Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Greetings

Pumpkin Kitty (inspired by a Photo posted on ACPR FB Page)
Note Card Design for Another Chance Pet Rescue

©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts

All Souls' Eve. All Hallow's Eve. All Saints' Eve. Or Halloween. 

While I am frustrated by the retail rush of the various holidays (as are a lot of other people), I do love when Halloween is here. It is the start of the family-time of the year.

It always seems to make Halloween a little more spooky when it falls on a Friday, as it does this year. Maybe it's just a way to extend the fun for a few extra days.

The sky is gray and a bit murky today, hanging cobweb clouds over the valley. Most of the trees are reduced to skeletons made of branches, twigs and trunks acting as spines. The dropped leaves look like blankets keeping the shriveled brown-tinged grasses warm against the drizzle.

Perhaps it is not comfortable weather for the all the little goblins, princesses (even all those from "Frozen"), devil impersonators, & wily witches to be running about collecting their treatsBut, with a couple extra days to count, sort & devour their prizes, the chills of the cold & fright of Friday night should start them dreaming about next Halloween!

For those of us not dressing up to scare our neighbors, there is always the joy of hot chocolate, football & pets wanting to share our fuzzy throws. And that sounds like a fantastic way to spend a late autumn weekend. Or a Halloween weekend in which to recover from running about with all our trick-or-treaters. 

So, here's to an enjoyable, even relaxing weekend! That certainly is how my Baby & Buddy are planning on spending the time. 

But, even more so, happy Halloween, everyone from all of us!

Baby & Buddy
Note Card Des5ign for Keller's Kats
5x7 Watercolor on 140# Paper

©2014 BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life Reflections

Fall Friends for Playful Pups Collection/Susie Q's Dog Rescue
5x7 Watercolor on W&N 140# Paper
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

This wasn't a week for a lot of progress in the studio. It was busy with work (the one that pays the bills) & family events.  It was more of a week for reflection during the sporadic quiet times.

It was a week that reminded me that we have no clue as to how much time we have. Nor any idea of the future quality of our time on this plane. Many of us with silent illnesses or horrid invasions of our bodies struggle to keep a positive aura. Sometimes, though, we just can not. Yet we still try.

It was a week that showed us those we could truly count upon, either in person or in spirit. Not only in our immediate lives, but also to others who have hidden strength to share with those without it. And in discovering that others believe in you, despite your own doubts.

It was week for family. The joy of love's cocoon during a time of fear was evident in places unsuspected.

It was a week of rain showers, bright sunlight, & lingering grays. All the while, the golden hues of the leaves reflected any & all light, as if to bring us to tomorrow. 

It was a week of miracles. Life sustained by the minds & talents of many before us. Others were given futures because of the sacrifices of some. 

It was a week to admire the art of living, of appreciating the love, of revealing of meaning. 

It was a week to realize how fortunate I am.

 Baby & Buddy for Kitty Kapers Collection/Another Chance Pet Rescue
(In Process)
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

And, it is now time to say, "Thank you!" and to send virtual hugs to everyone. Did you notice the note cards feature friendship today? 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Keeping Up with the Seasons

Beach Trees
Tree of Life Collection

4x6 Watercolor on 140# Strathmore Paper
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2011

Having just been out of commission for the last couple of months, post-foot surgery, I feel that I've missed most of this past summer. I have been fortunate to have a lovely view of the hills and trees from my living room. I've still been able to absorb the beauty of the sunlight, the racing shadows of the clouds, the mad dashes of the birds and graceful loping of the butterflies & bees.

SharingHoney Bunnies Collection4x6 Water Soluble Pencil©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2011

Changing Skies
©Mike Deuel Bronson Hill Arts 2012

Autumn Field
4x6 Water Soluble Pencil
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts

Fortunately, weather & nature have been favorable enough to have let me enjoy the fall. Having been able to hobble reasonably well over the last few weeks, hubby & I ventured about our immediate locales, and a little farther, to enjoy the foliage & warm sunlight of this wonderful autumn in upstate New York. As a bonus, I was able to also enjoy, with a dear friend, a day wandering through one of the largest art & craft fairs of our region which takes place in Letchworth State Park. Again, gorgeous scenery to inhale generously. 

Bench at Buttermilk Falls
©Mike Deuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014
Bench Viewpoint
Honeoye Lake
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

Sunbathing Horses
©Mike Deuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

The leaves have been golden & fiery. The waters beyond blue & plentiful, despite a dry fall season. No need for heavy jackets or winter hats as of yet. Just sunglasses & a camera. 

And, eventually, a paint brush or two! 
9x12 Water Soluble Oil on Stretched Canvas
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2012

So, without further ado, we want to share some recent photos & past paintings & drawings. We've also put a more complete slide show of our trip this past weekend around some of the Finger Lakes on our website, if you're in the mood for more autumn glories.

Silhouette in Field
Trees of Life Collection6x8 Acrylic on Canvas Board
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2010

Happy Autumn, everyone!

6x6 Watercolor
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2012
P.S.: In keeping with our theme of rescues & note cards, Sharing, is one of our cards in the Honey Bunny Collection for Humane Society of Livingston County & Beach Trees & Silhouette in Field are part of the Trees of Life Collection for Hearthside Cats. Stop by our Note Cards for Charity page for more images & options!

Fence Line
©Mike Deuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

Willow Shadow
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014
#1 Pumpkin
9x12 Softleaded Colored Pencil
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2011

Autumn Falls
©Mike Deuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Building Rescue Love

A Tail to Tell!
In talking about our respective causes & procedures with Stephanie, the author & proprietor of Crystal Allure Creations, the conversation turned to developing designs. Years ago, I'd designed a collection for her transplant awareness foundation, Lungs for Life, of butterflies. Flights of Life represent the gift of new breath with healthy lungs, post-transplant.  I ran her through the steps of how I do a watercolor note card design. It's similar to the process I showed a few months back in doing my Bird Squares.

It may seem like a lot of extra work, and, in a way, it is. But, what I find is that it makes me feel more secure in approaching an art piece.

One of the bad habits we have, as artists, is to overwork a piece . By taking a few extra steps, that tendency can be avoided.

Inspiration for the Painting: The Minions

Sketch for Minions & Squirrel
©Bronson Hill Arts 2014

I start with a basic sketch on regular sketch paper. It enables me to safely erase errors without real damage to the paper's texture. Once I have the lines & composition I want, I darken those details and lightly erase the superfluous marks.

Then I scan the picture into the computer. I can clean up any stray pencil marks and sometimes see what needs to be fine tuned on the following sketch.

Yes, the following sketch: I'll make a print onto heavier paper (such as watercolor paper) and adjust as many deficits as I can. At that point, I'll add the crosshatch/shading to the image. Then, you guessed it, scan it again.

Shaded Sketch for Minions & Squirrel
©Bronson Hill Arts 2014

Why? If I'm not satisfied with the second step, I can do it again! The same principle applies to the 3rd, , 4th, etc., steps!

Once I finish the sketch completely, I'll make a copy on higher quality watercolor paper. From there, I can paint away!

If I fumble, I can easily start again at any point I'd like. It takes a certain hesitancy out of the flow. I've used this method several times over & love the freedom it gives me to try. And try again, if necessary!

Making Progress on Minions & Squirrel

That being said, here is the final painting of the Kitty Kapers "Minions & Squirrel" card:

A very special "Thank you!" to Dina & her family for the great photograph &, mostly, the fantastic amount of love they put into raising these fur babies, the Minions, from the beginning!

The Minions & Squirrel
5x7 Watercolor on 140# Canson Paper
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

All profits on the Note Card collections are given to the specified charity. In the case of Kitty Kapers, the proceeds will go to Another Chance Pet Rescue

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rescuing Love

Fun! for Playful Pups CollectionProceeds to go to Susie Q's Dog Rescue/A Second Chance
4x6 Watercolor on 140# Canson Paper
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

For as long as I can remember, I've been in a home with at least one pet. Primarily, cats with some dogs sprinkled in along the way. My early years were spent in apartments, as was my young adult life, so cats were an easier option  for that type of housing situation. And, though we would love to have a dog (or 2), our livelihoods require long shifts & we truly feel that it would be unfair to any pups to leave them alone that much.

Right now, we have 2 cats. We'd like to have more, &, except for my hubby's allergies, we would. But that allergy thing is awfully hard to ignore. We have had up to 3 at one time, but he does better with one less. Also, as our "babies" age, they need more & more attention & from us.

Somewhere along the way, we became rescue advocates on a limited scale. Anyone who has seen my Facebook page knows that I cannot stop myself from reposting calls for donations, adoptions & lost pet searches. Once a friend dubbed me "the patron saint of stray & lost animals".

Base drawing for "Fun!"

However, the amount of time, money, effort, & love that some individuals devote to homeless & sick animals is Homeric. The consensus is that I cannot foster furry beings as these people do: I would never be able to let anyone else take them away! We are in awe of the work these volunteers put into each beautiful little life. And, cannot fathom how they deal with the grief & tears when the battles are lost.

As a small contribution to the cause of a rescue,  up a couple of note card collections wherein a portion of the proceeds would be forwarded to various rescue organizations. Since I haven't been doing the local vendor routine this past year, or so, there hasn't been any  revenue coming in for donations. Not holding up my end of things very well, am I?

A photo posted recently by one of the great foster "mothers" gave me the perfect image to start getting started on a new collection (or two!).

Minions Photo Courtesy of ACPR

Kitty Kapers Collection for Another Chance Pet Rescue (in process)

The goal this time, though, is to donate 2/3 rds of the revenue to the charities. There are close to a dozen local charities deserving of support; I'm not sure yet if I'll pool the funds and divvy them from there, or specify the charity to which each card will contribute. Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated!

For now, here are the starting sketch & the inspirational photo. I'll keep you updated on the progress! In the meantime, the original Note Cards for charity are available for viewing on this blog, our website, & the Etsy shop.

Do you have a favorite charity organization for which you could do something special to help? We'd love to hear about it! And, thoughts on our revenue distribution are welcome, too!

White on WhiteProceeds of Note Card Sales to Susie Q's Dog Rescue/A Second Chance
Ink on Smooth Bristol
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2012

First Day of Spring & Indulging in Art

Rose-O-Shannon Progression Acrylic & Water Soluble Wax Pastel © BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2015 With our part of the world being ke...