  wonderful new online "toy" that you can use to create a work of art from your words and ideas.  Describe how you are feeling today, write your own biography, make lists of favorite things or people. Or do as I did for this one, and just type in your blog address. They will lift the words for you and arrange it in a collage. You get to choose the basic layout, the colors and the font. Play with them until you like the look. Then, click  -  and all the work is done for you!  It costs you NOTHING! Where else can you find a deal like that?  It has already become one of my favorite sites.  This could be a journal, a devotional, a scrapbook. The possibilities are endless!  Try it once and you will become addicted. Just like me.

The link for this is http://www.wordle.net

By the way, I found this link on Angela Hunt's blog.  She is a great writer, an animal lover,  and I recommend her books and her blog: http://alifeinpages.blogspot.com/

I am NOT being  paid for this testimonial. I just found something fun and want to pass it on.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Equine Art Close Up Chestnut Horse

When I Look In Your Eyes
"A Gentle Spirit"

Another in the series inspired by the song, When I Look In Your Eyes, sung by Rex Harrison in the Dr. Doolittle musical.  I love the expression of quiet contemplation on this horse, and the way his mane blows wildly in the wind.  Horses are fascinating to paint -  such a range of emotion and temperament, so much strength and tenderness, and so much grace all in one animal.

This is a pastel painting on Ampersand Pastel Board, my new best friend. It has a slightly sanded, very fine texture and is especially good for animal paintings.  It will stand up under lots of layers, which is how I work, and sort of "grabs" the color so that it doesn't just sit on top of the paper, yet it isn't so rough that it prevents me from putting in the detail that I love. It should be good for people portraits, also, but I haven't tried it yet.

Pastel on Ampersand Pastel Board
Image size 9 x 12
Matted and ready to frame.

20% of the sale will be donated to True Blue Animal Rescue

This painting will be listed on Daily Painters and will be available for purchase from Art Helping Animals on Tuesday, April 20

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Real Live Teddy Bear

These little ones are so full of energy and excitement, I just love being around them. At the dog show recently I saw tables filled with them. Most were this lovely blond color, but there were also a couple of black as well as one white one.  They are friendly and lovable, and if you are fortunate enough to be able to hold one, it will cuddle right into your arms, just like a teddy bear. 

This is acrylic on stretched, wrapped canvas, 8 x 10. All the edges have been painted and no staples show so that it may be displayed with or without a frame. 20% of the sales will be donated to Old Dog Haven, one of the charities supported by Art Helping Animals, a fellowship of professional artists who donate a portion of their sales to animal charities,  This painting will be listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals on Tuesday, April 13. 

Acrylic, 8 x 10
20% of the sale to
Old Dog Haven

Don't forget to hug your pet today!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Website Woes

If you have looked for my website lately,  www.dellaburgus.com,  it is no longer available and I don't have a sweet clue why. Of course, I have considered all the obvious possibilities and, yes, I have paid my Mobile Me bill; yes, my domain name was renewed way last fall; and as far as I can see, (which I admit isn't far with me being a non-computer type) but everything appears to be configured as it was.  Firefox (and Safari) just "can't find the server at www.dellaburgus.com." So, until I get a call put in to a computer geek - oops, I mean Expert, my website will be on hiatus.  I can't say I am looking forward to spending hours online with someone whose computerese is so advanced that I won't understand a word he/she is saying.  It is time consuming, frustrating, and not a little humiliating,  and in the end I will discover something so simple that any fool could see it. Yes, well, I am not just any fool,  I work hard at this. Sorry for the inconvenience, but you can still find me here on the blog.

Have a great weekend!

Sorry, Magic Bunny! I will get you back online someday!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Public Enemy Number One

An Endangered Species
Here it is - the real problem. All the misery, troubles, illness, tragedy of this nation can be traced back to this innocent looking little can.  It is filled with evil. It is what is making us fat.  Terrorists? Crime?  Unemployment? They don't matter. Soft drinks can make us fat. And fat is the root of all evil. Our new worst enemy.  This week it is my Pepsi, but beware, next week it will be your candy bar or french fry. Eventually the government will be telling us not only what we can eat, but how it can be prepared.  A massive tax on stir fried veggies!!!!  And what about all those people who lose their jobs when the soft drink companies fold? Who will take care of them? Never mind, I already know the answer to that.

Yes, I know soft drinks are empty calories. Lots of sugar. They add no nourishment to my body.  But they are nonfat, non alcoholic and they taste good.  The bubbles make me happy,  I can drink a Pepsi or a Coca Cola, a Sierra Mist or a Root Beer and then jump into my car knowing that I am still in control of my actions.  No delayed reactions, no impaired jugement - at least not according to any tests I have heard of.  If the government really wants to eliminate everything that doesn't nourish our lives, maybe they should begin with television.

Well, I for one am going to fight back. I am going to start hording this stuff now, buying cases of it at a time, storing it in the basement, the attic, under the bed, so that when it is no longer available in this country, I can still have my bliss. Who knows? Maybe I will be able to sell it on eBay and make a fortune.

Sorry for the rant. It was at least partially tongue in cheek. Have a good day!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Seascape Sea Gull on Rocky Maine Coast

Maine Seascape
Oil on Canvas
10 x 20
Disturb Us, Lord...

"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...

From a writing by Sir Francis Drake, in 1577 
to read the complete piece click here

Last summer I took a trip to the East Coast and saw the rocky shore of Maine for  the first time. Our younger son had interned in Maine at  Acadia National Park and fell in love  - with the place, and with a beautiful young woman named Keegan. I am not sure which came first, but either way, I am glad he had the good sense to fall in love in Maine.  I fell in love once, a long time ago, and wound up in Woodward, Iowa. But that is another story. Anyway, the coastline is beautiful, filled with seascapes and landscapes that it would take a lifetime to paint  and I had a great time there. I didn't do any painting while I was visiting as we didn't stay long enough, but I took lots of photos. This painting was done from a combination of several photos and my memories of standing on the rocks and looking at the ocean. It was amazing for this land-locked Iowan to see, but even more amazing to hear the roar of those waves. For a little while I felt like that tiny gull gazing out across the vast ocean. Then he flew away and I was still standing on the rock, so the feeling left. 

This painting is an oil on canvas, wrapped and stretched. All the edges have been painted and no staples show, so that it may be displayed as is, without a frame. 20% of the sale price will be donated to Old Dog Haven. It will be listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals tomorrow, April 5, and on Ebay later in the week.

Friday, April 02, 2010

How Did He Really Look and Does it Really Matter?

Recently I saw a television program about a man who had used modern technology to create a "photo" of Jesus. He used the images from the Shroud of Turin, which many believe was used to cover the body of Christ before His burial. Regardless of your belief about this relic, it was a fascinating story. But given our tendency toward idol worship, I am not so sure we are supposed to have an exact likeness of Him.  It might prove a distraction for those of us who call ourselves by His Name and spend our lives trying to focus on who He was and what He did. Still, it does help to remember that when He walked the earth, it was as a human being who probably looked like us. I have done several paintings of Jesus in my lifetime and have noticed that different paintings speak to different people. That is because we all know Him in different ways, at different times in our lives. One painting, one story, one song will never say everything there is to say about Him, but every artist who attempts to portray Jesus, does so with the idea of expressing his own feelings, experiences and understanding. None of us have the complete story.

This portrait was painted several years ago and only recently purchased.  I may make prints available sometime in the future, with proceeds going to a children's charity. But those decisions are for another day.

For today, I want to wish you and yours a Blessed Easter, and hope that you spend some time thinking about the reason we celebrate.  Be happy!