Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lorikeet 2

WOW. Sorry folks. I just couldn't get back to this. Actually, I hit a snag when I got to the green feathers and I kept finding other projects to spend time on (running 1st Saturday in Three Rivers and framing 20 paintings for my show in January, to name 2)!
RAINED all day today. So my grandson and I painted at home with the heater on. Nothing like the rain on a metal roof with a 4-year old sharing watercolor expertise. I learned a lot.
I PAINTED the lorikee's head in watercolor. It was working fine. But when I got to the body feathers I quickly decided to switch to acrylic and gouache, first painting solid black, red and yellow areas and then, with a fine pointed brush, painting lines of color. Much better. So this is now a "mixed-medium" painting. Whatever works!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rainbow Lorikeet -1

I JUST LOVE this photograph of a Rainbow Lorikee. I didn't take it. Sarah Williams (user name MeHere) of Brisbane, Australia did. She is one of hundreds of photographers that share their work on, a leading free stock photo site. was started in 2001 as an alternative to expensive stock photo sites. The images are free and you can use them for almost anything – web design, artwork, inspiration. They are high-resolution photos and are easily searched by topic. There are some restrictions- in some cases, the artist wants to be notified, and sometimes you need to give them credit. Some just want to see what you did with their image. And it is very simple to contact the artist – a click away. My favorite comment quoted in a photographer's intro came from Asif Akbar (user name asifthebes) from Mumbai, India, who said, "You can use any of my images without permission. Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy." Wow.

I ALMOST ALWAYS use my own photographs in creating my artwork. But I am going to paint this bird – because it makes me so happy! And those feathers – I can already see the wet watercolor spreading on the page. Follow me- I'll show you how I do a watercolor.

I LIKE different watercolor papers but I especially like the inexpensive Strathmore 400 series because it lets me pick up color easily, and I think I will be doing a lot of that here. My image is 14 inches by 10 inches. Let's get started.

FIRST, I wet an area with clear water. Using cobalt blue, I drop large amounts of paint in the wet area. I don't have to hurry to remove highlights in the feathers because, with this paper, I can do it easily even when dry. In the upper right area, you can see where I have removed color to look like feathers.

FILLING IN the black is next. I can't wait to see how it will look (and not at all sure how I will proceed) so I leave the blue (which has already started to bore me) and go forward with the black and adding opaque blue on top to make feathers life-like. Yeah- I like it – so now I can go back and finish the blue area. The red beak is pretty straight-forward. Wet the beak with clear water (this keeps the paint in any given area), drop on large amounts of red, then orange and yellow, then pick up white highlights.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

1st Saturday in Three Rivers

FOR THE PAST 5 months, on the 1st Saturday, I have invited people into my studio for a free lunch, the recipe from my latest recipe greeting card. As an artist, I need to have a constant flow of creative energy and I get it from many sources- looking at artwork, listening to music, pasting in my "I Love Scrapbook". The main source, however, comes from the people I interact with.

NADI'S TABLE 1st Saturday has been fabulous. What can I say – good food, good people – lots of laughing. (OK– and lots of compliments.) And, sure, I made sales. But, more than money, I need to be passionate. Those who enjoy my studio and my art are all talented people in their own right- and it's that bouncing off each other's ideas that I love. It's such a rush.

THIS MONTH is the kick-off for an event that grew from my little endeavor. 1st Saturday in Three Rivers will start on October 3rd. It embraces the whole down-town. Musicians, dancers, artists, restaurants, even a story-teller– are all joining in, offering specials, refreshments and entertainment. If you want to stay later to enjoy the drum circle, stay the weekend – there will be discount rates at hotels. And of course, don't forget my studio. I will be serving Roasted Oranges and Bell Pepper Soup – free as long as it lasts!

To find out more, click on "1st Saturday in Three Rivers" above.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Character Counts! Mural

THIS IS my Character Counts Mural that I just painted at Monson-Sultana School. It is 12' high by 25' wide. Sorry- I meant to show it in progress, but got behind on my schedule. Posters are available for you teachers out there. Just click on the title "Character Counts" above.

Til next time- Nadi

Monday, August 10, 2009

Turkey!: Day 3, Black Lines and more...

I PAINTED the black lines and started filling in color. I am having so much fun with this picture. I am having 8 women for dinner tonight at my house – the food is all cooked and the table decorated so I snuck away to paint at the studio for an hour or so. I hope to finish this tomorrow!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Turkey!: Day 2, Designing Painting

FIRST I decide on a canvas size. I picked a 20"x 24" for this one and then opened a page that size in Photoshop. Next I paint the canvas bright orange, so it will be ready. I've taken a lot of turkey pictures, but I don't have any egg or hatchling ones. So I found this in a book I have, along with other pictures of eggs etc.

NEXT, I need a hen – which this is not. You can tell by the beard hanging and the leg spurs, but mostly because of the pink head. I did like the stance though. I think I can use this.

I FLOP the picture, take off beard and spurs, then add a foot. The background is transparent (not really white).

I DROP in the hatchling picture behind hen.

I MOVE one baby forward by cutting and pasting in front (each piece is on its own layer in Photoshop, and layers can be moved in front, behind etc.) I had to cut hen's right leg, separate it from the hen layer, put it on its own layer, then move it in front of chick. Now it looks like the hen is standing over all the eggs.

I ADD leaves to bottom.

I DROP in several different backgrounds and liked this yellow best. Because the hen is dark, I liked the gold sky behind. But I'm still not happy with the hen's body- not enough happening.

THERE! I can live with that. Now I will print this out (it is already sized 20 x 24). I print out on letter size paper and tape them together. I am now ready to paint black lines on orange canvas.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Turkey! 1

I LOVE turkeys. Maybe because of Thanksgiving – turkey decorations mean great kitchen smells and lots of laughter. But how much do I know about real turkeys? Not much.

IT'S TIME for a treasure hunt. That's what I call the hours I spend researching information that I have let remain undiscovered all these years. So here are some fun facts that I learned today.

THE WILD turkey is smaller than the domestic turkey (which has been bred so fat that he tips over),and has red, instead of brown, legs. The small bumps on the head are called caruncles. The appendage that droops over the bill is a snood. A turkey can fly 55 miles an hour and outrun a man. His eyesight zone is 300º (as compared to an owl's 70º), has acute hearing, a poor sense of taste and almost no sense of smell. The turkey has no homing instinct – if taken to a new environment, he just makes it his new home. Grown turkeys roost in trees at night.

THE MALE (tom or gobbler) can change his head colors in seconds – to warn off other males or to signal females for mating. His snood dangles when he is hot, sexually aroused or fighting. He has a beard that juts out from his chest and spurs on his legs. In spring, he mates with as many hens as he can and takes no part in nesting or rearing of the poults. A male less than 2 years old is called a jake.

THE FEMALE (hen) is half the size of a tom, has a bluish head sparsely feathered, has a tiny snood and a few caruncles. Her plumage is controlled by hormones, so if her ovaries should be damaged, she would grow the feathers of a gobbler. Because the hen can sometimes have a beard and spurs, the most reliable way to distinguish them is by head color. Toms have a pink head, the hen's is blue-gray. After mating, the hen becomes a loner. She will lay from 8 to 13 eggs per clutch. After leaving the nest to eat, she will return, taking a different route each time, often flying the last 100 feet, to confuse predators. Poults open their egg with an egg tooth that will fall off in a day or two. This is called pipping. During the 2 days of hatching, the poults imprint on the hen, and get to know all their siblings. After leaving the nest, the hen will often watch her brood from afar, and even feign an injury to gain attention from a possible predator.

A RAFTER (or flock) of turkeys comes in 4 types: hens with their young, hens not successful in hatching poults ( up to 20), adult gobblers (up to 25 birds), and young gobblers that have left the family flock. There is a peck order and rank is achieved by fighting. There is fighting among gobblers, as well as hens; in fall and winter there is also fighting between flocks, in which whole groups participate.

TURKEYS have about 30 different calls. Here's a few:
Gobble – Come to me, mama.
Whippoorwill – Back off buddy.
Rattle call – Fight! Fight!
Alarm putt – Danger. Danger.
Cackle – only used when flying.
Yelp –I'm lost!
Whit-whit – I hear ya- this way.
Predator alarm – Eek! I'm being attacked!
Distress Scream – My babies! My babies! Help!
Pit-pit-pit – Careful- I have a funny feeling.
Peeping (from inside egg) – Look out world- here I come.
Hatching yelp – Mama's here, you're safe.
(Poults learn their mother's individual voice at this point, while in the egg!
must also imprint when hatched or they will be confused their entire life.)
Lost call – Maaaa-maaaaaa. Where are you?
Singing alarm – Look up! Danger above! (AT which point, all turkeys look up.)
Purring – Y'all still there? Let's keep together.
Tree yelp – Good morning. All here? Let's have a good day.

MY PAINTING is going to be the hatching event. Stay tuned.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Join me at
Nadi's Studio
41838 Sierra Drive, Three Riv
ers, CA.
the 1st Saturday of each month
from 12:00 to 2:00
to taste my latest vegan recipe.

August 1st
Potato Soup
Blueberry Scones with Irish Whiskey Spread
Blueberry Iced Tea

Special Musical Performance by
Jesse and Fabi Belman

To see how I painted the picture and created the recipe card,
scroll down to read blogs below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Day 7, Yay! It's done!

Well here it is finished. And just in time. Tomorrow I will bake my Blueberry Sun Bread again, set up a still with this in the background, and take a picture for my recipe greeting card. Then I will order cards that will arrive barely in time for my Nadi's Table event which I host at my studio every first Saturday of the month. You are all welcome to join me to try my bread and blueberry tea from 12:00 to 2:00.

SEE YOU there!

DON'T FORGET to check out my Lughnasadh painting on prints, shirts, cards, mugs, and more on Cafepress!
Click on title of post above.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Color! Day 5

I LOVE color! Today I painted in solid colors, not really thinking about the variations of color that will go on top. I'm mostly concerned with the balance of light and dark, and also blues and golds. Don't forget this painting is 36"x48", so there is a lot of ground to cover. This took about 6 hours.

I SHOULD finish this by Tuesday. Then I will bake the Blueberry Sun Bread and set up a still-life with the bread and the painting for my recipe greeting card.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Black Lines, Day 4

I DECIDED to wing it tomorrow at the Fowler Library reception. If I give it too much thought, I will freak out. I figure if someone asks a question I can definitely answer it. So I worked on another watercolor this morning and then I spent most of the day working on this.

THE DANCERS had to go. I wasn't happy at all. It seemed unfair that some were dancing and some still working. It didn't work both ways, so I picked the workers. I liked the composition better this way, but I did struggle. And I'm still working on Renny's eyes. Actually, it looked a lot like Renny – not what I intended though.

BACK TO the easel. I have two hours before I have to get ready for Canasta.

See you Sunday, Nadi

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Day 3

I WAS HOPING that I would get the black lines on my canvas finished today, but I worked on a watercolor at home while watching 4 episodes of Project Runway this morning. So I got a late start. However, I started this as a daily post, so I guess I have to show you how much I did today. I will finish lines tomorrow – then color! I hope you are enjoying this- I have to say, it is pushing me to get this done. Thank you! 'Til tomorrow – ciao! Nadi

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Day 2, The Design

I HAVE my idea, now I need to pick the elements I think will tell a good story and also be fun to paint. Right off the bat, I know I am doing blueberries. Great color and shape, and because of their size I will put them in the foreground so I can enlarge them. The color will bounce off nicely with the complimentary oranges and golds of the wheat, which will be my main theme. (I'm thinking blueberry bread of some sort at this point for the recipe card.)

SCOURING my reference files, both hard copy and online, I find images that represent what I'm seeing.
I WANT a woman picking the berries, not sure where she is looking yet. Maybe at the raven. A WHEAT field can go in the back. I like this one with the sea behind.THE RAVEN is too small. Since he represents Lugh, the sun god, and has made all this possible, I am going to have him interact with the woman, who is happy for his generosity. I find a face (my daughter Renny) that has the look I want. The raven now continues the circle of the blueberries and I like this.A CELEBRATION needs to be happening – the harvest is almost finished. RENNY needs some Irish clothes and maybe a headdress. It would be hot in the sun in August, picking berries.MANY, MANY changes took place as I went along. I just gave you the basic process. I'm pretty happy with this design. The beauty of Photoshop, which is the program I use, is that I can enlarge or reduce, flop, and change position of each item at will. I tried the woman facing the other direction, I tried the dancers bigger and in other areas. I kept coming back to this. I will make a black and white copy of this now and transfer it to my 36"x48" canvas that has been painted bright orange.

SEE YOU tomorrow!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lughnasadh Painting: Day 1, The Concept

I THOUGHT it might be fun to show everyone how I create a painting- from concept to signing. It's really fun. I am very organized; I have binders and binders of ideas and starts of projects, and that is where I generally begin. But not always. Point in case – this week's painting. I wanted something different for my August recipe greeting card that I will have ready for my Nadi's Table event on August 1st, where I serve the recipe to anyone that wants to try it.

SO WHAT is celebrated in August? Nothing makes me happier than to search for info on the internet! I learned that August is National Golf Month, National Picnic Month, and Romance Awareness Month. We celebrate the birth of the internet on August 1: Vertumnalia, the festival of Vertumnus, the Roman god of seasons, gardens and orchards, is celebrated on August 13th (which is also Blame Someone Else Day). We have Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Toasted Marshmallow Day, Pony Express Day and, my favorite, Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (August 8).

BUT WHEN I read about Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-na-sa), the Celtic festival of the first harvest, I knew I had my painting – and my recipe.

LUGHNASADH is the gaelic word for August and is named for Lugh, the Irish sun god, who is associated with the raven, light, and agricultural fertility. On August 1st, Lugh celebrated the death of his foster-mother Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg. Tailtiu died from exhaustion after being forced, by her enemy, to clear a forest for planting. Festivities centered around the grain harvest, which was needed to get the tribe through the winter months.

FARM FOLK picked the first wild blueberries, and sang when the crop was abundant, for a good berry crop meant a good wheat crop. There was dancing in the field, and sometimes a wagonwheel was set on fire and rolled down a hill. It was the day for handfasted marriages, where a couple could marry for a year and a day, until next Lughnasadh, when they would either commit or stand back to back and walk away to dissolve the marriage. People gathered to exchange news and settle disputes, to sell wares, to tell stories, and to compete in games and horse races. There was great feasting, with the baking of bread an important ritual.

TODAY, Lughnasadh reminds us of the importance of belonging to a community, of working and playing together, of achieving success through group effort. It is a time to share your bounty with those less fortunate and to help friends and neighbors. It is a time to let go of things no longer fruitful in your life and open up to the bounty of things to come.

TOMORROW I will show you how I get started.

'Til then – Nadi

Monday, June 15, 2009

"I Love" Scrapbook

"I WISH I could paint. It must be so exciting being an artist!" If you are an artist I'll bet you've heard those words many times, and, if you're like me, you agree- most of the time. But what about those days when nothing inspires you- when you wake up and find that you don't have a challenge to jump into? You know what I'm talking about. And now you're scared. Did I choose the right career? Am I tapped out? What if the passion is gone? We've all been there.

I HAVE a quick fix. It's called the "I Love" Scrapbook. Get a cheap sketchbook, 9 x 12 is perfect, and a stack of magazines. It's time to cut and paste- two words that summon memories of Kindergarten- and let the child in you loose. There's one rule. You must love anything you paste in this book.

DO THIS activity just for yourself. You can't make a mistake and no one will ever see it unless you wish to share it.

BE CREATIVE. I like to do color schemes. I file by color (which satisfies my inner organizer), and when I have plenty of clipped pictures, I spend a lazy morning in bed with scissors and a glue stick. Ahh, so rejuvenating.

The BEST PART is yet to come.. The next time you need inspiration, take a ten-minute break and browse through your new plethora of pretty pages. The colors and images will instantly raise your spirits and give your creative mind a jump start.

BEWARE! Your scrapbook is extremely revealing. You might not want to show it to just anyone. One Christmas, after graduating from starving to struggling artist, I gave each of my four daughters a sketchbook, a pair of scissors and a glue stick, with a plan to meet one year later to share our masterpieces. I can only say that when we did , I declared that Christmas the best ever. Each book was so delightfully original and personal and we learned so much about each other.

SHARE your book with family and friends. They'll love it. The year my mother died, I gave her my latest creation and suggested she look at it over a cup of coffee some morning. She called me a day later and said, "Oh, Nadi. I never knew you."

OVER TIME, you will start to see another benefit. Small and large items pictured in the book will start to appear in your everyday life. You'll notice that your bedroom is now red and that there is a Great Dane sleeping in your living room.

YOUR BATHTUB is outside and you're wearing multi-colored boots. You seem to have accumulated lots of dishes!

SO, start cutting.
I promise that you will see a change in your work, your home and your thinking. And you'll be hearing yourself saying, out loud, "Wow! I love that!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Calendars!

I will have these and other new calendars available before the end of the year in my studio and on Cafepress. I am very excited and hope you enjoy them. Nadi

Sunday, May 31, 2009


What is an ACEO? It stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals. They are highly collectible miniature pieces of art. These cards have only one rule - they must be 2.5" x 3.5"- the size of a Trading Card. The craze started 2 years ago by an artist on E-Bay who wanted art to be available at affordable prices. Now anyone can own original art.
Art cards can be displayed in many ways, and they make charming gifts, alone, framed, or tucked into a greeting card. They fit into Trading Card albums and magnetic card holders.
Some are prints, some are originals- make sure you know what you are buying.
Here are my new Aceos. I've just joined in- and what fun! Mine are all original paintings in watercolor or acrylic. They can be purchased at 1000Markets.