Saturday, February 25, 2017

Three for the Show

Black-crowned night heron-14" x 18" acrylic and casein

As the month of February is coming to a close I am assessing my accomplishments for the first two months of the year. So far I am on track for creating three new pieces of art a month to go towards my total of thirty for my October show. 

This first piece is a black-crowned night heron. I have been trying to get decent photos of this bird for a number of years, but they like to tuck themselves in to a tangle of trees at a nearby pond making it difficult to get good photos even with a telephoto lens. However, a few weeks ago I found this one at a different pond and relatively in the open. It seems its favorite pond had frozen over and so it had to move to find food. Lucky for me this new pond had less dense cover and I actually got several usable photos. Even with the great reference I had some challenges painting this one. I had an idea in mind, but the painting just seemed to want to be something other than that so I finally stopped fighting it and came up with this. My husband seems to think it needs a bit of tweaking and I am considering his suggestions as he is almost always right on with those. So though I'm calling it done I'm reserving the right to revisit it in the future.
 
Savannah Sparrow-8" x 10" acrylic

 This next piece is a Savannah sparrow. While on an outing with some of my bird watching friends we came across this bird feeding in a patch of curly dock and thistle. I loved the way the colors of the plants and background reflected the colors in the bird and how the angle of the light made everything glow.While the heron had challenges this one came together quickly and the colors just make me smile.
 
Peregrine and Phalarope - 5" x 7" acrylic
This last painting was an accident, an experiment and a concept painting all rolled into one. While working out some problems with blending colors in the background of the heron painting I grabbed a small board, some of the paint I was using and a blending medium to see if that would help. That was the experiment part. The accident part was that my experiment created something that looked like clouds, so I thought maybe I could use it in some way for another painting. I've been toying with the idea of painting a peregrine falcon in pursuit of some shorebirds after witnessing that event last fall. This is, in a way, a study for that future painting.

Well, that's it for February! We'll see what new creations March inspires!

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