Welcome to Wild Hawk Studio

Come share my views on art and art-related topics and see my works in progress…

Please note all images are copyright ©Barbara A. Lewis and cannot be used without written permission.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In The Company Of Artists…

I am finally taking my art talent seriously!

In the past I would occasionally do a painting or drawing, a few commissioned dog or horse portraits, but I always thought that “someday” or when I retired, I would devote myself entirely to my art. I have been a commercial artist/graphic designer for 33 years and always thought of my fine art as a hobby and something to do when I reached retirement. But with the uncertainty of the economy and the years growing shorter, I decided that it was a good time to finally get serious with it. And with the encouragement and support of my husband, friends and family I am now working very hard in my “spare time” to develop my techniques and get my name out there among other artists.

I think as an artist, we all want to be able to devote ourselves full time to creating art, but we also have to be practical and many of us work full time jobs doing something art related, or not, and have to find time for our art outside of a busy schedule. I know that is the case with me. My full time job involves graphic design and working on a computer all day with the latest art programs, but I am happiest when I can devote time in my tiny home studio with my paints, brushes and pencils and drawing the things I love and have a passion for!

I have recently joined the website sponsored by American Artist Magazine: www.myamericanartist.com - (see listing under my favorite links above). This website is dedicated to helping artists of all skill levels and contains excellent articles, blogs, and interactive forums where you can ask for critiques, discuss and present your art in various media and acquaint yourself with some of the finest artists in the world. I have made numerous friends on that site and have learned a great deal from them! I also subscribe to several of their magazines which have also been very beneficial to me.

In addition, I joined one of our local, well-established art societies - Pinellas Park Art Society - and have come into great company with some of the finest artists in our area! This dedicated group of artists include artists of all skill levels and expertise who are very open to sharing techniques and ideas and they keep me motivated! I was particularly encouraged when I realized that several of the artists there have commercial art backgrounds like me! The Society hosts monthly shows, some themed, which I began entering in March. We meet in a beautiful new facility and at each meeting someone gives a demo such as an art technique or how to present or enter our art in shows, etc. Several workshops/classes are taught there as well, and once a week one of our members has an informal class where we can all work on our current projects together and discuss ideas.

I have only begun recently to show work again - the first time since college - so becoming involved with other artists has been very motivating and encouraging to me. And with all the tools and connections on the internet, it has become much easier to get your name out there as an artist, and not being limited by distance or lack of funding. My only regret is that I did not do this sooner! I hope that my blog and experiences will motivate other “late blooming” artists and give them the encouragement they need to “get out there and do it!”

ON THE EASEL: I am still working on my acrylic painting of a mallard preening, and have several pet portraits to do. I entered a small colored pencil drawing of a sleeping gorilla and a charcoal portrait of my niece’s dog Penny in the July/August show at the PPAS.
UPDATE: “Penny” won third place at the show!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

“Isis” - my avatar

I wanted to tell you a bit about my avatar image and recently completed acrylic painting of “Isis”.

She is an injured redtail hawk that is a permanent resident at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, located in Indian Shores on the gulf coast of Florida. She came to the sanctuary in 1990 - the same year I moved from Virginia to Florida. The sanctuary is one of the largest avian hospitals o
n the east coast and they treat and release thousands of birds each year. They have been instrumental in educating the public about how to treat injured birds and the hospital treats injured birds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The volunteers there work very hard to save as many birds as possible and the ones that are unable to be released become permanent residents at the sanctuary and are lovingly cared for.

Isis came to the sanctuary suffering from malnutrition and permanent blindness in one eye, thereby rendering her unreleasable. I have always had an enormous love and respect for all birds, particularly birds of prey, and especially redtail hawks. So naturally when I visited the sanctuary in 1990 I fell in love with this beautiful resident.

The volunteers take Isis for walks along the beach directly behind the center, and during one of these walks I was able to take some beautiful images of her as a basis for an acrylic portrait. I named my studio “Wildhawk” after her because eventhough she is in captivity, when she is on the beach she stretches out her wings and feels the air once more beneath them and I am sure she is remembering her life as a free wild hawk.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drawing Day!

Drawing Day

June 06, 2009

drop everything and draw

Drawing Day is a worldwide drawing event encouraging everyone to drop everything and draw for the sake of art. Help us create 1 million drawings online this day.

The above message is from the Drawing Day website, and American Artist has a blog and thread started where drawings can be posted. So I decided to participate this year by waking up in the wee hours (2:15 EST) and began drawing. I recently purchased a new set of Derwent tinted charcoal pencils and was anxious to try them. Since I have not worked in charcoal since college, I felt it would be a nice challenge for Drawing Day.

For my subject I chose to draw “Penny” - my niece Angie’s black labrador retriever. Penny is a very beautiful and sweet dog and loves to “sing” along with blues harmonica. She is quite a character and when she was younger she loved to tote a brick around in her mouth and bury her brick in the back yard. No dog toys for her! I enjoyed doing a portrait of such a sweet dog and will present it to my niece when I get it framed.

One of my favorite places to visit and photograph birds is a small community park in Gulfport, FL called Wood Ibis Lake Park. It has a nice walking trail around the lake with benches and two covered picnic areas, a nice decorative fountain in the center and a small butterfly garden. There are numerous resident ducks and is visited frequently by shore birds including great blue herons, white egrets, moorhens and the occasional coopers hawk. The ducks are very used to the local residents feeding them so they are not camera shy. I took a lovely photo of a mallard preening after her bath and decided to do a small acrylic painting of her. I will post a pic when it is done, so check back to see my progress.