Zinnia Madness

And wouldn’t that be a great band name..

I love to plant zinnias. They’re beautiful, they’re easy and best of all they attract these beauties.

A white garden butterfly, some call it a cabbage butterfly. They are so fast!

Another speedy one, a Silver Spotted skipper which is a pretty fancy and deceptive name. I would say that that spot is white but who am I to rain on someone’s parade.

Another kind of skipper, it’s either a Sachem Skipper or a Zabulon Skipper, I don’t know enough about them to tell the difference but both are super fast and surprisingly cuddly looking.

My, what big eyes you have…

An American Lady Butterfly, what a beauty. She’s a subtle one but stunning nevertheless.

It was a big difficult to take a photo of this Red Spotted Purple Admiral. As you can see her wing is damaged and she was quite rightly spooked. They mimic the Pipevine Swallowtail which are poisonous but someone grabbed her. She still flew quite well though.

This is not on a zinnia, this is a hummingbird hawk moth on a lilac. The colors on this one were so cool and again very cuddly looking. Maybe that is why they are all so fast, everyone would hug them to bits if they could catch them.

This one is not for hugging, they can bite when annoyed. She’s also not on a zinnia but such a beautiful color and she looks so wise, I think that’s known as the Jiminy Cricket effect.

Green Katydid.

Please don’t spray!  And please watch out for caterpillars and worms, many of the creepiest and ugly turn into these beauties.

 

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art by the Foot Project

We are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Zeus. We have lost family, friends and pets before as many of you have but this loss was such a shock. We still find ourselves reeling from it. We all miss him terribly.

Poor Sampson is of course devastated. They hadn’t been apart in over ten years. We know it will take him some time to adjust but for now we are taking extra care with him, the poor guy.

I did this acrylic of Zeus, it’s a foot square and will be on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport as part of a community art project.

This piece is also on display. It is again on a one foot foam square. The museum gave each artist two to paint on. This is a mixed media piece with acrylic, a linoprint and pen drawing.  It is the lino print of the north wind but reversed from the one I showed you in a prior post. I added it to a stormy acrylic sky with a pen and ink drawing of the man that the Sun and North Wind were toying with.

I did it at the last minute over another painting so I hope that it holds up on display. I’m a bit nervous about it.

If you’re in the Quad Cities area,  The Art by the Foot exhibit is open and it displays art made by artists of all ages and abilities from the Quad-City area. The works were collected this spring and were required to be made on boards provided by the Figge. All of the works will be on view in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from June 20th to September 1st.

I have to say, I love this idea and I thought it so clever of the museum to give artists this chance. I also love that it ranges from professionals to small children. That sort of encouragement is priceless!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Linocuts of “The North Wind & the Sun”

These linocuts were done on a 5×7 inch “Easy-to-Cut” lino from Jack Richeson & Co.Inc. It claims that it “Cuts like butter” and it does! I quite like it.
Apparently you can carve on both sides as well but I haven’t tried that yet.
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This lino is based on Aesop’s fable “The North Wind & The Sun”. You can find the story with sound effects even at  the Library of Congress’s website. Check it out, it is a fantastic site.
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I’ve experimented with different color papers, they are framed in the matte colors shown here though I added these with the computer as the original colors wouldn’t scan well.
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I was trying for a folk artsy sort of style. I think the smudges add interest.
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That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
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This one is my favourite, the black and red ink melded into an interesting pattern I thought

These two are so bright, heck yeah!

This next one is a bit more subdued color wise, I added a bit of embellishment with acrylic markers.

If you have any questions, ask away.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

Odds and Ends of the year.

This is a horse with tattoos, everyone has them now.

Ink and marker, 8×10 inches.

This is a lino print with Brusho (a watercolor product). 5×7 inches.

A quick drawing of a guy named Steve.

A cat that I embroidered on my apron because I like to be fancy when I’m cooking. This design is an original and is about 5×7 inches.

A photograph of a shadow from a lamp that looks like the Eiffel Tower.

A sepia self portrait, titled “Closer than she appears.”

The Chicago Waterfront.

And the Wells Fargo Bank reflected in the windows of the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. My favourite painting ” Blue Horse” by Marc Chagall lives at the Figge.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Sampson the Dirty Dog

Sammy recently had surgery on a tumor on his tush.  Unfortunately it was malignant but fortunately they were able to remove it with a clean margin.  We will be keeping a close eye on him and hoping for the best.

In the mean time, Sammy is supposed to be staying dry, clean and being a respectable puppy dog while he’s healing.

So of course he did this.

Yup, in the middle of a drought, within minutes of being let out, he found the only bit of mud for miles.

And he’s not sorry at all!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

But otherwise, Mrs Lincoln…

We recently went to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

As I love embroidery, I was very much interested in the dresses of Mrs. Lincoln. I would never want to wear one but the workmanship on them is incredible!

Mrs. Lincoln, looks a bit stout in her photos but she was surprisingly tiny.

The bodice though of course they would have used real flowers.

A close up of the embroidery.

The following are dresses that belonged to Mrs. Lincoln’s contemporaries. 

This one is my favorite, how heavy it must have been!

In contrast to such finery and displays of wealth is this display showing the separation of a family at a slave auction, a scene Lincoln witnessed and was haunted by.

On a lighter note, this display showed Lincoln seemingly amused by his sons’ shenanigans.  They said, the other people in the law offices did not like the boys coming to the office as they reigned terror over all while their father ignored the chaos they created.

The outside of the museum.

This mural was a block or so over from the museum.

And yes he is staring at you.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018