Posts from the ‘Animals’ category

Backyard Quail Pair, 2013, 27"w x 22"h, Private Collection

Backyard Quail Pair, 2013, 27″w x 22″h

I have had fun making portraits of the animals that visit my backyard bird feeder.  From inspiration photos I have taken with my camera,  I draw and paint my interpretations using an art app on my iPad.  My images are then printed onto whole cloth, ready to be machine and hand stitched, to be made into wall art.   I am thrilled with the often daily visits that California Quail make to my yard from nearby hillsides where they live.  I hide inside my house with only a crack opened in sliding glass door for my camera as they are so very skittish.  With the smallest sound or movement they scamper and fly away.

Close up view

Close up views, machine and hand stitching on whole cloth.

Detail view

Detail view

Using an image I painted on my iPad that I used for my donation to the SAQA Santa Fe Conference Auction, I created a larger version I call Backyard Quail 2.  It has a different color palette and drawing style than the one above. I heavily machine and hand quilted the piece.

Backyard Quail 2,  17"w x 25"h, 2013

Backyard Quail 2, 17″w x 25″h, 2013

Detail image, machine and hand stitching

Detail image, machine and hand stitching


I am often asked where my creative inspirations come from.  I love the solitude of my walks with my dog Mac.  My mind is free to wander as I look at my surroundings (from houses and flowers to the sand and the ocean to the nearby mountains), the beauty of where I live is endlessly inspiring.  The walks clear my head of the “daily this and that”, freeing me to think creatively (if I am lucky).  I am enjoying summertime and all that it brings.  Putting the finishing touches on my latest pieces as I wait for that moment of inspiration that will be my next big project.

I thought I would share some dog photos (who doesn’t love a cute dog?) from recent walks I have taken in my neighborhood.

Odin and Mac at Will Rogers Beach

Odin and Mac at Will Rogers Beach, Pacific Palisades, CA

Mac and I shared our walking time recently with our “grand-dog” Odin who was staying with us while his “parents” were in Europe for two weeks.  You can see in the photo that they were enjoying their day at the beach.

Mac is loves his benches…if I attempt to walk past one, he puts his head down and refuses to walk.  Sometimes we linger for a moment and other times we sit for many minutes taking in the world around us…giving me time to daydream.

OdinMacParkBench2013Another day another bench…Odin prefers sitting on the ground and taking in all the good smells.  Mac meanwhile likes this bench the best.  It is on a vista high above the ocean…so much to see.

Mac beach2013Odin has gone home and Mac is back to being the center of our attention.  Happy dog at the beach!  Enjoy YOUR summer where ever you happen to be…!

Backyard Quail, 6"w x 8"h, 2013

Backyard Quail, 6″w x 8″h, 2013

Do you want some “Eye Candy” to get you in the summer frame of mind?  Check out SAQA’s latest online gallery “Images of Summer” for the month of June:

curated by Cindy Grisdella

My piece Backyard Quail is one of the images featured.  Slide show will take you through the images, each one a slice of what summer means.  In the lower left column, you can read a statement for each of the images.  This piece was created as an auction item for the SAQA Santa Fe Conference this past April.

I have included my photo inspiration for my digital iPad drawing that I then printed onto fabric and stitched.  My backyard bird feeder is a major neighborhood attraction:  from quail to rabbits to squirrels and of course many, many birds.  All are welcome and all are subjects for my waiting camera (and future art quilt inspirations!)  I am a wildlife paparazzi!!

photo inspiration for art quilt Backyard Quail

photo inspiration for art quilt Backyard Quail

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Reggie Checking Tulsa Town Hall FaceBook Page, 2013 10"w x 8"h Private collection

Reggie Checking Tulsa Town Hall Face Book Page, 2013
10″w x 8″h 

Did you know dogs like computers too?  I didn’t either, but when I saw the the photo my long time college friend Lynda Darnutzer Brownson posted on Face Book of her Champion Dalmatian Reggie checking his Tulsa Town Hall Face Book page on his laptop, I knew I had to reinterpret him as an art quilt to help Lynda celebrate her latest birthday.  Even though miles and years separate us since our college years at Washington U in St. Louis, we have maintained a tradition of gift exchanges on our birthdays.

Reggie’s talents go beyond his Champion dog show status, he is a Renaissance Dog on so many levels.  He is often the FACE on Face Book for Tulsa Town Hall* and for Tulsa Reads** (seen below with Lynda enjoying Anna Quindlen’s book “Good Dog. Stay.“).  He visits the ill in hospitals, is a new father of 5 pups, and just added another accolade to his long list of wins in the dog show ring.  He was awarded Best of Breed at the Bartlesville Kennel Club Dog Show (April 13, 2013).

My art quilt demonstrates his computer skills…..what can he not do??  A true wonder dog!

Lynda and Reggie reading Anna Quindlen's book Good Dog

Lynda and Reggie reading Anna Quindlen’s book Good Dog. Stay.

Using Lynda’s photo, I drew the black and white images on my iPad Tracing Paper app.  I printed the image onto fabric on my home printer, added hand and machine stitching, and appliqued red background fabric to frame the black and white images.

Reggie detail

Reggie detail

*Tulsa Town Hall is a non-profit group that has been bringing well known speakers of all genres to Tulsa, Oklahoma every year for the past 75 years.

**Tulsa Reads is a community wide reading  a community-wide reading initiative jointly sponsored by the Tulsa City-County Library System, Tulsa Town Hall, the Tulsa World, and the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers.

Backyard Quail, 6"w x 8"h, 2013

Backyard Quail, 6″w x 8″h, 2013

I just completed my donation piece for the SAQA Santa Fe Conference:  Expanding Horizons that takes place April 25th-28th.  It is titled Backyard Quail.  I love when the California Quail (yes California’s State Bird) visit my backyard.  They are very shy and scatter away at the slightest movement, so I hide indoors and take photos through a crack in my door.  This piece was created and painted on an art app on my iPad from an inspiration photo I took on one of their many visits.  (I have taken hundreds of photos of the quail, rabbits, pigeons, ravens and squirrels who visit my bird feeder to get just the right image….)  I stitched it both by hand and sewing machine.

I am very excited that I will be attending the conference.  I have never been to Santa Fe and looking forward to exploring the city, along with meeting other SAQA members.  What fun it will be!

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