Monday, September 30, 2013

Buck - Finally Finished

"Buck" - gouache on paper
Sometime ago I posted a work in progress of this fawn and I've now finished it (or at least have put it away for a while).  There will be some tweaking, I'm sure, but I'm going to let it simmer for a bit and then decide what needs to be done with it.

I honestly never did figure out the tangle of legs but I think I got them fairly well.  It amazes me that the very young can almost fold up accordian-style!  I guess it's the result of being in the womb and having to fit into such a small space!

C&C always appreciated so if you see anything that needs attention, please let me know!

I'm going to try to get some paintings done as I'll probably not be painting much during the month of October.  Lots of stuff going on but hopefully I'll get enough ahead to post a few things.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FedEx Smartpost - Why I Will No Longer Order From

I'm sure the map above is a bit confusing - believe me, it was confusing to me to draw the delivery route lines!  But maybe it will help if I explain the situation then the map:

I ordered some airbrush accessories from on about September the 18th - it wasn't a large package and everything was to come from Amazon's own distribution center warehouse and shipping was free.  I realize that I don't have much right to complain when I'm not directly paying for shipping but the FedEx Smartpost that Amazon uses for shipping is ridiculous.  They ought to rename it FedEx Stupidpost or FedEx Slowpost!  The order shipped on September 20th and was in Charlotte that same day.  Charlotte is only a couple of hours away from us, btw.

OK, see the green line leaving Charlotte?  That's my package going north up to Kernersville after being in Charlotte for 3 days.  OK, it arrived in Kernersville on the 24th at about 2 AM then at 3AM went right back to Charlotte (that's the purplish colored line).  From that return trip to Charlotte, the package again went north but this time went to Winston-Salem! 

From Winston-Salem, the tracking record says the package arrived at our town (which isn't a town but simply a large postal route) at a "carrier facility".  I have no idea what carrier facility as our local post office (where it should have gone) swears up and down that they didn't get the package on that day.

OK, from our home town, the package went to Raleigh on September the 25th then was again sent north only to Greensboro this time!  It finally left Greensboro on September the 26th and was delivered by our local postal carrier that day.

Honestly, I could have driven to Charlotte the first day it showed up there and had my package nearly a week sooner plus we could have had a nice visit with the grandkids to boot!

I had another such episode with an order that involved UPS's version of Smartpost which I detailed in a post on my Pets to Posies blog.  I don't know who came up with the idea that this method of shipping is smart but it sure appears that the shipper (in this case FedEx) is going to a lot of extra stops to get to a destination that should be a lot more direct and definitely quicker! 

I guess they really feel it's saving them money as there have been bitter complaints about this system for years and companies are still using it.  I wonder if Amazon and other companies who use this shipping system realize how much money they ultimately lose by losing customers such as myself? 

Goodbye - it was nice knowing you but not so nice doing business with your idea of smart shipping.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Temporary Yard Ornament


This was what was in our yard this morning probably less than 25 feet from our house (actually, probably less than 15 feet!)

This is an American o'possum or, as they're called here, just plain ole possum.  We have quite a few of these guys hanging around but they're rarely seen in the daytime.  This one was feasting on some fallen apples or maybe even some grubs - I really didn't want to get close enough to see!

The possum is pretty laid back, not usually dangerous but they do have very sharp teeth and can bite.  Mostly they act like they're dead if they feel threatened without any means of escape.  And if they can get away they'd rather run than fight.

They are the only marsupial in the US and not nearly as cute as their Australian counterparts.  In fact, they're pretty ugly with that long pointy face, rat-like tail and beady eyes but their fur is rather pretty and many of the old-timers survived by eating them. 

We saw a female possum carrying her babies on her back earlier this spring but none of the photos I took of her were any good as it was dusk dark when she appeared.  This could very well be one of her offspring as it's a little more than half the size she was.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Toy

I just got my new air compressor about an hour ago and am still very nervous about trying it out with paint and everything.  We did set it up and do a test run per the instructions that came with it but that's not really the same as actually painting with it!

For one thing, I don't really have anything that needs airbrushing at the moment and I really don't want to actually paint with it until I get some simple airbrush supplies.

However, I did want to share a photo of it for your viewing pleasure!  lol  I promise to return to let you see what I've done with it and will also let you know how I like it.  It's really been years and years since I've done any air brushing so it will be like learning to do it all over again!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sweet Little Fawn

Buck - gouache on watercolor paper

I guess I have one girly-girl vice and it's not shoes!  However, it does have to do with my feet and it's that I really love getting spa pedicures.  The woman who does them for me gave me some photos of a tiny baby fawn that her daughter had found on their property.  I've been wanting to paint this little guy forever but something else has always interfered.

Well, I finally decided that I would paint it and wouldn't let anything else get in the way of it getting done.  This is as far as I've gotten so far.  I'm painting it in gouache (opaque watercolor) and it's being done in layers.  I've only gotten the first layers down right now and no real detail as yet.

Frankly, I'm a little stumped by the fawn-like tangle of legs and need to stop and sort out what goes where!  The reference photo was a little small so I couldn't enlarge it to get any detail but I think I can find something similar online and maybe tell how the legs are positioned.

It probably won't matter a whole lot as there's grass which will cover some of his legs and chest area.  You know me though, I'm kind of a freak about getting it right to begin with and really do want to be as accurate as possible.  If the "bones" of a painting are good, then the rest of it will have a better chance of being good also.

Watch for the final of this soon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Christmas in September?

I've heard of Christmas in July but I guess I'm either late or early depending on whether you're a Christmas in July fan or a Christmas in December fan.

Actually, I was trying to plan ahead for once and try to design our own Christmas cards this year.  Even with all this advance planning, I'm not doing so great!

This poinsettia is the only painting that's turned out very well so far but, then again, I'm not spending a whole lot of time painting either. 

This painting is gouache used in a sort of a transparent watercolor fashion.  Of course, I wanted the more opaque look for reproduction which is why I chose the gouache.  It was painted on watercolor paper though.

Is this the design for our cards this year?  I don't know - we'll just have to see what else I can come up with.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Pet Portrait Painting??!! Oh, My!

Of course I remember that I said I'd retired from painting pet portraits!  But this little guy is special and he's the new rescue from a former customer who's very special to me so I just had to paint him, didn't I?

I've been struggling trying to get a decent photo of him and even tried to scan the painting and this is about the best I can do.  Still off the mark but I'm not an expert when it comes to color corrections!!!!

This is Fritz and he's a Bichon Frise.  He was the pet of someone who decided they didn't want him anymore so decided to get rid of him at 14 years old!  Can you imagine?  Dogs at this age are pretty much deemed unadoptable yet my customer took him in and thinks he's about the best thing since sliced bread!

So I say kudos to Donna and her husband for making Fritz's life so much better.  And I say that what you sow is what you reap.  So to whoever tossed him aside, don't be surprised if, toward the end of your life, you're pushed aside and not deemed worthwhile to keep either.

Not that I wish that for anybody but these precious little bundles of love rely on us to keep the promise that was made when they got a dog.  Most dogs live up to their end of the bargain returning more love and companionship than they get from their humans.  It's time for humans to step up to the plate and give their pets love and companionship as well as care for the life of the pet. 

Getting a pet is a commitment that should be honored.  That's the unspoken agreement that every pet deserves!