Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby Birds Abound

Today I would like to share with you some of the little creatures that make my outdoor painting so enjoyable. Over the past two months, we have had several different bird families build nests in our palm trees. Painting outdoors for long periods of time gives me the chance to get acquainted with these little birds. They get so used to me being around, that they go about their business like I am not even there. Sometimes, they will even perch themselves atop my patio umbrella and watch me paint! Here is a Northern Red Cardinal couples nest that was built quite sturdily in one of my manila palms.

Mama Cardinal teaches baby to fly in my garden. Here, she is perched on top of my umbrella, chirping out orders for baby. It was pretty neat to see him try to make his first flight!!

So, he may not be the cutest thing alive, I still think he is special!

He didn't seem to know where to grasp the strongest parts of the palm, and ended up hanging on to the fronds only, doing a "birdsplits" which looked a little painful. I suppose he will learn soon enough!

Here is another nest of three baby Papayabirds.

These parents must have been playing hookey from "NestBuilding 101" class because they built their nest on a palm frond that was dying and would soon fall off. We couldn't bear the thought, and duct taped the frond to the tree base, giving them the few extra days they needed to get their babies out of the nest and flying about.

Here (on top of the fence) is Papa PapayaBird. Him and mama always provided for their babies. The babies would cry every 2-3 hours, and you could see mom and dad fly in with food for all. They were pretty good parents, even if they didn't know how to build the best nest.

Here is a baby learning to fly through the trees on our hill.

Mom And Dad are up high in a fan palm squawking out instructions to the little guy.

Here are a few other birds that reside on our hill.
A little green Japanese White Eye (Mejiro). They can usually be found in groups of seven or more.

The Red-vented BulBul. There were five in the tree, but only two weren't camera shy.

There are many many more birds that share the great outdoors with me and help to make my painting outside such a special treat. Most are too fast to have their picture taken, but that is ok, they keep me company, sing me beautiful songs, and inspire me to keep painting. I truly appreciate the fact that I live in very beautiful surroundings.


"Hey Baby.. Now that we're empty-nesters, wanna go have some fun??!!???"

"Papaya Paradise"

Click here to see "Hawaiian Honeysuckle Love"


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Patio Painting is Pure Paradise!

There is nothing I enjoy more than painting outside, on my tropical patio. The lighting is good, the air is fresh, the palms are swaying in the cool tradewind breezes, the Hawaiian music softly playing in the background, and, my favorite part… the birds. The birds sing to me all day long, and even stop to watch me paint. They keep me entertained and inspired.

Here is what I mean…..

This is my setup. The patio is not large, but it functions quite well and I’ve tried not to let any little bit of space go to waste! There are two market umbrellas that block the sun while still allowing great natural light.

A small pond with waterfall provides a very relaxing atmosphere.

My teak rocker in the shade is the perfect spot to just sit and think about what I’d like to paint next. This is also one of
Brighton’s, my Hawaiian SuperYorkie,
favorite hang out spots while Mom is busy painting.

Another favorite spot of his is a renovated clay chiminia/table. The clay stays nice and cool and he spends many afternoons snoozing away in here!

A small bridge takes you over the pond into an area with a hidden hammock. The perfect place to veg after a long morning of painting, or to collect your thoughts while watching the little geckos scurry among the areca palms.

But the birds are my favorite part of being outdoors. They are everywhere and they sing beautiful little birdie songs all day long. We have several different types - from the comical Mynah Birds, to the playfully chatty Papaya Birds, beautiful Red Cardinals, Java Sparrows, Red Vented Bul-buls, Japanese White Eye (Mejiro), and the Spotted and Zebra Doves, just to name a few.

Here, you can see a little male Papayabird hanging out on my Tiki Torch watching me paint. He was singing up a storm. These guys crack me up. They are such little chatterboxes, it sounds like they had one too many Starbucks!!

The funny thing is, I just happened to be painting a male Papayabird at the time this guy came down to have a look!! I think he was just checking to make sure I was getting the proportions correct!

I love to garden, and devote quite a bit of time to it, also. We have a large hill that I have spent over nine years turning into a Tropical Paradise, and the birds absolutely love it. It makes me happy that I can provide a place that they enjoy hanging out in! It’s a win win situation all the way around!

Thanks for taking the time to visit Brighton and I in our outdoor painting patio paradise!!

Please be sure to check my upcoming blog entries. I have been working on a few little “Tropical Bird” paintings, and will also post about some baby PapayaBirds and baby Red Cardinals that have recently hatched in my Manilla Palms. They keep me quite entertained !!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Paradise Sail

What could be better than sailing gorgeous crystal clear waters with nothing but islands of palm trees and bright blue skies overhead. You won’t ever want to go back home!

"Paradise Sail"
11x14 Oil Painting


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Monday, June 1, 2009


Many years ago, a friend of mine had a Plumeria tree that had some of the most BEAUTIFUL flowers I have ever seen. Deep red pink that turned to a golden yellow in the center. She gave me a stalk of the tree to see if I could grow my own. I brought the cutting home and tried to propagate it. It did start to take root, and about two years later, I had something that resembled a very small plumeria tree with a few leaves, but no flowers. A few more years passed and the tree grew larger with many more branches and leaves, but still no flowers. I was beginning to think it would never bloom. Finally, last month, after FIVE YEARS of patient waiting, flower buds started to appear on the ends of the limbs. My Plumeria finally gave me it's beautiful flowers I had so longed for. It was definitely worth the wait!
They are not real large flowers yet, and some only have three or four petals rather than five, but they are still gorgeous to me! Every morning, I gather the new flowers and bring them in to decorate my home. They add wonderful color, and the fragrance of Plumeria always reminds me of the first time I stepped off the plane in Hawaii.
It's kinda silly, but I had named my tree
"Tahiti Dream" when I first got the stalk. I thought "If I can propagate this cutting and ever get it to bloom for me, I will take that as a sign that I will see Tahiti one day."
The colorfully fragrant flowers definitely brighten up my
"Island Style" bathroom.


Lisabongzee's Island Dream Life Website