|Stormy: 'Oh, won't you please play with me...'|
"When a picture isn't realized, you pitch it in the fire and start another." (Paul Cezanne)
I've hung one from Melrose but I don't like it enough to post it...maybe it should really burn...it will be a very long time before I paint palm trees again.
However I have a painting of my cat that I will indeed post soon. He is such a cutie it is hard to mess him up, or so it seems so far. What do you think?
If you are by chance like me and admire fluffy dogs, but don't yet live with one, here is something you should know...Chow and his winter coat...and this is only pile #1, pile #2 was almost as big. He is a really great dog and we do love him very much!
Happenings in our 1 acre, spring bird scene: Carolina Wrens fledged 4 little short-tailed cuties from the shoe box we taped in the rafters of our pole barn/carport, Bluebirds are feeding chicks, 3 Purple Martins have moved into the gourds, Chickadees chicks are in 2 boxes, the non-stop-coach-like whistle of a Great Crested Flycatcher make our yard sound like a playing field, murder of 6 crows visits regularly looking for hand-outs, Northern Parulas are our tinyest and cutest bird-bath-bathers.
Oh yes, looking back at the (draft's) title, I have learned to knit, albeit haphazardly...and have started making goat cheese which is currently, as of today, available for sale at Earth Pets Organic Feed and Garden in downtown Gainesville 'For Pet Consumption Only'.
11x14 original oil on hardbord
This is a actually a family group I photographed on UF's beef research pasture. The non-migratory Sandhill Cranes we have here are usually in pairs or family groups, as these were. I took the liberty to 'mature' the juvenile who still had a plain gray head, I'm not sure why. Okay, it was just too much fun to paint those bright red crowns.
If I were one to expound on my painting method this might be a post for it. I could go on and on about how one as a painter has to make a choice between doing photo realism and doing painterly, impressionistic sort of work. I could say that if you want your painting to look like a photo then why not buy/frame a photo? Why even paint it? Just to get a bit of texture?
The postures I chose were taken from three different photos. I chose them because I hoped to bring movement, and with luck, some of their grace, to the painting. The background is meant to be lacking in detail and loose. There is little mystery in the cranes themselves but there is purposely no feather by feather detail. Maybe you are familiar with overgrown meadows with the mauve sort of color of the common weed dog-fennel in winter?
This painting is being shown at the Gainesville Fine Arts Association, Central Park Medical Center Show, 'Affairs of the Heart' through early May.
When at the Charleston Southeastern Wildlife Art Exposition (coming up this weekend) a few years ago I was astonished by the prevalence of photo realism. The most revered wildlife painters painted this way, just very large. I'm sorry to say that, in my opinion, almost anyone can indeed paint photo realism, it is just a matter of how quickly. Since then I've seen that wildlife and animal art in general has a bad name among many fine art artist because of the prevalence of photo realism in the field. Nevertheless, this is a lovely and enjoyable event to attend in charming Charleston.
8x10 original oil on hardboard
Painting chickens is very enjoyable for several reasons. Their feathers are colorful, iridescent, loose, flexible, and variable, which frees me to push color and push lots of paint around. Also, they are large and always in motion; that helps lessen my tendency to make stiff, statuary-like bird paintings. But fun they are, stiff-looking or not.
Who knew buying eggs could be fun? Several months ago I started getting my eggs from a local lady who has Cuckoo Marans (terra cotta eggs), Araucanas (blue/green eggs), and New Hampshire Reds (cream eggs). Opening the carton is always a pleasure. I especially love the variable shades of the blue/green eggs.
8x10 original oil on hardboard (Gessobord)
This rooster painting is inspired by a rooster that lived on the beach at a cottage we rented in Tobago in '05. He's in the lower left with a buddy, rummaging in beach wrack...my husband is on the porch.
The beach there looked like this...
6x8 oil on stretched canvas
In keeping with my slow but steady theme of farmstead animals, here are some geese I put together from the free photo reference library on wetcanvas.com. I try to use my own photos, mostly because I'm picky about the perspective, angle, and composition but also because few folks give up their photos for free.
Stormy looks back from his bird feeder look-out post on my desk. The feeders are quite active during this chilly weather.
I hope everyone had a good holiday and that your New Year is off to a pleasant start. Things are looking up here I'm happy to say.
It was one of those fledges that came out of the box, with no tail, that I was afraid I, or the dog somehow frightened out prematurely...so after putting him & another back a few times, I took his picture quickly and turned him over to his furious parents in a low tree.
After having this housing setup for 6 years, 2 of those in S. FL, we finally had ONE brave pair nest all alone, and very late in the season for them. We live in the Jonesville area and the closest colony I know of is at the Archer Rd. dog park but there could be others. The last few years we have had late season visitors check out the gourds but this year they showed up mid-season and we are thrilled that a pair actually stayed and today 4 fledglings are out flying around with the parents. The parents are 2nd year birds, the male for sure anyway, he is not yet in fully dark purple plumage as he will be next year. The plumage difference is more subtle on the female in 2nd vs. 3rd year birds.
They used the gourd with an enlarged hole but if anyone wants more details just let me know. I'll just say we know now to toss the porches and to enlarge all the other holes for next year. They have been a joy to have around and I can't wait to see if we have more next year!
Here is a link to the conservation organization we bought our housing from, the site is full of greats facts and photos: http://purplemartin.org/
p.s. the photo above is before they nested and it's an adult peeking out from the gourd. I may have missed my chance for a "family portrait".