Spring is in the air, some birds are passing through on migration while others are staking out breeding territories, and it is a great time to get out of the house (our safe haven from the Corona Virus). An extensive network of trails through the campus of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, is only a few minutes' drive from our home. With the campus closed to students, the trails are pretty empty of human life and provide a great opportunity for walking and bird watching. I recently participated in the Illinois Spring Bird Count on the SIU-E campus, practicing safe distancing etiquette with fellow counters Dave and Ryan. While most of the songbirds were difficult to see higher up in the canopy, a White-eyed Vireo, singing from low exposed twigs in the morning sun, was very accommodating as it posed for a photograph (above). Eastern Bluebirds foraged along the forest edge in newly established nesting territories (below). Getting out and experiencing nature is good for the soul!
I had a great time at Niabi Zoo celebrating Earth Day. We had great weather and enjoyed helping families watch wild birds through a spotting scope. This photo was on the front page of the Dispatch today.
I just delivered some of my paintings to the 35th Annual Maple City Fine Arts Exhibit in Geneseo, IL. The exhibit runs from Sunday, May 4 to May 31 at two locations--the Geneseo Art League, 113 North State Street, Geneseo, IL and The Cellar Restaurant at 137 South State Street, Geneseo, IL. I will be attending the opening reception on Sunday, May 4 at the Cellar Restaurant at 3:30 pm. Hope to see you there, but if you can't make it on May 4, you can still see the exhibit at the Art League, Wed through Sat from 10 to 3 or the Cellar Restaurant, T-Th 5-9 pm; Fri and Sat, 5-10 pm and Sun, 4-9 pm. They try to have at least one painting from each submitting artist at each location.
Recently, I had a chance to see the Kansas Watercolor Society Exhibition 2013 in Wichita, Kansas. One of my watercolor paintings was selected as part of the exhibit. There were 87 paintings chosen out of 384 submitted. The quality of work was really impressive and I was proud to be part of it. The entire exhibit can be viewed on The Wichita Center for the Arts web site.
The exhibit can also be seen in person at 9112 East Central in Wichita, Kansas
"Songster of the Marsh", 20x16", Watercolor by Brent Langley included in the Kansas Watercolor Society Exhibition 2013
In October, I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for the 53rd Art and the Animal Society of Animal Artists in Bennington, Vermont. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such great animal artists, especially meeting and visiting with Douglas Allen who was an early inspiration to my wildlife art when I saw his paintings illustrating a series on North American big game in Outdoor Life magazine, in the late 1950s. You can read more about Mr Allen on his web site
I am happy to be part of the Fall Mississippi River Valley Art Drive on Saturday, 2 Nov and Sunday, 3 Nov from 10 am to 5 pm. I will be demonstrating painting in my home gallery. Check www.mrvad.com for a complete listings of all the artists that are participating.
Hope everyone is enjoying the advent of spring! Of course, spring brings both good and bad. Everything is turning green, birds are nesting (including robins on a light fixture on our deck) and the cool weather is marvelous (especially before the heat of the summer). But with silver linings there must be clouds, so in this time of new life we also have to cope with the threat and destruction of spring thunderstorms and tornadoes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by the tornado in Oklahoma.
This good spring weather seems to give me new energy, so I've embarked on a major painting of Bryce Canyon, and am also working on an acrylic of an American robin and a watercolor of a dickcissel (a beautiful prairie finch that has markings similar to the meadowlark). Will post some photos on the web page when I have something to show.
We went to see the 3D movie "Flight of the Butterflies" at the Putnam Museum. It was really wonderful to watch this fascinating documentary of the monarch butterfly migration and the search to find the spot in Mexico where they all stay over the winter months. The IMAX screen really accentuates the 3D effect. It has inspired me to start looking through my photos of butterflies to start some paintings. I have done some butterflies and one moth and you can see them in my "Other" gallery on my web site.
Here is the link to the Putnam Museum and the synopsis of the movie and the previews. .
We had a wonderful time at the artist reception held in conjunction with my exhibit at the Quad City Botanical Center this afternoon. It was good to re-connect with friends and patrons Barb and I haven't seen for awhile, and to introduce ourselves to those we met for the first time. Many thanks to those who shared with us good food, drink, and conversation!
Join me at the Quad City Botanical Center 2525 4th Ave Rock Island, Illinois on Sunday, May 12 for an artist reception from 1 to 3 pm. Light refreshments will be available and the Botanical Center is having their spring plant sale from 12 to 4 the same day.