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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.



Filtering by Category: "Holy Love of Giveaways"

Put a Bird on it: A Late Winter Give-Away


Over the course of this past winter, I've become a terrible hoarder of nests.
When we trek along the river's edge, over knoll and under brush, I can not help but scan the boughs above.  I've plucked nests from the mud, carefully snapped twigs, then gingerly carried them miles back home.  I've made sure my nests were deserted, inhabitants long taken to the skies, then scattered them through the house, tucked into turquoise Ball jars, wedged in a goat's jaw bone, hung from fishing line like the finest art a home could hold.

 But now the robins are flying, and the jackrabbits kick up puffs of grass, and I know my time of collecting is dwindling to a close.
I've looked through my collection and chosen this nest, a particularly lovely specimen, as one to give away to one of you lovely readers for your own natural colletions.  I found it in a thicket of brush along the south fork of the Eel River, here in the wilds of Northern California.  Why a give-away you ask?  Quite simply, I've received so much from the land here and it's time to pay that forward.  I take such delight in filling my home with pieces of nature, pieces of life, and want to give that joy away.  And I love birds, but really, who doesn't?

So this is the official "Put a Bird on it" give-away!
Along with this nest, I'll be giving away a copy of "Birds: The Art of Orinthology" - a truly delightful and tiny tome, filled with renditions and studies of birds throughout the ages (including some gorgeous aquatints from James Audubon!).  Additionally there will be a few other tidbits I've yet to decide upon, but rest assured, it will be a splendid little present from me to you!
Ready for the Details?

Leave me a comment (only one please!) below telling me one way the earth has been generous with you.  It could be as simple as a sunny day outside, as growing the food you eat, as giving you one beautiful thing to stop you in your tracks and take note.  Think about it and tell me - You have from now until Saturday night!  I can't wait to hear!

I'll pick a number at random on Sunday March 4th and announce the winner here on my blog!
(and international friends - I'll be happy to ship your way too, so don't hesitate to comment!)
Good Luck and Happy Birding!

The First Giveaway of 2012


That's right.
I said it.
And yes, it's only October.

I'd like to introduce you to the
UmberDove 2012 Calendar:  Creatures I Have Known
Picnik collage
Inspired by the feathered, the hooved, the furred and the winged who catch my eye and steal my heart on any given day.  By the restless ones, the cheerful ones, the small busy bodies who comfort me and entertain my laugh.  By the dawn song and the rustle in the ferns.  By the tiny gifts, the slightest clues left behind for my seemingly bottomless pockets.  By those who bring me joy.  Painted in hopes to bring a sliver of their jubilance to you.

A few highlights from the cast of characters...
This calendar represents hours upon hours spent sketching, drafting, drinking tea, laying watercolor grounds, layering paint colors, drinking more tea, adding highlights, painting details, eating milk chocolate sea salt toffee bars (thank you Whole Foods), scanning, editing, proofing, photographing and finally, sending my little flock off to the printers.
Needless to say, pulling off a calendar is a LOT of good hard time put in the studio.

Now that it's officially done, I'm ready to celebrate.
Care to join?  Here's how:
1.  Pour a gin and tonic (Sapphire with a whole lime squeezed - do not skimp here!)
2.  Pack a suitcase for a weekend jaunt up North
3.  Take 30 to 40 more photos of your puppies doing really cute things like spooning-sleeping
4.  Take the rest of the evening off an paint your toes a ravishing shade of teal


You could just leave a comment below and be entered to win one of these markers of months, the 2012 Calendar!

I'm giving away THREE because three is such a lucky number.
All you need to do is leave one (and only one please) comment - say whatever you like - and you'll be in the running!  The contest starts now (bang!) and will end Wednesday, October 26th in the Evening Sometime with the three winners announced the following day after I've had coffee (these are scientifically precise times, no need to worry yourself with the details).


It is my additional delight to offer up these brand spanky new paintings in the Shop!   I'll be listing all twelve this evening, each one an UmberDove original, watercolored and gouached (maybe a word?  maybe not?) on archival paper and AS EVER so much more nuanced in person.  

Comment away!
~ Umber ~

What's Black and Red and Spread All Over?


THIS JAM, that's what is!
(seriously, LOOK at that color! swoonterific!)
This weekend I truly broke in my new gas range with a batch of the season's first jams: Strawberry-Blackberry to be exact.

The strawberries hail from my favorite vendors at the farmer's market: A young couple, 35 at the most, the very definition of earth sprites.  She has long ringlets of strawberry-blond hair and a smile like Mother Nature herself.  Last year as spring progressed into autumn, she would weigh out my potatoes and lettuces with a gentle hand on her growing belly.  This year she has a beautiful blonde boy permanently strapped to her chest but she mans the scale as deftly as ever.  Her partner looks a bit like Moses, long curls and a bushy beard with a constant wide grin.  We chat about the brussel sprouts and his uncle's plum orchard (last year I made the most heart-stoppingly delicious jam from those plums, this year the crop was too small to bring to market and I almost cried).  They gush over squash blossoms and always throw an extra head of garlic in the bag with a wink.  Their berries are the sweetest at the market, and I'm constantly suckered into giving them all my cash for whatever they may have harvested that morning.

The blackberries hail from the southern fence-line of my property, starting approximately 12 feet from the laundry room door.  Between the songbirds, the pup, and myself, we're working hard on snapping up every plump black globe but the bushes just keep coming.  Prolific!  I think I'll need to make up a cobbler this week, "need" being the key term.  I've always had a love affair with blackberries, stemming from hot summer nights kayaking down rivers, filling milk jugs with the fruit that overhangs the water's edge.  I imagined myself a doe, plucking berries delicately with my teeth while teetering on skinny legs. 
The very definition of wild-crafted
All of this to say,
I made TWO jars for you!

Organic Strawberries.
Wildcrafted Blackberries.
Organic Unbleached Sugar.
And a little bit of magic earth fairy dust thrown in for good measure.

All you need do is leave me a comment below and cross your fingers tight!  I'll draw two names from the proverbial hat sometimes on Wednesday August 10th and ship-shape the lucky winners their jam!  Buy some bread, bake some scones or just get your spoons at the ready.

And Good LUCK to you!

Winners in the Land of Marmal-Milk and Honey


I'm happy to report that lemon marmalade has made its appearance on my plate every day in this last week. Including the last 20 minutes wherein I finally made myself breakfast after waking waaaaaaaay too late and running out the door to my morning radiation appointment without even brushing my hair.  HEE!  (ok, so yes, there has been no hair to brush for months and months, but I had you for a second, didn't I?  Plus, I'm *nearing* full coverage up there, as the stubble is thickening up to a downy soft SHAVED HEAD LOOK.  I'll have my mohawk back in no time!).
Mmmnn... yee haw!
Back to the matter at hand.
Which is lemony goodness and three lucky ladies.

So upon arriving home and filling said belly, I utilized, that old trusty friend and came up with three numbers, leading me to three names, which will ultimately lead me to three packages mailed out with California lovin'.

That said, will commenters 8, 17, and 33 please step forward?  Or if you don't feel like counting,
Andrea of Crownology
Kathleen of Gaia Metal 
(Friends, drop me an email at kclarkstudios[at] with your addys please!)

After reading ALL of your comments, I wished SO very much that I could send every last one of you a jar of liquid gold!  Thank you endlessly for taking the time to enter - you've made these jamming fingers itch for water baths and fruit by the bushel!  So much so, that I do think come summer fruiting season, the giveaways may need to continue...

But for today,
I'm feeling the need to mix paint.
What would you feel about a little sea stone shop update tomorrow, Wednesday the 9th, say around 12:00 pm PST?  Yesterday this jackrabbit sprung from my paintbrushes with a stamp of fuzzy toes and a twitch of elegant ears to join the warren I've been creating.  I truly can not stop.  And truly, I don't want to.
If this jackrabbit full of sight belongs to you, I'd be happy to reserve her - just drop me an Etsy convo right here.

Off to get painty!
- Umber

GiveAway! A Tasty Bit of California Sunshine


I'm in a tart and tasty heaven.
All those meyer lemons I mentioned the other day?  Homegrown in the sweetness of the California sun and hand-delivered by one of my oldest friends?  Well I sliced and diced, steeped and simmered, sweetened and sauced up a whole mess of them into the most glittering jars of marmalade.  Now I know that plenty of people out there are not big fans when it comes to marmalade, that rot-your-teeth-out-in-one-bite business (usually of the smuckers variety - blech), but this, THIS is a whole different beast.
It's sweet, but tart enough to never be cloying, so fresh that you can nearly smell the trees they were grown on, and set to firm texture with perfectly delicate slices of zest.  I think it would be brilliant on scones, smeared over toast with a slice of romano, or just by the spoonful.  I'd never judge you.
And I canned three jars for you, because this sunshine gracing the west coast is too good to not share.
If you like to be entered into a drawing for a little package of warmth and lemony-deliciousness, all you need to do is leave me a comment below!  Say whatever you like, no rules, no restrictions, just all love for you on this gorgeous Friday!
I'll draw, very randomly, three names next Tuesday morning, February 8th for the three homes these jars are destine to!

Pucker up baby!