Category Archives: New Works

Two New Paintings

Few things in nature signify more promise for the future than a bird’s nest full of eggs. As their embryonic lives progress, you begin to see small cracks in their shells, and finally young chicks emerge. A new generation is born.

I’m fortunate to live in an area where it’s relatively easy to find bird’s nests built around the limbs of Palo Verde trees or hidden in the prickly arms of a Cholla cactus. These nests inspired me to create the painting below entitled “Spring Break”. If you look carefully, you’ll see a small “break” in one of the eggs that will soon produce a new chick.

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And, speaking of Cholla cactus, my second new painting entitled “Cactus Wren in Cholla”, shows the state bird of Arizona coming in for a landing. Its blurred wings tend to illustrate just how careful he must be to avoid becoming impaled on the sharp spines of the cactus…somehow they always seem to avoid that disaster.

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Summer has recently incinerated the southwest desert, and as I write this, the temperature is edging toward 118-degrees! It’s a good time to stay cool indoors and work on new paintings, so be sure to check back soon to see what’s new.

New Painting & New Exhibit

“Leonardo” is a beautiful Jaguar with an unfortunate history, but fortunately with a much happier future. Born into captivity, this wondrous creature was raised in a cage and trained for the entertainment industry. To make him easier to handle, his canine teeth were pulled as were all of his claws. When his trainers tired of him, they sold him to a small Arizona zoo where he endlessly paced in a 10 x 12 foot cage with little care. Finally, the zoo no longer wanted him and Leonardo eventually found a loving, caring home with Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

And, that’s where I first encountered him enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. Magnificent is too small a word to describe how regal Leonardo is, and I hope my painting reflects some of his majesty.

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After completing my painting, I submitted it to the Arizona Art Alliance to be evaluated for exhibit in their “Art in pARTnership II” show. It was juried into the show which opens on October 1 and runs through October 28 at the Holland Gallery of Fine Art in northeast Scottsdale. An artist’s reception is scheduled for Saturday October 8 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. I hope you’ll join me for the reception and have the opportunity to meet me and enjoy my painting of Leonardo.

Today, Leonardo has complete medical care, a large grassy enclosure and perches to rest on while he watches his world go by. His raw paws have healed, his diet is designed to be eaten without the need for his canine teeth, and short of being truly free in the wild, he lives a life of comfort.

For more information on the Arizona Art Alliance and their “Art in pARTnership II” exhibit, visit: http://azartalliance.com/. For directions to the Holland Gallery of Fine art, visit: http://www.azfcf.org/#!directions-and-contact-us/c181j/.

For more information on the wonderful work being done at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, visit: http://www.southwestwildlife.org/. Leonardo even has his own web page on the site: http://www.southwestwildlife.org/resident_animals/jaguar/.

 

A Black Labrador Named “Griffin”

Recently a friend and very talented artist, Bob Miller, mentioned that he was helping organize a fund raising event for the local not-for-profit Westminster Village Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Foundation raises funds for Westminster Village, a not-for-profit life care retirement community, which are used to assist residents and provide scholarship funding for employees.

To help the Foundation’s efforts, they sought items that could be auctioned during their annual “Foundation Gala.” Bob and I decided that I could offer to paint a pet portrait for the winner of the open bidding event during the evening’s festivities – and that’s where “Griffin” entered my life.

The winner of the bidding on my pet portrait was Jessica O’Shea who shares her life and home with her husband Daniel and their best friend Griffin. Griffin is a beautiful Black Labrador, and Jessica shared several photographs with me of him. We then settled on the most expressive one which I used as a reference for my painting.

Today, Jessica dropped by my studio to view Griffin’s portrait for the first time, and she was ecstatic. “It looks just like him,” she said as I opened the packaging. All in all it was a great experience to help the Westminster Village Foundation in their fund raising efforts, and to provide Griffin’s humans with a portrait of their beloved pet. Thanks also to Bob Miller for including me in the group’s efforts.

For more information on the Westminster Village Foundation and Westminster Village, please visit their web site at: https://www.wmvaz.com/.

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Jessica O’Shea holding Griffin’s portrait

 

Gallery Showing, New Painting, and Springtime in the Desert

It’s been a very busy fall and winter since my last posting, but I’ll hopefully make up for it with this longer post. 2015 is starting out with wonderful news.

Beginning in December, 2014 three of my paintings were selected to be exhibited at a new gallery that opened in Carefree – The Gallery at el Pedregal. The gallery is sponsored by the Sonoran Arts League, and draws on a carefully curated set of works from that organization’s nearly 500 members. New works are continually available, and an entirely new exhibit is assembled every two months. The newest exhibit recently went on display early in March, and another three of my paintings were selected…I couldn’t be happier. Below, are the paintings that were selected for the two exhibits. Click on any of the paintings to show larger versions.

New Painting

I’ve just finished painting a beautiful Alaskan Lynx (see below). The painting has many, many fine pine needles that surround the Lynx, and I used my slanted brush and a script brush to provide the details. The painting is 16” x 20” and is on Museum Series Aquabord™, a textured, acid-free surface that retains vibrant colors with much more purity than traditional watercolor papers. A wonderful wildlife photographer named Geoff Newhouse kindly allowed me to use one of his photographs as a reference for the painting.

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Springtime in the Desert

Last month I went to the World Wildlife Zoo which is located west of Phoenix. It is a wonderful setting that allows their animals room to roam. They have both a zoo and an aquarium, and it is a must-see if you’re interested in wildlife, but can’t afford to visit some of the more remote locations for wildlife in the world (http://www.wildlifeworld.com/). The main reason for my visit was to see their Cheetahs, and they didn’t disappoint. My husband, Tom, took many photographs while we were there, so look for some new Cheetah paintings in the near future! Click on any of the photos to show larger versions.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier postings, I live in a wonderful area of northeast Scottsdale, Arizona that is bordered by a lot of open desert. It’s a beautiful location for local wildlife, and every spring new flora and fauna are in abundance. So far this spring, I’ve seen gorgeous cactus flowers beginning to bloom, new doves fledging and perhaps the cutest of all is a new baby javelina just outside my studio window. Click on any of the photos to show larger versions.

Be sure to check back in a few weeks to see what’s new from the Mangelsdorf Studio, and I hope you enjoy your spring as much as I do mine.

Hidden in the Hills – 2014…and More

My 8th year of participating in the annual Sonoran Arts League “Hidden in the Hills” art show will get underway on November 21. The show runs on two consecutive weekends; November 21 thru November 23 and again on November 28 thru November 30. Hours on all days are from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. My studio number again this year is #21, so be sure to drop by and enjoy some wonderful art and refreshments.

I’ll be showing many new paintings including my latest shown below titled “Sara ‘n Satin”.

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I also will have available several new sets of note cards and 2015 calendars featuring my new work. These make great stocking stuffers for the holiday season. Also, who wouldn’t appreciate Santa bringing them a new painting for that special place in your home!

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This year I’m proud to be sharing my studio with three other talented artists: Jan Griggs who features contemporary abstract paintings, Jackie Kahn will be showing her amazing glass paintings and jewelry, and Marie McCallum who will be exhibiting her abstract automotive paintings. Below are representative illustrations of each artist’s work.

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For more information about the show, map of studios and full listing of all artists, be sure to visit: http://www.sonoranartsleague.org/hidden_in_the_hills_-_2014.php

Desert Foothills Library Show

HUMMINGBIRD 1-GrebeFinal-600The Sonoran Arts League recently opened a new exhibition at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek. The exhibit features a select group of juried artists from among those who will be showing during the Hidden in the Hills show (mentioned above). The opening was held on Saturday, November 1, and will run through the end of November.

I was honored to have one of my new paintings, “Summer Sipping,” selected for the exhibition.

The Bandit of Cranberry Lake

Next to cats (my favorites), raccoons are probably the most enjoyable little critters I can think of. They have such inquisitive faces, and don’t mind getting up close and personal with humans in certain environments. Unfortunately, there aren’t any raccoons…or at least I’ve never seen any in my neighborhood in Scottsdale. However, when I lived on the Monterey Peninsula there were many frequent little visitors on the skylight above my bed. Fun fact: a group of raccoons is called a “gaze.”

A friend (Linda Grasse Murray) who lives in the woods of New York, recently sent me a photograph of one of the many raccoons she’s worked to rehabilitate over the years. Linda was particularly fond of “Bandit” who came to her after being nursed as an abandoned baby by a neighbor’s cat. Her property is remote and not frequented too much by humans—an ideal place for a human foster mom to introduce Bandit to a new life of living on his own. Linda and Bandit would take daily walks deep into the nearby woods and Bandit gradually began to go off alone, but would always return to Linda’s house later in the day.

Finally, it was time for Bandit to become what nature intended—a wild raccoon. Linda took him and another adopted raccoon named Kena, whom Bandit had bonded with, to a heavily forested area called Cranberry Lake. The new location afforded them plenty of food, water and shelter. Bandit and Kena were released and wiggled their way into the undergrowth, home at last.

Linda has been rehabilitating various wildlife animals for over 20 years, and estimates she’s helped over 100 raccoons over those years resume a normal, healthy life in the wild. Below is my salute to Bandit along with my thanks to Linda for introducing me to him. Click on the first picture to start a little slideshow that shows the progression of my painting from sketch to final product.

Two New Paintings Completed & More

Spring is over in the desert southwest, and we are now in what local residents call the monsoon season. That means it’s hot, hot with temperatures well above 110 for many days running. Also, unlike our cooler months, the humidity is high which leads to some spectacular thunder, lightning and drenching rains. All in all, it’s good weather to stay in my air conditioned studio and paint.

The results of my recent efforts are seen below. The first is a 16×20 painting of a lily on Aquabord.

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Helen’s Lily

The next is another in my series of leopards. (Note: I would like to thank Dr. Eric Gurwin, an ophthalmologist and extremely talented photographer for allowing me to use his photograph as a reference for this painting).

After The Hunt

Other news…

In my last post I mentioned I had a leucistic quail (a quail with reduced pigmentation, similar to albino coloring) that was frequenting the feeder in my yard. Well, I recently spotted her again, this time with her mate and two natural-colored chicks. Nature is truly amazing.

Also mentioned in my last post were the Peach Faced Love Birds. The couple made a nest in a large Saguaro cactus in the front of my property—nice to see them settling down in this neighborhood. In honor of my new neighbors I’m currently working on a portrait of one of them perched in a Yucca plant. Below is the unfinished work-in-progress, so be sure to check back when it’s completed.

Peach Faced Love Bird - In Progress

Peach Faced Love Bird – In Progress

Spring & Summer Potpourri…

Spring in the desert Southwest (like most places) means fair weather and new birds of a feather. Here in Scottsdale, the temperatures are very mild, but the last few days have quickly turned Spring into Summer with very hot weather—over 105 degrees—with little relief until late September!

With regard to new birds of a feather, I’ve got two mother doves and three house finches feeding their newborns in nests under the eaves of my studio. The adults are flying in and out all day bringing back food for the hungry little mouths. It’s a beautiful sight to watch.

Other birds gather around a feeding area every day to pick up some seed that I scatter for them. Below are a few photos my husband Tom has taken over the last few weeks showing some of the variety (including a leucistic quail—a quail with reduced pigmentation, similar to albino coloring). Also, a couple of wayward Peach Faced Lovebirds have been visiting lately (native to western Africa, but someone has obviously let a few of them loose in the greater Phoenix area). Click on any of the photos to show larger versions.

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New Paintings

All of my time hasn’t been spent daydreaming about Spring and the wildlife. I’ve been very busy over the last few weeks getting new paintings ready for a couple of upcoming shows. I’ve completed two (see photos below). The leopard painting I talked about in my last post while it was under construction, but I wanted to show you the final product. I’m also working on two more…a close up of a leopard’s face and a beautiful yellow lily. Check back soon to see how those last two turn out.

Leopard – Finished Painting

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I hope everyone has an enjoyable Summer.

Leopard—Under Construction

As you can tell from browsing my web site, I love wild animals…particularly big cats. I’ve recently begun work on a 16” x 20” watercolor of this beautiful leopard. The huge tree the leopard is climbing down provides a wonderful composition that mirrors the beautiful features of the leopard’s body.

Leopard – Unfinished painting shown at full size.

Jaguars and leopards look very similar, but the jaguar is a little stockier and has a black spot inside each of the black and gold rosettes on its fur. Leopards, by contrast, have the rosettes but no black spot inside, and they have a somewhat slimmer build and face.

Leopard – Unfinished closeup showing more detail of leopard’s body.

My goal with this painting is to capture the direct stare of this fascinating animal. He seems to be looking directly at the viewer. There are a lot of spots and tree bark to paint, but I hope the final product warrants the time. Please check back to see the finished painting…hopefully in the next couple of weeks. Note: I used a reference photograph taken by Dr. Eric Gurwin, an ophthalmologist and extremely talented photographer who took the photograph on a recent wildlife safari to Africa.

Hidden In The Tree

For wildlife, finding food and water in the Southwest desert is a constant search. Over the years I’ve lived in the desert I’ve always put out a little bird seed and watering pans to help ease that struggle. One of the visitors to the water pans are sharp shinned hawks that like to splash in the water to cool off and take a little “shower”. The one I chose to paint is a frequent visitor that takes his shower and then flies into a nearby tree to shake the water off his feathers, do a little preening, and dry off before flying away.

This hawk is about a foot long and with maroon coloring on his chest and a slate gray color on his back with rust-colored barring on his feathers. Unfortunately, he will sometimes attack a nearby dove or quail. This is not a pleasant thing to see but, it is all part of nature’s cycle. These hawks tend to leave our area during the spring, but return during the cooler winter months. They are stately birds of prey, and exciting to see and paint.