Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's done..... Finally!!!

As mentioned in an earlier post I was working on a bird house for the Rails to Trails fundraiser. I took part last year too but painted my birdhouse with a design and glued on fake jewels. This year I had no idea what I was going to do for my painting.

The birdhouses were due on April 1st and I was leaving for Florida in mid February so mine needed to be done before I left. It wasn't!

So.... I took it with me, thinking that I would have lots of time to work on it. (I had the time but didn't take advantage of it.) Instead I swam in the warm sun, golfed in the warm sun, took walks in the warm sun, shopped a lot and just plain enjoyed the down time (in the warm sun. ) I let them know that my birdhouse would be late and that I would deliver it on April 5th.

Well.... today is April 24th and the birdhouse finally got finished yesterday. I forced myself to go into the studio and paint this past week. (Did take time though to do a commission. That is a whole other post.) I don't know why it was so difficult this year. Maybe because I am not a painter and I bit off more than I am capable of. (Back to an artistic design next year..... I'm good at that.)

At least I got my inspiration in Florida. It all started when I was taking a shower. The bathroom had such beautiful tiles (which show up on the roof of the house) and it got me to thinking about how Florida "is" tile. The rest of the house is images of "my Florida." (I was taking tons of pictures to use.) It is not an image of the state in general, but of my experiences on Pine Island. (Originally the whole house was going to be tile but I'm not that crazy.)

Not everything went as planned though and every step was a struggle. When we took our walks everyday we passed a white house with light blue adirondack chairs out front that were surrounded by bushes with purple flowers. I don't know what it was about those chairs but they certainly looked like "relaxation" to me. They were supposed to be on the front of the birdhouse. In fact they did make it on the front, but got painted over. They were not the right shade of blue for the sky. (Even yesterday I had decided to put them in again and paint them a lavender color (in honor of the purple flowers) but my brain would not hear of it. (I hate that when my brain refuses to do something.) So, as you can see they aren't there. Instead there is a bush with purple flowers on it and a bush with pink flowers on it. (I know what the pink flowered bushes were called but I don't know how to spell it. ) The tree was a beautiful tree outside the church. The front isn't as I planned it and I'm not 100% happy with it. (But I'm done!!)

The back is the dock behind my girlfriend's house. I saw it every time I went swimming in her solar heated pool. (Our pool was beautiful but it was in the shade and not heated.) My husband caught fish from that dock and we watched the mullet jump from there. (Those darn mullets kept me awake a few nights. I kept thinking someone was jumping into the pool. Didn't anyone tell those fish that it's nighttime and people are trying to sleep?)

The Heron was a frequent visitor to our dock. I guess he was looking for handouts. The sunset was the view from our front porch. (It was the only side that didn't get painted over and took five minutes. I wish the other sides had been that easy.) And of course the little lizard (I was told they are not geckos) is a frequent sight.

Even if it isn't as I envisioned it, I'm basically happy with it. Tomorrow I'll deliver it to the library where all thirty of them are on display (only three and a half weeks late!)

I'm happy it's done. Now I can get back to the business of jewelry. (But first I have to write an artist statement and bio for a class at Arrowmont.)


Anonymous said...


I can't see them well enough to know if that's the plant you mean, but the color's about right, they grow in that climate, and the spelling isn't necessarily obvious...

An acceptable alternative spelling is Bougainvillaea, but why use even one more letter than necessary?

Alice Walkowski said...

Yep, Carol that is it. I didn't really try to paint them realistically but boy in real life they are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they can be gorgeous!

We had Bougainvillea in our yard in SE Florida when I was growing up: that may well have been one of the first plants on which I learned how to prune.

I also had them in several of my own yards, as an adult, when living along the California central coast: I would use them to teach about pruning.

I wish I could now grow them in PA. I also wish I could grow camellias here.

heatherandlola said...

Holy cow - I haven't read your blog in awhile. Sorry!! The bird house turned out great! Hopefully the weather is turning around so you can get out of your funk and get busy.