Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Hummers are coming!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird- 5" x 7" watercolor and goache
The hummers are coming! The hummers are coming!
Can you tell I'm excited?
Hummingbirds are some of my favorite birds and it turns out the rest of the country is in love with them, too. Some folks spend hundreds of dollars a year to keep their feeders full of sugar water to attract these flying jewels. While I don't go that crazy (only because I don't get that many hummers) I do spend a fair amount of time trying to attract them by putting up feeders, planting their favorite flowers, etc. I have even gone so far as to leave a feeder out into December last year wrapped in a mitten and red lights for the late migrating Anna's that were moving through the valley. I was rewarded with photos, too, for my efforts.
Anna's Hummingbird juvenile-Dec. 2014
 In anticipation of the hummers arriving my feeders are up and ready and I painted the ruby-throat to kick off the season. While I don't get them in my part of the country they are among the most popular of the hummers so I started with them first. I grew up with them in Illinois and saw lots of them while visiting my dad in Kentucky so I am well acquainted with them.

The above painting is currently available through an auction at my Daily Paintworks site.
 (it is now sold, but I always take orders!)
Zip on over and have a look, then get your feeders out. The hummers are coming!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tree Swallow sketch

Tree swallow-5" x 7"-watercolor and gouache on toned paper
As spring advances across the country so do the migrating birds. Some have been here for awhile and are already nesting. Many others are arriving daily and will stay in my area to nest while still others will visit and continue on farther north. 

I love this time of year because, along with the regulars like this tree swallow, surprises show up. Every morning on my walk I check specific areas that I know attract migrating birds to see who arrived over night. Nothing out of the ordinary has been seen yet, but there's still plenty of time.

In the meantime, I am contented to see the familiar faces and delight in the gorgeous colors of their breeding plumage. I love the beautiful blue iridescence of tree swallows and capturing that depth and sparkle in paint is a real challenge. This male sits atop his chosen nest box for the season. He is painted in watercolor and gouache and is available for purchase through my auctions on Daily Paintworks.