Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peacocks on the Farm Roof

The lovely pair just strutted out of the woods and onto the property and decided to stay.

 They were not anyone's neighbor nearby had lost them. The police had not a clue as to who they belonged to.

We fed them dog and cat food and raspberries and raisins. They ate it all up and began to dance and be happy together. Which means a lot of feather fluffing, and tail fanning....with the peahen ignoring the male peacock. He was so happy to strut his stuff over and in the gardens and around the house. They perched and preened on the farm fencing,on the table saw and on our piles of lumber. They made a point of ignoring everything...the cat, the pug, and the passing cars...paying attention to only each other.

Occasionally the female would give out a "hoot, hoot" and the male then knew to follow.

At nightfall's  approach the female flew up onto the big low branch on the huge old maple out front and she roosted. The male was quite clever, as he went around back, using the carport roof to make the three jumps to the highest point on the upper roof near the chimney where he could scan the road, woods and fields.

Ben's photo of the male peacock on the peak of the farmhouse just before sundown made the local and state newspapers. Ben has been the farm's studio photographer for many years. Most all of the wildlife photography is credited to Ben's skill with a I like my subjects to be sedentary flowers and art.
Guaranteed to hold still.

At the break of dawn (too early even for me)  the male "deroofed" in 3 swooshing loud thumps and we knew the happy couple were reunited with  the hooting and calling.....dancing and fluffing feathers.....on a down home Maine farm.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inspirational Art

 Name of the Rose copyright 2011 Judith Hunt & Veritas Press

 I  think my recent illustration of Sean Connery in "The Name of the Rose"is very appropriate to post in this mid-dreary spell of winter.  I just had to watch the movie to understand what my editor wanted me to do.

He'd asked for me to show the monastery's huge rambling, back turning, screwy staircase which leads to a "dark and mysterious library" of banned books; held under lock and key by the convenient. These books, most precious of evils, kept high above where no one other than a few heavy breathing and very confined monks can find them...get my drift.....nudge nudge wink wink.

The movie, set in medieval times, has lots to offer with  a cool smarter than the average monk, Sean Connery, a sweet innocent young monk, a curvy figured pig girl, a splash of religion, and a smidge of humor...throw them all into a quick moving twisting historical/hysterical plot....not completely entirely realistic..... as the nice young adolescent monk boy in it does not run off with the nice pretty pig girl. Still it keeps us watching, breathless to know how  it all turns out... as one monk after another goes toes up. It even has  historical mystery plants and poisons.... all correct from my herbal book.

I set up the illustration  to reflect the mysterious "doesn't meet code" staircases and, of course, Sean is front and center with his cagey knowing everything. I do hope he is in my lifeboat when the ship goes down. The illustration was for Veritas Press in PA for one of their guidebooks to literature. Nice folks, always  interesting work.

Yes, this was published and Veritas Press owns it so be nice and ask  them or me before downloading and reuse...and yes...reuse online is still stealing! I usually say yes! when credit is given so how can that be hard?

 Sample for Wilkinson Studios copyright 2011 Judith Hunt
The above Gorilla illustration was for a possible zoo book....Yet another package book to be bundled with a plush toy . It had a "kinda okay"story, a re-tread...... not a book that made you want to save Gorillas or be a zookeeper. But as I have admired and followed Diane Fossey's work for years  I saw this book as an opportunity.

I did the research in no time and found the baby Gorilla in the story inspirational again reminded me, why we as Americans,....need to pay attention to the whole world,  instead of moaning and wringing our hands here in American. Call me a liberal  environmentalist, but if the Gorilla's go.... I'm  hoping to try another planet.  Gorillas are more than just cool creatures... they are family. 

 I did too much art, actually this winter; have two books on Amazon...... I should actually post to my illustration blog the rest....but couldn't help showing a bit here.

Yes, the farm is still here under lots of whiteness. And we are snug as bugs in our cozy studio and farmhouse, under our beautiful snowy peaked roofs, munching on our greenhouse grown, purple kale and slurping down our canned peaches...yummy...and reading, of course the NEW seed catalogs, every bathroom has their copy!

It's definitely "The Good Life" in Maine next post is on the farm.

Bye for now, Judy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Harvest of Gratitude

  Yes, I do believe a picture is worth a thousand words....and so with no more rambling and rummaging for my thoughts let me just say.... we had a grateful and beautiful summer here on the farm!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Tiny Gardenhouse

Just finished up and moved the farm's stand via our farm's trusty bobcat.
No more than 5 minutes elapsed and Kitten was already inside and loving her new haunt!

I can hardly wait for the beautiful custom sliding door with it's peek-a-boo window and the lovely front deck to put flower pots on!  This fall I can make wreathes by the warmth of the tiny heater  inside and do artwork while waiting for farm customers..and this winter I can even have tiny art shows!

I love this place so much already! Will post more on it as it all comes I have to landscape it. Thank goodness for the farm's bobcat!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contracts finally finished

                         "The First Great Seal" ©  2010 Judith Hunt and ABDO

            "Visiting the Lincoln Memorial"  © 2010 Judith Hunt and  ABDO Publishing Group
Had a few books to finish up over this last was of the Lincoln Memorial and the other was of the history of the U.S.'s "Great Seal"'s designing and use.

The research for both books has been interesting. Found out that the Lincoln Memorial actually has lots of large hidden areas both underground and above the monument. I also found out the monument was sculpted elsewhere and brought in  assembled in place. The Great Seal was quite a tussle to design for our newly born Congress and almost was a rising phoenix. Thank goodness we had a willing model and beautiful model in nature the American Bald Eagle. I can honestly say it is a beautiful bird as I have seen it soaring  above and nearby the farm and at the nearby ocean in Maine.

I do admit that I am glad to see the back of these particular illustration jobs...the studio needs a deep cleaning and a recent assignment of a fantasy painting never looked so good !

Today is a day of  responding to mail..... and canning our never ending bountiful harvests.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Winged Beauty

Just like my art, my photographs have both light and intense detail.   This is a huge Luna moth found still wet from a heavy rain and drying off so I was able to take quite few shots.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pampered Pond Snacks


We keep a few of the farm's 100 or so feral goldfish inside the house each year for fun after we clean the ornamental pond in the fall as they adapt quite nicely. 

Each morning they track our comings and goings past them to the kitchen and congregate at the side of the huge tank and watch us make the coffee ....they know yummy goldfish treats follow the coffee making ritual.

You can't tell from the photo these guys are BIG about 4-5 inches in length and quite robust...
....a nice way to say FAT.

Goldfish are big eaters and big poopers. They make messy tanks but are worth it in they are about the smartest fish you can get (which is not saying much), disease resistant, live very long lives, and need no heaters.

If you would like to raise them get a few and throw them in a big  ornamental very contained pond or tub in summer and watch out...they like to make tons of little fish. Too many little fish. This is where cannibalism, frogs, pond bugs, dragonfly nymphs and great blue herons take their toll and you are relieved that you do not have to find 300 new homes for all of them.

Goldfish will mate and make weird variations of the original parents so start with a few mottled or differing types to see what you get after a few generations. And yes, some will be throwbacks and stay brownish green and boring.

* One note it is against the law to let these critters roam the great wild outdoors...they are carp and somewhat hardy so some states have fines for releasing them or putting them in a natural pond where they can get loose. Check your state's rules and regs. You can also raise them indoors in a big tank so they will get huge... about 8 inches.

Just be prepared to have them around for a good long while...unless you are raising them as pond snacks.