Category Archives: Nature

Includes bird watching, identifying trees and plants, study of animals in the wild.

Watercolor lesson: Painting a Colorful Bantam Rooster

Sorry for the long silence. I haven’t posted in over a month. This wasn’t my intention. I got all involved in painting roosters for a new project.

But I am crowing again!

Consider this post a watercolor lesson as I show you step by step how I painted this very colorful rooster. I used my chinese brushes , my favorite 1/4 inch scrubber (my name), a few smaller brushes (see photo) and a new favorite brush that is squared off but also rounded (the black and tan handle)

It has a wonderful rich feeling, thicker than most flats with a rounded edge.

my favorite brushes at the moment

Some of my favorite brushes

Once I found my reference (after looking at many photos) I  did my drawing and was ready to begin the really fun part, the painting.; But first I found a diagram of the feather groupings which are very complicated in roosters. This was extremely helpful.Once I studied them I could go to town and just have fun.

Feather Diagram

Feather Diagram

I found a wonderfully colorful Bantam photo.I named him Chuck just to keep it personal.

A prize Bantam photo

Firs I laid down loose washes for some of the major feathers. I would love to see a rooster preening and curious as to how long it takes to do a good washing. LOL no pun intended!

 Washes

Washes

I added the head and some feather details and the lucious dark brown body feathers.

Details and delicious darks

Details and delicious darks

Took this stage a little further with more feather details and added some pastel. It was so much more fun to use the pastels with the watercolors. I can’t wait to add more mixed media to my painting.

Finessing

Finessing

Then for the finishing touches.

Voila

Voila

Rooster Palette

Rooster Palette

My palettes always have this look I call it messy. But that’s the way they always end up. Everyone has a different looking palette. It’s kind of like a thumb print!

I always have great company while I am painting. Louisa May is truly a painter’s Cat.

Painter's cat

Painter’s cat

The 4 rooster paintings (finalists) and the designs that Dennis and I came up with are now complete. My next post which is coming on the heels of this one (or the spurs!) will be out very soon.

And I have earned another feather in my cap!

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Filed under Amia, Bantam rooster, Birds, Evergreen, Manufacturers, Nature, roosters, Uncategorized, Watercolor, wildlife and birds

Takes two to make a peacock

I thought it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to see  how our new Peacock design came about. It is a good illustration of the process involved and how Dennis and I share the art.

A peacock is a spectacular bird and also has been very trendy in our market. So why not!

After I gathered reference I began to watercolor using my chinese brushes. I use them almost exclusively these days.

I painted the tail separately

I painted the tail separately

Just in case the tail didn’t come out right I painted it separately then added it to my bird.

I start to paint the peacock

Now I add the tail and paint the feathers

When I showed my peacock to dennis he liked everything but the tail. The design of the feathers was kind of hodgepodge. Too exacting for my way of watercoloring.

So I repainted the basic colors of the tail as well as one feather. I added the lower part of the body to the tail. Now I had a headless peacock.

And one feather

And one feather

In the meantime I had repainted the tail and where it attached to the body and the start of the neck. The original Head was still separate and then that got attached. A bit like surgery.

The new tail gets attached

We sliced off the head and I repainted the tail and the body up to where the neck began

The head got reattached and Dennis did a magnificent job of placing the feathers on the tail. We added type to the background and added blue poppies.

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

 Blue poppies that I had previously painted. And added type to the background.

The blue poppies

The blue poppies

Texture and color were added to the background and we both agreed that our Peacock was completed.

Finishing the background

Finishing the background

A feather in my cap
A feather in my cap- not a real one!

And one for Dennis too!

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Filed under Birds, peacock, Trends, Uncategorized, wildlife and birds

Surtex 2013 Part II

Of course we go to the Surtex Show to meet with Clients, meet new manufacturers and generally get our new work seen.

Equally  important and enjoyable is networking with our fellow artists. Each year is a glad reunion with old friends and a chance to make new friends among our colleagues.

Part II of this Surtex Post will be photos and brief descriptions of these encounters. I was not able to include everyone I would have liked. Either time or space ran out. There are just too many wonderful artists at this show.

Our first reunion was with our good friends Andrea and Dan Tachiera. Andrea is a wonderful licensing artist who is now represented by Donna Westman of DSW designs. Andrea and Dan and their sons  live in Berkeley Ca and we don’t get to see them often enough. Andrea’s wonderful sunny watercolors reflect her sense of design and whimsy whether she is painting animals, flowers or rain boots!

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea's bright colorful watercolor flowers

Andrea’s bright colorful watercolor flowers

Then of course there was our “neighborhood”, our small aisle of five booths and our friend Lucinda Wei just across the aisle who has become a part of the “neighborhood.” (More about Lucinda later)

Sue Zipkin

Sue Zipkin

Across from us is our friend and wonderful artist Sue Zipkin. Sue’s colorful, zestful and lively art is a treat for the eyes. She is very successful in the business and is always fun to have nearby. Her husband Bob is there to help her and last year her son Max helped out also.

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

We look forward each year to seeing Ingrid Slyder and her sister Kristin set up in the corner booth next to us. Ingrid is another art licensing veteran and her finely painted, somewhat whimsy illustrations are a joy to see. She also has a neat wicked sense of humor and we love looking at her humorous card designs. We missed seeing Ingrid’s husband Duane this year.

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan’s booth is next to us on the corner. Not only is Beth fun bright and easy to talk to, but her art is whimsical, imaginative, cute and beautifully painted. She is a  popular artist and creates many fun fabrics for crafters. She wore a skirt each day made from her own fabrics – reversible too!

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

It’s definitely a pleasure to greet Kate Knight and her mother Jeanne who come all the way from Edinburgh. Kate’s beautifully designed and colorful florals are always a lift for the spirit as are both Kate and her mother. They thoroughly enjoy the Surtex experience and being in NY and we all enjoy them. It’s a pleasure to listen to their Scottish accents.

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei is fairly new to licensing. We met a few years ago in Atlanta and have become good friends. We walk a lot of the shows together. Her color sense is divine and she is a wonderful designer and illustrator. She has also been climbing the steep curve of art licensing very rapidly. Keep going Lucinda. Her sister Belinda was helping her out in the booth. It is nice to note how many family and friends pitched in to help.

Now we start to walk a little further afield. This is what I did every time we felt one of us could leave the booth. I stopped and talked to friends, looked at art,  took pictures and met new friends.

Elizabeth Golz Rush and     Lazarr

Elizabeth Golz Rush and
Barbara Lanza

My friends Elizabeth Golz Rush (on the right) and Barbara Lanza (middle) were sharing a booth with a third artist, Pamela Bishop who was unable to make it to the show. Mandy Hawes on the left pitched in for Pamela. Pamela’s art is whimsical and character driven.

Elizabeth’s work is so incredibly fine and detailed. Just a treat to look at. Her side interest now is in fairy doll kits which she makes and the fairy doll workshops that she does. I’ve bought several from her and helped my friends grandkids put them together.Check out her blog,

Barbara Lanza’s work is also very involved with wonderful magical fairies. Barbara started out as a fashion illustrator and now does children’s books as well as her fantasy art.

I was very happy to find Caleb Gray was here this year with his partner Connor Lynch.

Caleb and Connor

Caleb and Connor

Love that lunch box

Love that lunch box

Caleb Gray is the Artist and his partner Connor is actually in a scientific profession. They work wonderfully together in the booth. Caleb’s work is at the same time clean and modern and very retro. I feel like I am walking onto a 1950’s kids television show set (the aprons made from Caleb’s fabric do help the image). It’s a very unique look and he’s doing well.

 Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin and her husband Rick are long time friends. As a matter of fact there were students of ours when we were teaching a course on The Business of Illustration for the Graphic Artists Guild. Besides being a mom Rose is a wonderful children’s book artist who has now branched out into licensing.  She paints “good” whatever she does, but her animals are spectacular. We always look forward to our time spent with Rick when he comes on the last day to help pack up. He is one of the world’s greatest schmoozers.

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and I met over the internet before the show via one of the many social networking groups we belong to. We’ve been in touch since and almost met in Atlanta in January. This was our first time meeting face to face. Her designs are whimsical colorful and charming as is she. This is her first Surtex and I believe that she had a great show and a wonderful experience. I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to her husband Paul Stout who is involved in the business part-time.

Patti Gay

Patti Gay

Patti Gay is an extremely versatile artist who can work in many styles and media. In her career she has published many adorable and beloved childrens’ books as well as having been an art director at Portal Publications. In addition to her regular licensing art she has created an imprint called Two Can Art. Here she publishes art that she has done in collaboration with her son Noah who is 21 and autistic. His love for color and textures has been incorporated into her designs. She and I also got to know each other first on Facebook before we met at Surtex.

Another wonderful reason for being on facebook is networking with your colleagues.

                                                                                Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray
Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray

Now here is an artist whose work I love. Martha Collins. She herself is sunny, bright and interesting as is her artwork. She is very diverse in her styles. Her floral watercolor paintings are my special favorites. When I first noticed her work at a Surtex some years back I was so very impressed with her style and all the chances she took to continue being different and new. After that I wanted to move in a new direction too. Thanks Martha.

Give yourself a treat and take some time to go to each artists’ site.

And thanks to all the wonderful artists at Surtex. There wasn’t time to capture more for my blog but they all helped make it a very fine show.

I might as well mention our websites. They are linked to each other and the Andrea Brooks site has more of painted designs and Dennis site is more graphic and whimsical.

Andrea Brooks

Dennis Kendrick

The two of us

The two of us

Well, I like this photo of us in our booth. It’s a rarity to get a photo where we both look good and happy. Thanks again to our friend Tom Cathey who also baked the marvelous cookies. Hint, hint Tom.

Back in our studio, I’m in fighting the cold that I held at bay during the show. But that’s what is great about working at home. I can still get up every day and do our follow through and we continue to work together. The cats are so happy to have us at home.

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Filed under Children's Books, Flowers, Javitts Center, Licensing, Surtex, Watercolor

Happy Holidays

This is a short Happy Holiday post for our followers and readers.

 Before we leave for the January Atlanta show next Wednesday I hope to have Part II of Everything You Need to Know About Trade shows out to you.

Then when we get back I’ll have lots to show and tell about the show.

Savannah Afternoon mug

Savannah Afternoon mug

The Burton and Burton new Spring Showroom will be displaying my new Savannah Afternoon collection. I hope vendors and you will be as excited about it as I am.

The weather outside is frightfulBut in here it's so delightful

The weather outside is frightful
But in here it’s so delightful

This is a good time to show off a few of our Christmas products.

Ho Ho HoSantas

Ho Ho Ho
Santa

This cute little pillow is a delightful needlepoint that our Friend Sonja made from our original whimsical Santa design.The original was a needlepoint stocking kit by Dimension.

I keep it out all year round! The design has also been a Christmas tote for Jean Marie Creations , a needle point kit and one of a set of Holiday Gift card Holders.

IMG_2216A New Yorkers dream

A New Yorkers dream

I grew up in the West Bronx which at that time still had lots of green trees and grass. But it wasn’t the country, and  I was always fantasizing about living in the country. For that reason I loved painting this woodland scene for Current. It was used on a number of their products including stationery and computer papers.

                                                            Snowman and Friend

Snowman and Friend

Holiday season as a child meant lots of snow, freezing cold fingers and toes, rosy cheeks, sleigh riding on our flexible flyers down the hill and the happy sounds of lots of kids making their snowmen. This memory inspired The Snowman and Friend design which originally was used as a holiday tote design for Jean Marie Designs,  and also as a card design.

Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Tree

My sister Pat and I always dreamed of having a tree like this. Although we celebrated Christmas and Hanukah my parents drew the line when it came to a tree. Painting this one gave me a lot of joy. Dennis created the design to fit it into so that it made a lovely little tableau. I was reminded of this yesterday when we did the annual tour of holiday store windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

IMG_2317

Saks window

Yesterday along with our good friends Barbara and John we enjoyed the holiday windows on upper Fifth Avenue. My two favorites for nostalgia were the lovely  Tree and Staircase in one of the Tiffany windows.The Tiffany displays were very small, approximately 15″ x 12″. My other favorite was this Saks window of a snowman and little boy with his dog. Of course the dogs tail wagged!

Sisters

Sisters

The holidays are a time to share with those you love.Pat, my older sister, had me tagging along wherever she went, invited or not. That’s me on the left.

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies

Holidays are a great time to enjoy all the goodies of the festive season That’s what insired me to paint these wonderful Christmas cookies for Woman’s Day magazine.

Pat

Pat

Brothers at holiday time

Brothers at holiday time Dennis and Fred Kendrick

Briana and Aunty Andy

Niece Briana and Aunty Andy

And best and most of all it’s a time to be with those you love. And have lots of fun.

Happy 2013

Happy 2013

We hope you all had very happy holidays and wish you a wonderful New Year full of all good things.

Time to fulfill that resolution to become a follower of our blog.

warmly,

Andrea and Dennis

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Filed under Atlanta, Christmas, Cooking and Baking, Kitchen and Food, Manufacturers, Nature, New Year's, NYC, Trade Show

Another break from Trade Shows; My new Floral Haiku Collection

Taking a brief break from Trade Show talk and showing off my new Floral Haiku watercolor collection.

Dennis' lovely logo


Dennis’ lovely logo

Working on changing my style

Working on changing my style

Months ago I wanted to change my style, not a lot, but enough to please me. I wanted to paint with my arm and shoulder more and less with my wrists.To generally loosen up the feel and look of my watercolors.

Considerable painting time went into playing and practicing to combine looks I liked and come up with a new look of my own.

Sumi e brushes

Sumi e brushes

types of Sumi-e brushes

types of Sumi-e brushes

At this time I discovered long forgotten Sumi e brushes in my very large collection of brushes. I watched some videos on Sumi  brush painting and learned how to use the brush. You have to hold it differently and usually have one color on the body of the brush and another darker on the tip. The brushes come to very fine points and are great for calligraphic lines and swirls. It takes a lot of practice to master the correct way to hold the brush and I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but I’ll keep trying.

Sumi e painting

Sumi e painting

Renoir my favorite impressionist painter

Renoir my favorite impressionist painter

trendy floral designs in fashion

trendy floral designs in fashion

Inspirations

Inspirations

As usual I did a lot of googling and looking at art styles, poetry, and fashionable florals on fabric that I liked.

A lot of joy and excitement went into these paintings. Also a lot of frustration and sweat when I didn’t succeed. The rejects mounted. I’m tearing them into pieces and want to try using them for some watercolor collage designs.

 Peony andPoppies CollageThe first

Peony andPoppies Collage 

“Breezy”was the first painting completed.

Airy

Airy

Then came “Airy”

Hydrangea and Hollyhocks, Sort

Hydrangea and Hollyhocks, Soft

By painting number three, “Soft” my hand was picking up the new rhythm of my painting. Sometimes painting feels like playing music. The touch, movement and intensity or softness has to be just right and it all needs to flow. I guess that is “getting into the flow.” It’s a wonderful place to be!

Sunflower and Mum,Fresh

Sunflower and Mum,Fresh

And finally there came “Fresh”

Me in my painting hat

Me in my painting hat

I guess it wouldn’t be far fetched to say I’m happy.

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Filed under Collection, Creativity and Fun, Flowers, Nature, Uncategorized

Taking a break-Our vacation on Leetes Island

We’ve been back from our vacation at Leetes Island in Guilford, CT. less than two weeks.

It’s nice to do this post as our lovely seaside days are starting to fade and the energy and spirit of New York are taking over.

Leetes Island, Guilford CT

Our cozy cabin

Each year at the start of September we rent the same cozy cottage on the water.

The Island stays the same from year to year

Nothing much changes on the island from year to year.  It is so completely different from New York City. A perfect place to unwind, and that is what we did.

Dennis worked on a difficult 1000 piece jig saw puzzle and read his history books. I googled a lot of course and kept a cartoon journal of daily events. Have I mentioned that I had been cartooning just for the fun of it for the last 10 years? It’s a cartoon journal of day to day events both real and imagined. The characters are, of course, fictitious, ahem.

One of these posts you’ll see the cartoons appearing.

Next week I’m going to the Comic Con convention in New york City and plan to meet up with my friends Shirley Susilo, Karen Chin and Christine Liu. They all worked in my studio as interns from Parsons School of Design and we have remained friends since. Shirley returned home to Jakarta, Indonesia and has become a well know cartoonist. Karen and Christine have staff jobs as art directors here in the city.

Our evening entertainment

Dennis and I  walked, listened to the Yankee games and ate a lot of great seafood. Friends and family came to visit, play scrabble and eat pizza in our vacation spot on the water.

We were lucky to see some of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve ever seen on the Island.

All the fresh fruit and vegies we could eat

And we ate lots of fresh fruit and berries from our local farm market, Bishops.

Margaret Egret

In the mornings and the evenings we watched the Egrets, the great blue heron, the cormorants and numerous other shore birds as they waded and hunted and caught their dinner – perhaps a small silvery fish or a tiny crab. One egret always appears alone. We named her Margaret and look for her every year. I think that the bird watching and other wildlife adventures are our most favorite parts of being there. Today I have been painting an egret for a new series of coastal painting collages that Dennis and I are working on. I’ll let you take a look in the next post.

Note: Manufacturers like to see the designs in groupings of two or four or more. This helps make them more saleable and consumers like to buy groupings. We’re doing four designs in this series.

Stormy Day on Leetes Island

The swimming is great there: salt water (the Long Island Sound) but no waves – not until the storm hit, that is, and the waves were splashing so high they reached our deck.

One of the five Island Hens

This year we had five lovely fat fluffy hens on the Island.

Theresa’s chicken spa

 

I bought a new watercolor journal and some really nice pointy sumi e chinese brushes but never got around to using them. I think that painting still felt a little too much like work. But now I am using my chinese brushes to work on my shore paintings. It takes a while to get used to them and the special way of holding them. I am learning to have a lot more respect for my watercolor brushes. They are very individual and specialized.

The end of the summer flowers

We said goodbye to the last of the summer flowers

First signs of fall

and we saw the beginnings of fall not only in the air, but at the farmers market.

New York was waiting for us when we came back.

My next post will  be the first in the series of Everything You Need to Know about Trade Shows. Stay tuned and hope you all had a great summer.

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Filed under Creativity and Fun, Licensing, Nature, vacations