Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Candy Corn Butterfly...

The whimsical creatures that always capture my imagination in the summer garden have inspired a fun series of buggy delights in my workshop this year. And as Halloween is one of my most favorite themes, a mirthful mix of the two subjects gave rise to this sweet Candy Corn Butterfly! A first of his kind, this little sweetie has a delicately painted wooden egg cup base, and a removable top sculpted from papier mache. Indeed, he is a one of a kind that promises to delight! He is available tonight via the EHAG Emporium, where you can shop for unique originals from the talented artists of the Eclectic Halloween Artists Guild! The EHAG Emporium opens and updates at 9pm EST on the last day of each month with fresh works available. I finally squeezed in a little time to make something special and participate this month! Here on my  blog, I am offering additional angles of this sweet piece! If you are tempted, please EMAIL ME to secure this piece! More images, info and price to follow..... Thanks for looking!

"Halloween Butterfly Egg Cup"
5.25" tall by 6.75" wide
$495 plus shipping
* SOLD *
Thank you!!!

* With a removable top, you can stash tiny trinkets in his wooden egg cup!

* The thought occurred to me to paint candy corn butterflies on this base... What fun!

* And with hand-formed wire wings and curly antennae, this bug is certainly a fun blend of patterns and textures.....

* Don't you just want to pinch those bulbous cheeks?

* His orange cap is accented with a hooked hat, trimmed in black glass glitter...

* And a wispy collar adds that final touch!

"OH"..."Are you buggy for me? Let me fly to you!".....

Best Wishes,
~ Johanna

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Enchanted in the Garden...

I find nature truly enchanting. From the smallest of winged visitors, sampling the nectar and pollen of blooming flowers to the beautiful patterns and textures of the plants that grow, it's all magic to me! To capture these creatures in motion, senses must be alert as their visits are often fleeting. I listen for the sounds of the birds and insects, and I try to identify who's call is whose. Yesterday, the high-pitched chirp of the hummingbird stopped me in my tracks. I rushed inside, snatched the zoom lens and tiptoed out to the garden. I absolutely adore these little creatures and rarely catch a glimpse in time before they buzz away. Luckily, this day, I was fortunate and captured a little darling, savoring our magenta bee balm's blooms. It's the first moment  thatI have ever snapped a single photo of a sweet hummer, and I wanted to share the multitude of images I captured! After he buzzed away, I found more enchanting subjects to photograph. Like a web, each character is delicately interwoven with the other, and we as humans participate in the magic of the story by planting flowers that attract and feed these little guys. And rather than cutting those plants down as they fade, we allow nature to play out its course as you will see below.... Enjoy!


* One of my favorite images, captures both the beauty and composition of both this amazing little bird and the flower it feeds from...


* A flash a chartreuse scaled feathers, twinkles as this little guy bounces from bloom to boom...


* As he visits a bee balm blossom, he hovers mid-air, flapping his wings up to 80 times per second!...How amazing is that?!


* And, the shape of his long, pointed bill is designed to perfection for extracting that delicious sugar from the tubular flowers he is drawn to...


* He buzzed away for a moment's rest, perching above on a juniper's branch. I caught a still of this little guy at rest, and was later dazzled to see the small, shiny magenta medallion at the center of his neck. That's what  I love about photography. It often reveal's nature's little details and secrets that we miss in our daily lives...


* Another quick swoop down for a sweet drink, and poof, he was off and away! I am grateful for the few moments I had with this marvelous little bird...


* Across the path, our purple-hued bee balms are also in bloom, attracting a large, fuzzy Bumble Bee! Then, I started to wonder how many types of bees there are in nature? Surely, there are more than we realize. And so the hunt began....


* I quickly spotted a Honey Bee diving head first into an orange poppy....


* And, then I headed over to our large cluster of sunflowers, planted by our bird friends! Not long ago, they were a mass of seedlings, and now they have surpassed me and JP in height. Not only are they cheerful and bright accents in the garden, they are also an important food source for our winged visitors...


* A pair of twin bees with long antennae kept circling this bloom.....


* And another type of bee with fuzzy, fat yellow legs was feasting on this sunflower.... At a glance, I spotted 4 distinct types of bees during that short interval of time in our garden. But according to an online search, there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world! Wow!


* And, clearly the bees are not the only critters attracted to these sunflowers.... Take a closer look and you will see a yellow-bellied bird that was painted to blend right in to this grove of flowers...


* I hid behind our vine-covered trellis and captured several shots of this Lesser Goldfinch with a zoom lens. These guys started visiting our yard, after our sunflowers became a perennial part of our garden landscape.


* I watch them from our kitchen window as I cook and clean, and it's fun to see how they forage for food...


* This guy perches on a spent seed head and plucks out each sunflower seed. Years ago, mindless of my surroundings, I would have cut these old flowers down after their petals dropped. But, now it's such a joy to see the cycles of nature, to offer food to these delightful little characters who add whimsy and motion to the landscape.


* And they're so beautiful to watch...


* And it's fun to imagine little stories about each character. This guy looks like he's striking a pose while smoking his cigar..... hehe!


* And who else did I spot in the garden?..... A pair of flower-themed kitties were nestled atop our geranium-filled window box!  They like to explore the magic of nature too..... Actually, I created these characters, inspired by details that delight me in my garden. The two are a special order for a therapist who loves my art and who works with children. Her request for these characters was so compelling, that I could not resist making them. Now, "Petals Pete" and "Garden Gertie" are on a mission to spread joy and smiles to her little patients in New York.... And hence, that intricate web of life continues to connect us all together through the magic of nature. May you have reverence for it, may it bring you joy and may it inspire you!

See you in the garden....
~ Johanna

Monday, July 8, 2013

Celebrating Summer...

It is always a pleasure to watch the perennial garden grow and blossom! With a late spring arrival, the summer blooms were tardy this year. June's typical bounty of flowers burst in early July. So, I captured a few snapshots while the colors were still vibrant. I strategically attempted to crop out the various piles of construction materials as JP is busy at work on our many house projects. But, I look forward to the day when I can share the progress. Stay tuned! For now, enjoy a few dreamy images of garden bliss. Enjoy summer while it's here!

Best Wishes,
~ Johanna


* A violet-white clematis vine hugs the weathered arbor JP and I were married under many years ago....


* Luscious red roses frame a pretty sea of varied green textures...


* I found this old bird bath at a garage sale this spring and immediately found the perfect spot for it....


* Peering beyond a profuse column of magenta clematis, you can see our garden shed that JP built...


* Looking back from the garden shed, red geraniums add a bright spot of color to decorative window boxes...


* Another view of the garden reveals a variety of blooms....


* Magenta rose campion and clematis are some of my favorite hues especially when paired with lime and chartreuse green leaves...


* Peering through the rose bush, you can spot an old rusty gate that I just adore...


* A pair of terracotta critter planters mark the garden's entrance and greet guests...


* Another peek beyond the old birdbath invites one to sit for a spell...


Cheers to warm summer nights, fragrant flowers and colorful gardens that entice and inspire the senses.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Charitable Best Offer Auction!

Dear Friends ~ Please join me in making my donation of original art count towards the lives of numerous homeless cats and dogs....

I invite you to join me for this special Best Offer Blog Auction in collaboration with True Colors: A Group Show by Pet Friendly Artists on exhibit at the Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro in Seaside, OR. Bids will be collected privately via EMAIL, and the winner of “Watchful Owlfredo” will enjoy my collectible, original Artscape along with the honor of aiding abandoned pets. Clatsop Animal Assistance is a nonprofit organization in Oregon that shelters and cares for homeless cats and dogs. 

* 100% of the sale of this piece will benefit this non-profit organization. 

* A tax deductible receipt will be provided to the new owner of this special, 1/1 art piece. 

Auction has now ended. Thank you!

Best Offer: $480.00 

"Watchful Owlfredo" was born from a long-standing vision I have had to create dimensional Artscapes from papier mache and repurposed frames. A first of its kind, the focal image is hand-sculpted and intricately detailed with textural touches through a layering process of many steps. A medley of painted hues are applied to create more depth and interest. The detail is a challenge to capture through photography, so a viewing in person is truly preferred. But, as this an online Best Offer Blog Auction, I will attempt to describe it further! Vintage hues of soft green and turquoise create a lovely backdrop, while undertones of plum-brown fill the textural patterns that break up the space. A deep plum color fills the crevices of the twisting branches which are highlighted in pumpkin orange. The owl also carries the rich plum hue in his recessed details. Butter yellow and harvest orange highlight his stylized feathers. The beak, the eyes, chest and talons project dimensionally along with the stylized branches that frame this whimsical character. The modified outer frame is under-painted in terracotta with a deep plum-black top coat. JP applied additional trim to create more depth and stability. He also added the backboard which is terracotta-washed mahogany veneer. Signed and dated by me, Johanna Parker, this is a unique first-of / one of a kind Artscape piece. Please scroll down for details about this auction and images of this unique framed art.

Frame Size: 11.25" wide x 11.25" tall
Sculpted Artscape: 6" wide x 6.25" tall


About this Blog Auction: 

If you would like to be the proud owner of "Watchful Owlfredo,"simply EMAIL ME with your Best Offer. What would you be willing to DONATE to the Clatsop Animal Assistance AND adopt this collectible piece?

So, here's the scoop:

- I am starting the bid at $250
- Bidders will remain private
- My blog will update daily to reflect the highest Best Offer
- Numbers on the wheel will be rounded down in increments of 50
- Keep an eye on the wheel by refreshing this page
- Submit best offers once or as many times as you wish during this auction

On Sunday, July 7th at 9:30 pm EST, I will email all the participating bidders with a Last Call, announcing the current high offer. Afterwards, bidders will have until mid-day on July 8th to submit any additional offers. I hope to announce the Winning Offer amount here on my blog by 1pm EST on the 8th. So, you have about a week's time to submit your best offer/s. Anyone has a chance to participate if he or she chooses, and bidders can keep track of the approximated offers here on my blog. 

How to Bid :
Please study the various photos below to see if you would like to adopt "Watchful Owlfredo."
If he hoots to you, then . . . . . . . 

* EMAIL ME with the amount of your Best Offer (
* Title your email: "Best Offer - $ ____ "
* Look for a reply / confirmation email that your offer has been received

As you submit your offer/s, you are welcome to identify yourself or remain anonymous. Send emails from whatever email address you choose as long as I can reach you in the event you are the winner!  I will be accepting offers until 1pm EST, July 8th. At that time, I will review the offers and post the pending best offer amount. The winner will be notified and will have 24 hours to respond, identify him or herself and start the process of finalizing the sale. The piece will be offered to the bidder of the next best offer, in the event the top bidder does not to respond. Again, 100% of the sale of "Watchful Owlfredo" will benefit Clatsop Animal Assistance, a non-profit organization, and the buyer will receive a tax deductible receipt for his or her donation. Both, payment transaction and receipt will be handled by the event coordinators who own and operate the Gallery @ the Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro. My promise was to create the art and then help sell my contribution here on my blog...

As for emailing me with your offers, please know that WE (myself, JP and all the volunteers that care for homeless cats & dogs at Clatsop) are grateful for your support and any bids of affection. Best of luck & Thank You!...... Now, let's get started :)

Up for Offers is "Watchful Owlfredo"... 


In April, I shipped this piece off to my artist friend Jimmy Pickering, who asked me to donate art to his partner's benefit. Watchful Owlfredo has been hanging in the Gallery at the Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro in Seaside, Oregon for over 2 months, and I wish I could have been there to see the rest of the show! I promised that I would not release this piece until I hosted a special Blog Auction, and the time is now. Before I shipped this first Artscape of mine, we hung it on our living room wall, stepped back and smiled! As difficult as it was to let him go, we knew he will help nurture homeless cats and dogs, and that feels good! 

We hope you will join us in making this donation count!


* Photos truly do not do this piece justice, but all I can say is that I know you will be happy with your donation in the event you share the best offer.


* That's my hand there for size reference :)


* You'll notice that I signed the front, under his perching branch, as well as the back....


* A quick photo taken below, looking up at Owlfredo.....


* And a peek at the backside too....

Spread the word and THANK YOU for your donation of support!

Best Wishes,
~ Johanna