June 20, 2011
Did I tell you that I am crazy for pigeons? Ah well – probably a thousand times. But honestly – they make such wonderful painting models and with thousands of photos it is not so difficult to find a couple of wonderful painting motifs – if I only could decide where to start first…
This time I decided to give Pete (who went over the rainbow on the 19th of February this year) another memorial in his role he loved most: being a father. More than any other pigeon I “met” so far was so in love with his kids and not even only his very own – he also took loving care for his grandchildren Pina and Peppi. It really hurt to watch him how he cared for them with so much love. Incredible.
I miss you so much Pete. I will never forget you. I feel blessed that you decided to share a part of your life with us, on the balcony. It sure had a huge impact on my own life… It will never be the same without you, Pete…
Btw – the little chap with the funny hair-do is Willy, Pete’s first son and our first pigeon baby we had the luck to get to know and watch how he grew up. An experience that I can only recommend to any person who has a heart for animals. It will change your life! And for those, who do not like pigeons at all, you will definitely change your mind – forever!!
All feral pigeon babies have a hair-do like this – isn’t it extremely funny????
June 13, 2011
Oh my – a pigeon I started in Feb this year is finally finished. I had so many other projects to take care for that I didno find the nerve to finish above painting. But now it is done.
I am not 100 % content with the outcome of the plumage but after spending so much time on it with layer after layer I decided to leave it as it is. It looks so simple and easy but in fact it is quite a challenge to paint these iridescent feathers. I have to tryand exercise this again…
But here he is The Philosopher aka our lovely Jimi, who is a PMV survivor and now enjoys good health. From time to time he has to cope with body tumors but he is an exceptionally strong (and large) pigeon and when he is in trouble he comes home to his mommy.
Every day he visits us at least once to get his beloved sunflower hearts which he always takes directly from my hand while he is sitting on my knee!!! Very cute. A couple of months ago he developed this behaviour because he was always molested by other pijjies and he does not like this. He wants to eat in peace in his slow and pleasurable manner and therefor he decided to fly on my knee while I am sitting at my desk. There he cannot be bothered by any other pijjie.
And here are some details:
May 23, 2011
I have to apologize again for not posting for quite a while but I had so much work to do, marketing work, selling and keeping writing on my other blog(s) which are supposed to help advertising my art.
The news is that I decided to transfer some of my paintings into fine art prints in order to make these available to more people. My work is quite large and due to the amount of work and effort that is put into it my prices are put adequately.
But people do not always have the space for hanging large works so I changed my mind (I always refused to do this) and went on a lookout for a nice printing company. Especially my pigeon paintings which are currently not for sale but get a lot of requests seemed to be the best target to do an experiment. What came next was a nightmare.
I tried to do the whole business via online companies which turned out to take the money first but then delivering what is not worthwile to describe – it was bad bad bad. The reason for this was probably that I wanted to have some really nice fine art prints on real canvas which were affordable. You cannot imagine how different prices can be. Not easy. To make this story short I finally found a small company in town, who specializes in canvas prints, requests reasonable prices (not cheap) but produces excellent work.
The results were amazing and you could hardly tell whether it was the original or the print. I am offering these prints currently in 2 sizes: 8″ x 12″ and 12″ x 18″ in my Etsy shop and have already sold 3 prints!!!
And I have realized if you mount these small prints in some really nice broad frames you’ll get an awesome result:
This way I could even keep the memories when I sell the paintings one day….
February 16, 2011
First of all I decided to re-name the painting: it is called now The Philosopher. Jimi has always been our little philosopher right from the beginning when he was still a little baby. Somehow he always liked to be alone, separated from the others. And he always seemed to contemplate on something whatever that might have been. He always had his secrets. He was the one who stayed on the balcony for the longest time after he was fully fledged and although he sometimes disappeared for a few days he always came back for his breakfast or little supper.
And then when he became so ill he came home again seeking help here which we gladly supplied. When he had recovered he did not show us step by step – from one day to another he suddenly was able to fly again and eat ba himself. So he totally suprised us. It was different with all our other patients who did excercising every day to re-gain their strength. Jimi was different. He showed us that he was healthy again just one day taking us by surprise.
Since then he has never missed a day to come back home again…
So today I worked on his lovely plumage:
He is a light grey pigeon with broad shoulders and he has a beautiful collar of iridescant feathers shimmering in a lovely green and purple colour. The challenge here is to re-create the moment when he appears on the balcony balustrade in a contre-jour light that creates something like a tiny halo around his body.
February 13, 2011
Today I continued working on the 5th painting on my Pigeons series. It is merely a portrait of Jimi, one of our PMV survivors and a son of Pete and Emma, who live on our balcony. You can read about these stories in my Pigeon Tales if you like.
Jimi is such a sweet one, calm and often seems to be a bit lonely. Already as a baby he was different. He always tried to find a calm corner, did not like to be around all the others, kind of outsider. He often came intomy studio, flew on my easel and sat there while I was working on my computer. A very affectionate little pigeon.
Then, in December before last year, he became very sick and we already thought that we might lose him. It was a PMV (Paramyxovirus) infection. I could hospitalize him before his seizures became really bad and he could not eat any more by himself. If he had not looked for help here he certainly would have died. He was only a shadow of himself and very depressed for two weeks. But then he got used to find himself closed in a box, being handfed 3 times a day and taken care of and slowly he started to recover. End of March Jimi could be released to gether with his big love Alice who had been our patient as well.
Since then he is doing well although at the moment he suffers from a large body tumor on his right side under his wing which will hopefully dry out soon and fall off. Poor little Jimi – he’s been through so much. Therefore I will call this painting “The Survivor”. (renamed to “The Philosopher”)
February 6, 2011
A little while ago I received an inquiry from a potential customer, with a “regular name” not under a pseudonym, asking me whether painting x and painting y were still available and if I could tell “her” more details. “She” was expecting an urgent reply. So far everything seemed to be okay although I found the “urgent reply” a little bit pushy.
I wrote back that painting x was still available, painting y not. I also asked what details “she” wanted to know as I did not want to overwhelm “her” with all kinds of stuff “she” did not want to know. I don’t mind to deliver exactly what people want to know even if it takes several mails. “Her” email address was this time a different one but I did not get suspicious yet as most peole have several email accounts.
In the next email this person asked for confirmation of the price and size, expressed” her” intention to buy the painting and additionally “she” wanted to know what motivated me to create the painting. I wrote “her” the appropriate answer, asked “her” where “she” was located and offered “her” to waive the shipping costs in case “she” should be located in Europe. I also asked “her” to use my Etsy shop in case “she” wanted to purchase my painting.
The next email I received was telling me that “she” apparently did not receive my answer because of “her” having problems with “her” email account so I re-sent what I had answered before. In the meanwhile I became a little bit suspicious about all this being okay although I had no reason at all to doubt it yet but there was that little feeling in my gut…
The following email though fully arose my suspicions. With no word did “she” mention anything about what I had told “her” about the painting. “She” did neither inquire about shipping costs and all that stuff you would like to know as a future customer. Instead “she” told me a story about not being at home herself but visiting family in the UK, being in the middle of a big move and expecting a baby. “She” was supposed to be back in a few days. “She” wanted me to send “her” my mailing address and telephone number so that “she” could inform “her” husband who was shutling between “her” home and South Africa and who apparently was organizing the move from the IT head office in Johannisburg in SA to New Jersey. “She” wanted then to forward my contact info to the shipping company who was supposed to move their belongings. The shipping company would send FedEx to my studio to pick up the painting and consolidate the whole move then.
Now I WAS sure that this all was false – a scam. I wrote back to “her” that if “she” wanted to purchase my painting “she” or “her” husband would have to do this via my Etsyshop only and that “she” would receive my address and phone number then and only then. I also told “her” that this was for “her” and my own safety because of all the scams out there. I would not let go of my work before the money was in my account.
I never received an answer back.
So what I am telling you here is that these scams are getting more and more perfidious. Using names and phrases like “FedEx” or “head office IT” should make you feel safe. Telling you “personal things” like visiting family, husband and sister, expecting child etc. is appealing to your emotions and the personal tone should erase your doubts.
But YOUR COMMON SENSE SHOULD NEVER SLEEP!
Who on earth would buy art being in the middle of a move and short before giving birth? What sense does it make to add something to a shipment from one part of the world when stuff is shipped from a total different region of this planet to another? She did not react on my request to purchase through an official shop. Why? This should be much safer for the customer also. She did not mention how she was going to pay – or rather she did not even ask me about it. Apparently it adds to the trick to use a female name because somehow these people think that women are less supposed to be internet scammers. Well – we live in a male world – don’t we? But behind an email address anything could stand…
January 31, 2011
After a long time being busy with other stuff and painting different things I went finally back to my pigeon series. It is inspiring to do something completely different in between – at least I feel I can continue better with ongoing themes when you can switch in the meanwhile.
Today I worked on The Gathering, an acrylic painting with Emma, Willy and Joey as models:
and here is a detail from the plumage of Emma and Joey’s face:
And if you would like to read about our feral pigeon family and what’s going on with them please check my diary/blog, the Pigeon Tales.