July 07, 2008

Bird Show in Roanoke Opening Thursday!

Upcoming show at the Roanoke Public Library:
"A Natural History of Imaginary Birds and Real Bats" with Joe Kelley, artist, showing his latest new paintings.

Openinjg reception Thursday, July 10, 6 - 8 p.m. at Roanoke Main Library. Come out and take part in the fun!

Rootstone Jug Band, www.rootstone.net (offspring of New Roanoke Jug Band)

And Alejandro’s Mexican Grill providing the food

***plus*** real live parrots (the birds of the SW Virginia Bird Club and more from Mill Mountain Zoo) will be here too!

Everyone is welcome, all ages, and there's no charge for anyone. Joe Kelley's art is on display from July 10 till about Aug 2. Please call 540-853-1057 for more information or check out http://www.myspace.com/emergingartistsroanoke

The Roanoke Public Library, next to Elmwood Park, 706 South Jefferson Street, Roanoke VA.

See you there!

little brown bat

Myotis lucifugus

April 07, 2008


January 28, 2008

Winter Bluebirds

These guys have been hanging around lately despite snow and single-digit lows at night.

They aren't crazy enough to eat out of the catbowls like the titmice do, though.

Snow in the Valley

a view of the creek from my window

Kamikaze Titmice

Ever seen a titmouse eating catfood?

Due to a relentlessly hungry gang of acrobatic racoons that have been pillaging our birdfeeders, I've had to give up on having an open buffet to attract all the beautiful birds in our valley to our house. I sorely miss being able to sit on the porch and watch all the titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches, carolina wrens, downy and redbellied woodpeckers, and other odd birds that would come hang out at the feeders every day. I have a new appreciation for the agility and intelligence the racoons would display with their ability to pry open metal suet cages and scale the side of the house to access feeders hanging 12 feet off the ground; I have yet to discover any type of birdfeeder or hanging space that they are not able to eventually find and destroy. If only I could remember to bring the feeders in every night before the racoons came out to prowl, but often I would only remember when the sound of racoon claws climbing the siding would wake us up in the middle of the night and we'd peek out the window to see a masked bandit boldly staring back at us.

After a while we noticed that without the birdfeeders up, the crazy titmice were starting to land on the porch and eat directly out of the cat bowls. There were so many titmice eating out of the catbowls that we had to put out an extra bowl of catfood just for the birds, and fill it every morning and evening as the crazy gang of titmice would swoop down and empty out the bowl within minutes. As far as we know, none of the titmice have ended up feeding the cats, though it is not due to a lack of interest or effort on the cats' behalf.

Here is a happy little titmouse hanging out on his foodbowl.

January 15, 2008

el Cuervo

January 07, 2008

New Birds for the New Year

December 14, 2007

2008 Bird Calendars have arrived!

Just in time for the holidays! The brand new 2008 Joe Kelley Bird Calendars featuring 13 all-new spectacular original birdblock paintings.

To order yours (and a couple for your friends!) see the Scratchhouse Cafe Press site: http://www.cafepress.com/scratchhouse.38912682

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

September 04, 2007

Birdblock #222

Birdblock #199

Birdblock #224

Birdblock #211

Birdblock #225

Birdblock #230

August 08, 2007

New Bird Blocks

The Great Flood of '07

...just one of the many reasons that Mary has been slacking on posting new stuff to the blog for the last 6 months.....

Back in the end of March, the very day after we put the finishing touches on our new awesome porch greenhouse:
we got two inches of rain in three hours, and living down in the valley like we do, all that water came crashing down the mountainside with a ferocious earth-shaking force all around our precarious little shack. There was so much water rushing around us that there was a constant roar as if we were in the middle of an earthquake.

If you look closely you can see Joe, in a yellow raincoat, standing by the raging river that covered our little driveway bridge: And while we were stranded at home, sitting on the porch watching the deluge surrounding us, a new spring popped up on the hillside right behind our vegetable garden (which I had recently cleared in order to plant some spring greens):
All we could do was watch as the fenceposts slowly leaned, then fell over under the weight of all the water. Once the fence was down, the soil washed away and or lttle garden was obliterated.

Stubborn as I am, I refused to let one extraordinary flood keep me from having fresh vegetables outside my kitchen door; so with Joe's help, over the next several months we rebuilt - re-setting the fence, adding new boxed raised beds to divert water and retain soil in case of future floods, and, with the help of my folks who we put to work on their vacation, re-planting the new and improved garden with tomatoes, peppers, squash, kale, chard, sunflowers, zinnias, nasturtiums, and marygolds. Back, and better then ever! The garden is now flourishing and beautifully holding out through our severe summer drought. (after pictures to follow soon)

The old piano soundboard (left over from Joe's piano sculptures), which had been propped up on a clearing next to the creek driveway bridge, was completely washed away in the flood. Without a trace, the three-hundred pound 4'x4' board disappeared. Several weeks later, while hiking down the creek, I found the remains of the pianoboard - just broken wood and protruding wires...
...two hundred yards and several creek falls down from where it had been.

And, while re-digging the trench to fix the garden fence, I found the most amazingly beautiful white quartz arrowhead that had been buried in the sediment of the dirt that had washed down the hill in the flood. Perfecty whole, and unimaginably ancient, and unearthed from who knows what long-buried hiding place. Saved as a reminder, that for every misfortune that befalls us there are also some buried treasures to be found...

February 26, 2007

Happy Year of the Pig!

January 30, 2007

The Lost City, scene #14

January 26, 2007

Bossa Nova Mix

Here's a cover illustration I did for a Bossa Nova mix CD from a friend

January 17, 2007

Tinker Cliffs

I painted Tinker Cliffs around St. Patrick's Day in March of 1993. There had been a very heavy snowfall a few days before and I was curious to see the view from atop McAfee's Knob after a snow. I also thought the hike would be an interesting challenge since there was about two feet of snow on the valley floor. The hike was exhausting because the ridge up to the knob had between three and four foot snow drifts and I had to break trail most of the way. My gear was very funky; thrift store hiking boots, overalls, a sweater, and my dad's old 1976 down jacket that made me look like the Michelin Man. I had all of my painting gear in a huge yellow dry bag. When I got to the knob just at sunset I painted Tinker Cliffs. The view was spectacular with this amazing glowing pink, yellow, orange, and purple light. I felt so lucky to see such a sight. My little camp chair sank completely into the snow and was useless, so I crouched down in the snow and started painting with tube watercolors onto a watercolor block. I finished the painting in about an hour because as the sun went down the paint began to freeze. I had never seen paint freeze on a painting, and it left beautiful frost patterns in the picture. The hike back was nice but harder because the sun was down and I was tired, but the picture made it worth all the work.

December 19, 2006

2007 Bird Calendars Are Here!!

The new 2007 Bird Calendar is now available at the Scratch House Cafe Press site. For only $16.99 you can have a whole year of Joe Kelley birds hanging on your wall! You can check out the calendar and place your order at: http://www.cafepress.com/scratchhouse.38912682

Happy Holidays!

November 29, 2006

Bird Block #188

Bird Block #133

Bird Block #137

Bird Block #120

Bird Block #117

October 17, 2006

Bird Block #115

Bird Block #149

Bird Block #186

Bird Block #181

Bird Block #168