Of Birds and Babes

‘Flight”, ‘Roadrunner’ and ‘Little Brother are three paintings of the Little Bird Series of 5

Since we’re all sitting at home, I would love to tell you a little bit about some of my art.
During my time at the Arizona Fine Art Expo (yes, that huge three month nonstop Art show in Scottsdale, Phoenix) many visitors to my booth commented on my ‘knack to capture characters and expressions’. As most of you know, getting inside a person’s mind and trying to mirror the personality in a face is one of my favorite challenges. I can lose myself in the details of a person’s face! (Much to the chagrin of my husband, who has to put up with me mapping his features during date night…).
Every type of persona and age group has their own appeal.
Now, the specific joy that lies in painting the face of a child is that I get to capture the unfiltered joy and wonder, as the world in its beauty is unfolding before brand new eyes.

Seeing the joy and wonder in a child’s face reminds us in the marvels around us.

Watching the reactions of a child to the everyday encounters around it allows us to re-live the wonders of this world. We tend to forget the enthusiasm a butterfly or a squirrel will evoke in a kid. Did you know that some painters (me included) automatically mirror the expression of the face they’re painting? It’s because you have to empathize what your model feels, to properly put life into a face. Which makes a painter of happy little people a pretty happy painter ;)

Now as I was painting away for three months in my Expo show booth, I also received many remarks about the dynamic little bird paintings that populated an extra pillar (on 4×4 and 6×6 mini canvas squares). The expressive little feathery fellows attracted many. Yet, my visitors wanted a little bit more than a miniature square…. more of me and my ‘people skill’ (and we’re talking about purely painterly skills here, not my potentially dorky aptitude in inter-human encounters :D )

Combining children and birds? Painting the interaction of kids and wildlife? Who could say no to that? And hereby the ‘Little Bird Series’ was born. It features sweet faces and feathered friends, all in an affordable format and bright, joyful colors.

Have you seen the Little Bird Series (available in my Originals or as Prints)? Head over to have a look. (and don’t forget that all prints are still 20% off with the code GROUNDED20 for the month of April). I’d be happy to hear if they brought a smile to your face :)

discount coupon for online art prints

Today might need some bright color: GROUNDED20 Coupon

My friend, I hope this blog post will find you well and in good spirits! These are sure some trying times, and upon returning from a wonderful and intense Az Fine Art Expo 2020 everyday life looks quite different than scheduled.
For artists it’s a twofold situation: we have extra time in our studios to work on what we love, but at the same time all shows and venues are cancelled, and there’s no support from the government for all self employed individuals (aka all artists).
So I am offering two discounts, which at the same time I hope may bring an extra bright cheer and new color to your home: 
First of all, all my pet portrait commissions are 15% off. Have a furry friend whose loving face should adorn your wall forever? Contact me about pricing and options.

Since we’re all spending a lot more time at home than we should be in spring, here’s another coupon which might make your walls happier: with the code GROUNDED20 you’ll have 20% off any art prints in my entire print shop until April 9. You can order your favorite piece printed in archival quality on paper, canvas or shiny metal here! There’s brand new motifs from the Expo in the shop already, and I’ll add a couple more today.
I also uploaded my available originals and for now I’ll ship all artwork up to 30×40 for FREE.
Hoping browsing through the gallery will bring a smile to your day and maybe a piece of cactus lovin whimsy to your walls! I hope all of my visitors keep their cheers up and have a chance to enjoy fresh air and nature as much as possible.
As usual, don’t hesitate to write if you have a question. Cheers!
Ans

20 percent off art prints in my online shop
az fine art expo

Only 6 days until ARIZONA FINE ART EXPO opens!

Find me in Studio 29 at the AZ Fine Art Expo!

Exactly 6 days from today, on Friday January 10, is the Opening Day of the Arizona Fine Art Expo 2020! I’m so excited and honored to be part of this prestigious event: 100 artists and 70 days of Art in Scottsdale (Phoenix). Don’t miss out on meeting this colorful mix of painters, sculptors, photographers and more. Enjoy the diverse art, chat with the artists and watch them work, snack in the cafeteria, catch some sun in the sculpture garden. I have enjoyed meeting the artist family last year as a visitor, and knew I wanted to apply to join after the second visit :) What a good and relaxed vibe… and 100 artists for almost three months nonstop, what could be better :) See you there!  

ARIZONA FINE ART EXPO

480-837-7163

26540 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

(easy to reach from loop 101, or via the beautiful, relaxed drive through the Sonoran Desert Preserve)

January 11th thru  March 24th, 2019

Hours: 10 am – 6 pm Open Daily

https://arizonafineartexpo.com

https://arizonafineartexpo.com

Cactus Queen: Audience

In my series about my Cactus Queens (read part 1 here if you haven’t seen it yet!) I’d like to introduce you to Cactus Queen: Audience today. The orignal is a 24×26 oil painting on linen panel.

Beautiful Savannah and an unnamed regular visitor to my backyard modeled for this painting.

The original idea to this specific setting dates back a couple years, when the first of my current Cactus Queen series hadn’t been painted yet. I had volunteered to live-paint in a kid’s boutique. I also had just made my first close encounter with javelinas bicycling home in the dark – and setting a new record up that hill after running into them! :D
Those Cactus Queen thoughts were still roaming through my head, and the vision of a Queen holding audience to her following in the midst of her realm was irresistible. It seemed a fitting motif for a demonstration in front of young, open minds.

It turned out to be a success! (There’s nothing like watching kids react to art!!) That demo painting was a slightly hurried acrylic that I loved enough to decide I’d use it as a guideline for a bigger and more refined oil painting. I added the beautiful landscape around Phoenix to my blueprint. I made the model wear my favorite cowboy boots – which were at least a size too big, a miracle she didn’t break a leg…My poor models usually pose in blankets and sheets in my garden in positions that I envisioned. I then put the puzzle pieces together in my head and on my canvas.

It wasn’t hard to obtain a model for her audience. In fact, Javelinas have almost walked into my painting studio before (my studio is accessible only through the garden, adding an extra sense of adventure after dark as we have deer, javelinas, coyotes and potentially bear and mountain lions roaming through our neighborhood. Small town pleasures :)


Folded greeting cards in envelope for your favorite Cactus Queen friend

I hope you enjoy the result – as least as much as the screaming kids loved the first version! The original painting will be displayed in my Cactus Queen Show in the Spotlight Room during October (I’ll be present at 4th Friday and during the Artist Studio Tour Prescott, Oct 4-6. Mountain Artist Guild on 228 N Alarcon).
Prints in all sizes and on various materials are available here and cards on request!

The Making of a Cactus Queen

cactus queens by ans taylor
The assortment of Cactus Queens keeps growing!

During my last shows, I have been often asked about my obscure encounters of prickly plants, beautiful ladies, and Arizona wildlife. So this is the little story about how the first of my ‘Cactus Queens’, was born:

When we had just moved back from Japan with the military we enjoyed a few months in the southern part of the state, before finding our house in the central Arizona mountains. I was delighted to start exploring our new home, which is of course considerably different from my birthplace in Bavaria, Germany (if you’re thinking quaint medieval houses, green vineyards and castles, you’re thinking correctly!).

Inspired by the desert vegetation and wildlife, I started drawing mustangs, wrens and rattlers. During my research for background facts, in the unsought depths of the internet, I stumbled upon an obscure cigarette campaign of the 50s. It portrayed the substantially awkward looking ‘Cactus Queen’, adorned in a spiky barrel-cactus bikini.

You will rarely see an Arizona resident going about their business in a prickly pear skirt.

The campaign seems to have been no success (hmmm!) and the uncomfortable bikini photo motivated little more than an eyebrow raising exercise. The Beauty Queen’s title kept floating in the back of my mind, though.

If you were anything like me as a child, maybe inventing wild fantasy stories to go with the countless princess-drawings you were filling your desktop paper with was one of your favorite past times as well? I was able to sit there for hours, drawing and making up all the characters for my elaborate plots (I am sure the stories were highly innovative and conclusive!)

Mini Ans drawing to escape the reality of 70s wallpapers

This habit sticks to me to this day. I’m painting the stories I make up and I’m making up stories to the things I’m painting. And there’s that mysteriously promising Cactus Queen title stuck in my head….

So a real Cactus Queen, what would she be like? Of course she would be wearing her cacti with pride, and certainly less gingerly than her beauty queen counterpart. A queen of spikes and prickly things, she would be at home between saguaro and prickly pears. A crown of beautiful saguaro flowers adorns her head. Soon cacti began sprouting generously from her hair. Holding audience, she would be courted by the inhabitants of her empire, javelina, coyotes and wrens. And in the background the sculpted pillars of the Sonoran Desert would serve as her audience hall.

The first two Cactus Queens with model Annie. Still somewhat behaved!

And, best of all, painting Cactus queens would enable me to combine the many beauties of the desert and it’s inhabitants in an oil painting!

I hope the fascination of the Arizona desert will grip you and the desert divas will inspire your fantasy…
I’ll continue this series introducing my newest Queens next week, so check back with me :). The largest Cactus Queen currently in work is about 70” and there will be more to come!

Mother’s Day Art Gifts!

mothers day gifts, small original art
Original art: 4×4 humminbirds, oil on canvas for just $60!

Thinking of surprising your Mom with a gift of original art? I am able to offer you an assortment of small oil paintings at affordable prices: a series of colorful and dynamic hummingbirds on cute 4×4 deep edge, gallery wrapped canvas cubes (painted on the sides), each for only $60.
If you want to go a little bigger and more diverse, I can also offer you 6×6 canvas cubes (also painted on the sides) with various of our amazing Arizona birds and critters, for only $125 each.
These are original pieces of art, friends!

Original paintings, 6×6, oil on canvas, for just $ 125!

For the sake of Mother’s Day I’m throwing in a gift of two of my art cards of your choice of with each painting order.
My brand new folded Art Cards with envelope are available at $4 each, or $3 each for a set of 10 cards or more.
It’s not too late to order for Mother’s Day if you are quick – send me an email right now and inquire about your wish motive and see whats available, or ask about a specific animal. Email me and check!
For your information, an insured medium flat ratebox is $17, and there’s a lot of space for small art in it :)

Look at my fancy new greeting card display! It will be representing with me at a Prescott Art Fair on June 15 next!

‘Best of Show’ for painting ‘Rahab’!

Great news on Friday at the Mountain Artist Guild: Was totally smitten that ‘Rahab’ won Best Of Show at the Mountain Artist Guild  ‘Heritage’ show. This painting was a special love child to me, as I was inspired by a study by Beth Moore, to feel myself into the chutzpah of this historical lady! She is mentioned in Joshua 2 somewhat fleetingly, but the story behind it would actually make for an enthralling book by itself. The heritage started by her commitment is also a story of some beauty 😍

Thank you MAG! This made my day yesterday! Both original painting (oil on linen) and high quality greeting cards are currently available at the Mountain Artist Gallery on 228 N Alarcon, Prescott (they offer a special price, so swing by). Gliclee ART PRINTS are available HERE! (click for link)

Read more about her below.

The Heritage of Rahab

‘Rahab clung to the red scarf flying in the desert wind in front of her window. Her family was huddled in the small room behind her, scared: They had all heard the deep rumbling of the walls of Jericho crashing down, the screams of the dying, and the fighting outside.

All of them were aware that the scarlet band tied to the wood beam on the outside was the only thing saving them from death…’

When the prostitute Rahab made the decision to hide the Israelite spies and trust in their promise to spare her family, she couldn’t know the heritage that would be founded in her trust.

A woman of former bad career choices, survivor of an annihilated people, she would become wife to the Israelite Salmon. Their son Obed would be known thousands of generations later by the book named after his sweet wife ‘Ruth’. Her grandson would father a king, called David, king of Judah, revered across the nations.

Nor would she have ever dreamed that generations down her grand grand grand…child, Joseph, would be the earthly father of a child called – Jesus.

This all happened to the woman who took heart and stepped out of the rubble of Jericho.

(Joshua 2; Matthew 1:5)

April Show at Random Art!

Ready for spring? I surely am!
I have been frantically painting for two months, and am looking forward to sharing some results with you :)

But first an Events update:
As some might know, the Dawson May show has been cancelled. Too bad – but I’ll be at a couple other events! Locked in are:

Several of my new paintings plus brand new art cards will be displayed during the month of April at Random Art, Prescott. If you have never been there, Allison Kantor’s crazy quirky gallery is a must see! I’ll be there on the 4th Friday Art Walk, April 26 from 5-7 pm. Join us for snacks, beverages, a chat and a good time!

4th Friday April 26, Art Walk
Ans at Allison Kantor’s Random Art
214 N McCormick St, Prescott, AZ 86301

I also have some specials planned for the Artist Studio Tour in October. I’ll be at the Mountain Artist Guild again, but will inhabit the Spotlight room in the gallery upstairs with my art :) yay to that! Stay tuned for further events (June / October).

I’ll write about updates in my art print and originals gallery in a few days.

Enjoy the beginning of spring!

Ans

PS: Follow me on Instagram to see new paintings, making of photos, plein air pics and current updates 5 times a week! :) I’d also love to hear your feedback!

https://www.instagram.com/anstaylorart/

Allison Kantor’s Art Gallery is filled with incredible art from oil paintings to the famous “Prescott Pot Heads ™.” Random Art is open during 4th Friday Art Walks from 5 – 8 pm, Wednesdays, and Randomly thereafter. www.randomart.biz for more info

 

sonoran desert sunset oil painting

Sonoran Sun to help you stay cozy

sonoran desert sunset oil paintingI’m not sure how your neck of the woods looks like, but on our little central Arizona mountain (5800 feet) the temperatures are sure on the chilly side this Febuary! We still have half an inch of hail from the last winterstorm on our deck. Luckily, the Valley is only a two hour ride downhill, and the desert around Phoenix shows itself from its best side: everything has a fresh green shine to it, and countless bushes are blooming. I am lucky to enjoy an escape south twice this week, visiting art shows and sitting for a friend (more of that later!).
If you’re less lucky in this regard, I offer you a sunny glow on canvas that will hopefully lighten your day! :) This oil painting was started after a visit to the Sonoran Desert near Tucson. We witnessed an amazing sunset, and I had a chance to take countless reference photos. After letting the painting sit for a spell, to come back and finish the last details with fresh eyes, it is now finished. I hope you like it! The original will soon be available in the shop, as well as prints on canvas, metal or paper.
I have some exciting news about new works soon as well! :)

Stay warm!

Off to Germany!

I’m lucky to be able to visit my family in Germany and Austria for the next 17 days! :) Of course my flight out of our tiny airport in the Arizona mountains is scheduled for the day after the most massive snowfall since 2016 (and that means about 10-12 inch in the pines, if you wonder – which accounts for 6 foot on Arizona roads :D).
Presuming I made it out of town, this post will probably find me in the air zooming across the big pond, happily expecting to hug parents and sis soon.
While I’m traveling, the print shop will run as usual. Just notice: any purchased originals will not be sent out before January 20!

Prints are business as usual. Email me if you have a question! :) And follow me on instagram @anstaylorart for a few photos of my original home country.
Stay warm! :)
And see you soon!