Friday, December 7, 2012

Walls Full of Birds

Recently a customer wanted to buy a large group of my prints for a newly painted sun room wall. She had them framed and sent me this photo. I'm proud to have my work displayed so prominently!

Monday, November 26, 2012

From the Archive

I painted this watercolor of a Fox Sparrow in 2007, which for whatever reason was a common visitor to my garden that year. I have only attempted to paint a snow scene with watercolor 2 times, this one and another one with juncos. The snow is difficult to accurately depict, but I was fairly satisfied with the effect. Both paintings were sold after a short time. It's also hard to reproduce the snowy scene for prints, so this is the only image I have of the original.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Bluebird of . . .

I tromped around the grounds of the nearby forest preserve until I found an interesting tree-like shrub (or shrublike tree) with some kind of berries. I was looking for some combination of red and white to complement the bluebird that I was imaging painting. The leaves were almost completely gone, and the berries were still white, but kind of shriveled. I wanted it to look weathered. I find that plants are more interesting when they're not looking like they're at their best. I just happened to have a scissors with me in the car. With some effort, I was able to hack away at the shrub until I detached some branches.
It appears that the plant is a grey dogwood, judging from my googling. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Amicable Split

After giving the issue a lot of thought, I have decided that it's best if the cardinal couple split up. For the sake of the art. I painted them together 3 years ago, with the intention of showing them interacting as a faithful couple, as cardinals are often known. However, the painting was still with me unsold, and I had to figure out why.
First, its frame was rather dark and bulky, and may have detracted from the painting. Its layout was also decidedly horizontal, perhaps too much. There may have been a bit too much space between them, which made the design a slight bit off balance.
Honestly, I was tired of shlepping this painting to and from shows. Cardinals usually are quick sellers, and even with "this economy" I expected them to have sold by now. With their legal separation, they can be displayed as good friends instead of mates. I added some more leaves to the male's picture to fill in some gaps. I'll mat and frame them identically, and with these improvements I'm hoping they'll find that it's for the best.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Over Already?

It's hard to believe the art fair season is over, for me, that is. Art in the Barn was hard work, but fun. The inside of a barn can be cold! Tomorrow, I'm calling to cancel my account with the merchant services company I've been using for the last 7 years. I'm fed up with their fees for membership, inactivity fees, activity fees, malfunctions when I phone in the transactions, and the percentage taken from each transaction.

Yes, it's time. I'm going to take the step towards "The Square". This requires that I get a smart phone, which I've been avoiding up until now, but I've heard such good reports about the Square, that it's inevitable that I sign up. More about that later. . .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Acorns Are Falling

To commemorate the recent sale of my latest blue jay painting, I whipped up another one. This will be a bountiful season for these birds. The acorns are raining from the trees this "Fall". I don't know what causes oak trees to have an overabundance of acorns one year and not another, but this is one of those abundant years. In honor of this season of acorn bombardment, I painted a blue jay contemplating one of them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Isaac, Just Humidity

Fortunately, the rain never came to Lake Forest, just major humidity. Sales were good, and I have a lot of work to do before the next show.  I said goodbye to several pieces, including my favorite painting, the Bluebird & Sumac. I have been researching the next creation, and will start immediately on producing a new supply of prints and cards. It's a good problem to have.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Isaac? Really?

Today the remnants of hurricane/tropical storm Isaac visited this area, and is expected to stick around for a few days. This unusual event would be an interesting phenomenon, except tomorrow I'll be setting up for the Art Fair on the Square, and setting up in the rain is not fun. It's so humid out that my paintings may get frizzy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Finished!

 Goldfinch & Rudbeckia, Original Watercolor by Anne Gilna

As I posted earlier, I didn't want to wait for the asters to bloom, so I grabbed some Black-eyed Susans while still looking fresh. I had been concerned at first that the two yellow tones would clash, but now that it's done I do like them together.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Updated Booth Shot

I haven't taken a booth photo in the last few years, so here's a recent shot, complete with morning backlighting.

Forget the Aster

I'm still waiting for the asters to bloom. I have more than one species in several locations, and they are not doing much. So, I decided that the goldfinch needed to be hanging around the black-eyed susan, which is enjoying a good season. The finished piece will be pictured here soon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bloom, Already!

I have painted many goldfinches, most have been pictured with purple coneflower. This is obviously because they are closely associated with each other, and a popular subject. I'm looking for something else for the goldfinch to perch on now, though, and after doing some research, have decided that the next goldfinch I paint will be pictured with the aster. They are not blooming yet, so I'm watching and waiting.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Latest Effort

I've recently completed this watercolor of the very common American Robin standing amongst a very prolific garden plant, the Northern Sea Oats. I live nowhere near the sea, but the oats don't care. I planted a few small clumps of this grassy plant in my garden, and now I have to keep it from taking over. It has a pretty growth habit and in the fall the seed heads are attractive, but do they ever get around. Robins are extremely common, too, but they behave themselves.
Original Watercolor by Anne Gilna

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting Ready

Stage one of the loading process: Gather up all art cartons, tubs, tools, bins from the "studio". (This term is applied loosely to the extra bedroom in which I create and store my art).
Stage two: Move said objects from the upstairs studio into the hallway. I'm currently in this stage of the process.
Stage three: Bring all items downstairs, and place close to the door leading to the garage.
Stage four: Load tent materials, tables, chairs, step stool & cart into van.
Stage five: Load items mentioned in Stage one into van.
The show this weekend will require kind of a hybrid display system. My booth will be under a large tent-like structure, so I will need my tent for the framework and the display panels, but won't need the canopy or side panels. Neither will I need stakes or weights. This makes the loading and setup process easier. Now, doesn't that seem easy?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ups and Downs

Wow, those art shows get more exhausting every year. Not only the physical work of  loading the art and the display, unloading and setting up, taking down, loading, driving home, unloading, but the emotional ups and downs of  the process of hoping that buyers for my art happen to visit my booth. And actually buy something. Last weekend, things worked out okay. And I'll keep doing it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Just Can't Stop Loving the Website

I've spent many hours recently updating my website. This is something I learn as I go. I don't make major changes very often, so when I do, I forget how to operate the various functions and almost have to start from scratch. I'm working on ease of navigation, simplicity, lots of links but want to avoid visual clutter. This is an issue in many sites I visit, where the eye jumps around the page without a central focus. I want the art to shine and keep the viewers eye on it, not distracting text.
So, here is the latest version, still a work in progress-

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tulip Crazy

In my effort to add some new botanical paintings to my collection, I've painted another tulip watercolor, based on some cut flowers bought at a Trader Joe's. I plan to frame both of the new tulip paintings the same, and no larger than 11 x 14 each. Here is the latest:
Tulips, Watercolor by Anne Gilna

Friday, March 23, 2012

Keeping It Simple

I haven't painted a botanical subject in a while until now. I admit to having a preference for birds, with or without a botanical component. Now, however, I have decided to downsize some of the dimensions of my original art. Until recently, I felt that the smallest size painting that potential customers would prefer would be 16 x 20, and I have several larger paintings as well. I'm getting the impression, though, that smaller works may be appealing, too. I guess it goes with the general trend these days, and that needs no explanation here. When this tulip watercolor is framed, it will be 11" x 14", and I may do another one to display as a pair.
So, here it is...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Turn the Page

I'm starting to put together the art show schedule for 2012... more to come in future posts. I'll probably come up with one more new painting in time for the first show at the end of April. FOCUS!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Downy Woodpeckers look best on a monotonous background, in my opinion. It accentuates the red patch on the male. The bird is done in watercolor, the tree is mostly colored pencil, with some watercolor accents in the shadows of the tree bark.