Monday, February 27, 2012

Little Birdies

 My Little Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse

Two little birdies that frequent the feeder outside my kitchen window.   Buy now on etsy

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Libby the Stylist

Meet my studio assistant, Libby.  She is always there for me taking care of the details, like camera straps.   Libby excels at helping me set up still life.  She has particular expertise with  fruits that roll.  I am still finding cranberries behind furniture after the lemon and cranberry photo shoot last month.  

Here she is overseeing the set up in the light box.  Or maybe just making sure that the interior is covered in cat hair. . . .

Friday, February 24, 2012

Moo, Moo Little Cow

This little cow is yesterday's effort.  I had so much fun with her, I did little else.  Today was dedicated to  phone calls, laundry, groceries and a run to the art supply.  To make up for the chores I ignored yesterday.  Buy now on etsy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Fruit

For my friend Kathy.   Started this last week and it brought me to tears, put it aside and brought it back out today.  Much better.  6"x6" oil on canvas.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bluff View Art District, Chattanooga

The husband and I were able to get away overnight to Chattanooga this weekend.  Eldest daughter Daly had given us a night's stay at the Stone Fort Inn downtown as a Christmas gift.  Thanks, sweetie.

 Sunday was spent prowling through some awesome local bookstores and eating the world's best pimento cheese hot dog at Good Dog restaurant.

 Monday we spent the morning exploring the Bluff View Art District.  Wonderful galleries, quaint houses, cool sculpture gardens and an awesome view of the river.  Coffee and biscotti at Rembrandt's Coffee.  Later for lunch, BBQ and a Moon Pie.  We will definitely be back.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Chelsea is Anna’s Golden Retriever.  I would say she is the best dog that we have ever had. And we've had a lot of dogs.   The puppy stage was harrowing (she ate a sofa among other things), but once we got past that she has been a joy.  She's calm and smart and travels well.  It’s embarrassing how much we all love this dog.  David throws the ball for her most mornings, so this is a familiar pose.  For sale on etsy.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Anna's New Desk

Anna has a big hand-me-down work table in our den that she uses for homework, drawing and coloring.   She also eats there when we eat in front of the TV.  Which, I am afraid, is a lot.   I suppose it is really functional, but it’s also big and ugly, and eats up a ton of space in the room, and did I mention that it’s ugly?  Really ugly.  So, I have been on the look out for a real table that could serve the same functions, but is smaller and cuter.  Like a real piece of furniture. Well here it is.  I found it at world market.  How cute is that??

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Away From the Crowd

Don't you sometimes want to just get away from everyone?  I think that this grape just wants a moment to herself, please.  I can identify.    Buy now on etsy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Art Partners

My daughter Anna at Art Partners on Saturday morning.  Art Partners pairs kids and adults with chronic illness or disabilities with wonderful artists from the community.   It has been a tremendous part of Anna's healing and rehab after her brain tumor.
Saturday's theme was "What I Love about Birmingham."  Of course Anna's favorite thing is the zoo, she planned the painting's layout in the car on the way.  Another artist brought her loom and gave the kids a chance to work on a cool weaving.  
Thank you VSA Alabama, we love you so.    VSA Alabama's web site.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kiss, Kiss

Happy Valentine's!  It's always a big day at the Henning house, because our oldest daughter was born on Feb. 14.  We celebrated as a family last night, because this year she has her own sweetheart to spend the day with.
This is another Daily Paint Works challenge: "Paint it before you eat it."  I bought a bag of Valentine Hersheys to paint weeks ago, but I'm afraid that I never got past the photographing and eating.   So here it is, the day before Valentine's, and I just now got to the painting.   I ate a few kisses as I painted, you know, for inspiration.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New York's Best

Dear friends of ours that once lived on the upper west side of Manhattan, introduced us to Zabar's grocery, on 80th and Broadway.  They have an awesome bakery, a cheese department to die for, but the coffee makes it a destination.  My family includes two baristas, so we are very serious about our coffee.  On a visit last summer, we came home with about 10 lbs.  They scoop up beans out of open barrels and have dozens of roasts and flavors. The aroma is incredible.  This painting is of our last bag of coffee and a favorite mug.    For sale on my etsy shop: Painted Bird Studio.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Red Cardinal

David and I saw two cardinal couples in a neighbor's forsythia bush this morning.  I love the flash of red against the dreary winter landscape.  Of course the males were easy to spot, the females, not so much.  You pretty much had to wait until one of them moved to see where the ladies were.  Buy this painting on my etsy site:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Daily Gifts

It's a banana pepper.  David asked too.  Another painting from the Amy Collins workshop in January.

I recently read a wonderful book, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.  In the process of overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ann was challenged by a friend to make a list of 1,000 beautiful things or gifts from God.  The idea being that a heart focused on thanks is filled with joy and grace.  She found making the list was transforming.  I certainly desire more joy and grace, so I have started my own list of gifts to focus my heart on thanksgiving each day.  I want to post some of these blessings under the list, "daily gifts."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My "Studio"

I am afraid that my dining table does double duty as art studio.  There might be more room in the basement, but it's so much easier and more practical to be upstairs with Anna while I paint.  So, one of my resolutions in the new year was to organize and contain myself to one corner of the dining room, to leave the dining table for, well, dining.  We drug this piece of furniture up from the basement, and voila, art work station!  In a former life it was a kitchen island.  I added a cork board for ideas and inspiration and a narrow shelf for drying panels.  So far, very functional.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moo, Moo Mrs. Cow

One of my Christmas gifts was a Saturday workshop in January at Alabama Art Supply with local artist, Amy Collins.  The week of the workshop, my daughter Anna was hospitalized with a shunt malfunction and dangerously low sodium.  They did surgery to revise the shunt and corrected the sodium, but she was at Children's for a whole week.  David insisted that I not miss the workshop, so he stayed with her for the day.  Thank you, dear.

I love Amy's work.  I had admired her cows at the Bluff Park art show in the fall so I really wanted to go home with my own cow.   The focus of the day was painting on a black ground.  I love the look it gives.   She's a Polled Hereford, like my daddy raised.  Amy encouraged us to isolate the colors and be faithful in matching them.  Thus the blue shadows on her face.  It felt scary at the time, but does really seem to work.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Speckled Chicken

I spend a lot of time looking at art on Sometimes they do "challenges" and it's fun to see how different artists interpret the same subject.  This painting was inspired by all of the funny chickens on the "chicken challenge" on Daily Paintworks.  Only mine looks much more serious than theirs. I still like her, though.  Oil on 8"x10" canvas, buy now on etsy