Posts Tagged ‘fine art’

final ink drawing of grackle by Shelly BowenIn Austin, Texas, recently. Hot, friendly, beautiful. All the live music you can take in. And birds.

Stayed on Lady Bird Lake or “Town Lake” where I saw giant swans, hump-beaked geese, ducks, all sorts of tiny song birds, and the great-tailed grackle. The grackle looks like a skinning long-legged crow, and with a call that sounds much like the alarm of an infant, is considered a pest. But I found it’s defiance part of the scene.

So I put together this piece just for him. And for me too.

If you’re interested in the artist’s process, here’s a peak behind the scene …

Out hiking in the 98 degree June heat around the lake, I caught a mediocre photo of this guy, so cool and balanced:

photo of grackle \

He inspired me to sketch this — really from a combination of birds I saw throughout the city. Below you’ll see the pencil sketch and the inked version.

original sketch of grat-tailed grackle bird of texas

And finally, the new piece I totally didn’t intend on bringing home as a souvenir (see framed at top).

I really do like him. If you like him too he’ll be available soon as a limited edition in my art shop,

original ink drawing of black bird \

All art copyright 2008 Shelly Bowen. No reproductions permitted.


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He placed an order at my shop, Shellybee’s, and added a special request to frame the prints. Sure, I told him, because he was someone very special to me and no special request was too big from him. But as I created the art prints he selected (you should know that Hahnemuhle museum etching paper and the Epson R2400 do not mix well — the paper is too thick; paper jam every time) and found the right frames and mat board and started the work of assembling, I realized it was not something I wanted to offer everyone who visited my shop. And I’ve been suggesting that I’m open.

So I’m not as open as I thought. I mean, I’m an artist, not a framer. When I was sitting at my art table with backing board spewing dust on the glass no matter how many times I wiped up before closing the frame, I thought, dang it. This is taking just about as long as the art did.

Not really. The art took hours and hours and days of thought and refinement. And this framing project was just one afternoon. But the big different is, I love to create the art. I’m sucked in and the hours fly by and I resent the dryer for reminding me to fold my clothes. So I may be making pennies an hour selling art when you break it down from a business perspective — it’s really enjoyable to me, and I love the idea of sharing with strangers out in the world. Strangers who must have something in common with me, because they are drawn to my art (pun, yes).

In any case, when I had the prints all matted and framed and leaning against a bench, I understood his choices a little better. They did go well together. And for him, it was worth it.

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