Soaking up the Last Joys of Summer, An Announcement and Day 21 of 30 Days 30 Paintings

There are only a couple more days of summer left.

summer, autumn, colorful leaves, barefoot, garden, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And I know that there may be more warm, barefoot days, or maybe not. I need to savor them while they're here. And savor the other graces that I love about summer before they're gone, too.

The greens will be slowly taken over by other colors.

end of summer, hills, fields, nature, landscape, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The flowers will slowly disappear.

purple hosta flowers, garden, hostas, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

As will some of my garden friends.

ruby throated hummingbird, zinnias, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I watch for the hummingbirds every day. And so far, I've seen them every time I look. I know it won't be too much longer before they make their journey to Central America.

I know that other birds will be staying and will enjoy my garden's bounty as long as it lasts.

summer, autumn, sunflowers, sunflower seed heads, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And then I'll need to get out the bird feeders.

It's a beautiful transition and something I don't want to miss.

Speaking of beautiful things not to miss... I'm so excited to tell you that I am a guest contributor in Shannon Kinney-Duh's new e-course. You might remember Shannon from the profile I did on her last winter. She has completely re-vamped her Inside Out e-course. In addition there are guest contributors from various walks of life sharing their expertise throughout the 8 week course as well. To celebrate the new course Shannon is hosting a giveaway party on her blog with many, many excellent prizes. One of the possible prizes is a set (of your choice) of three 4"x6" prints of my artwork.

watercolor art prints, archival prints, floral watercolor paintings, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

You can learn more and join the party here.

And finally for today's painting I decided to tackle painting a hummingbird. I haven't painted many birds and have struggled with wanting to paint them but wanting to also create paintings that speak with my own voice. There are so many artists who paint birds and I didn't want to just be recreating what someone else is already doing. Hummingbirds are especially tricky because so many depictions of them can be a bit cheesy, a bit too cutesy. They are sweet birds and I have really enjoyed them in the garden this year and I thought I'd attempt to overcome those challenges. Yesterday I sketched one in my daily sketchbook based on my photo from the garden. Today I studied many photos of them online and filled a page in my other sketchbook before putting pencil and then paint to paper.

watercolor, watercolor hummingbird, ruby throated hummingbird, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'm happy with my first attempt.

I hope you are paying attention to and savoring the day's joys! Wishing you a lovely week.


  1. Really gorgeous painting, Anne. I know exactly what you mean about painting birds in your own way. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie! Glad you understand what I'm saying.

  2. I had a hummingbird feeder & all the right flowers but never saw the hummers in my yard (I did hear them a few times). It was a little depressing when my neighbor would say "I saw your hummingbird today". Oh well, at least they were enjoying my garden. And it was for them, after all. Love your sweet little hummer.

    1. Thank you, Madeline!

      I ended up taking down the hummingbird feeders I had up. The hummingbirds didn't seem to be in the yard as much when they were up and then one day some wasps discovered them and wouldn't leave them alone. Once I took the feeders down the hummingbirds were around a lot more. In the past they always seemed to like the feeders, though, so who knows.

      Sorry you didn't see your hummingbird, but you're right, at least it did enjoy your garden. Maybe you'll see it yet before it leaves.

  3. Hello,
    I am in love with your hummingbird. I like it.
    As always I enjoy your honest from the heart writing.

    1. Thanks so much, Carla. Your comments always brighten my day.


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