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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groundhog

This is a 6×4 pencil crayon drawing on pastel paper.

Now if you’re wondering what pencil crayons are, they are what Americans called coloured pencils. Even though I’ve lived in the States for many years and sometimes use color instead of colour, and I almost never say toque and I  rarely drink a mickey or two-four… sure rarely sounds about right…anyway I can’t give up my pencil crayon terminology ..

Anyway here’s a grumpy groundhog. Not sure what he’s grumpy about unless he’s an American groundhog and would have preferred to be done with colored pencils. Sorry buddy..not in this house!

©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

Painting from the Masters.

I recently did an ATC trade on WetCanvas.com. The theme was “Painting from the Masters”. We weren’t  picky on what master/artist it was as long as the work we were copying were made before 1923.

An ATC is an artist trading card. They are 3.5 x 2.5 inches, the size of a traditional playing card.

This card is based on Berthe Morisot’s “Woman at her Toilette”. Morisot was an impressionist. She studied with landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corotin and in Paris under the tutelage of Joseph Guichard who had her copy Masters at the Louvre. I’m sure she would enjoy knowing that people are copying her! My version is in acrylic on 300 gsm watercolor paper.

This card is also in acrylic on watercolor paper. The original by Canadian, Helen Galloway McNicoll, was called “Buttercups”. McNicoll studied under William Brymer in Montreal. She also painted in Britain as a member of the Royal British Society of Artists and was vice-president of the Society of Women Artists. She was one of the few impressionist who was able to make a financially secure living from her art. She was deaf since childhood and died young from diabetes at the age of 35.

This card is based on a wooden panel painted by John La Farge simply titled “Fish”.. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement and was noted for his stained glass windows. He designed windows for the Trinity Church in Boston and Memorial Hall at Harvard.

To make this card look like wood I first did a ocher undercoat. When that was dry I painted over it with a thicker coat of an ocher/red mix. When that was almost dried, I gently scratched out wood grain like patterns with the edge of a palette knife and let it dry before adding the fish and decorations.

It was interesting copying the works of others but I have a tendency to change them to how I would like them to look, very cheeky I know but I can’t seem to help myself!

 

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity. ~ Herbert Hoover

When you enter the Presidential Library of Herbert Hoover, there is a  beautifully made mixed media piece by Richard Pinney.  There are wood carvings and photographs and all sorts of bits and pieces.  I was quite taken with it and inspired as well.

Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty. ~ Herbert Hoover

Children are our most valuable natural resource. ~ Herbert Hoover

These dolls were given to President Hoover by Belgian children as a thank you for his war famine relief efforts.  The lady doll seems to be imploring the rather haughty male doll. I am not sure why he has his back to her but I am quite sure that his hat is to die for.

There’s also a slightly out of focus ghostly reflection that appears to be wearing a rather dashing black and white checkered coat. Interesting.

This toy fire truck was made in dedication to the fire fighters who put out the fire at the White House in 1929.

The fire started in the White House attic where 200,000 government pamphlets about all sorts of subjects were stored and then had the good sense to set themselves ablaze.

The President, his son and several other men, worked to remove as many files and historical items as possible while Mrs. Hoover carried on with the Christmas party for children she was hosting.  The children apparently didn’t notice the fire and good times were had.  Mrs. Hoover later handed out cast iron fire trucks to the children that had been at the party.

Hebert Hoover certainly had his share of foibles as all people do but he was an interesting man who did interesting things.  I highly recommend going to his library if you’re in the area.  If you like to meander, the grounds are quite large and perfect for a stroll.  He is buried on the grounds. 

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018