Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Bohemian Waxwing" watercolor 4"x6" $85

How can such a small painting say so much? This bohemian waxwing has been in my memory for many many years in fact I am beginning to see myself symbolized by it...bohemian...bird in flight.
I am getting carried away!
What does make a great painting?
I believe it is the space for the viewer, that is left open in the painting, which is how a great painting begins. Second, your memories are triggered by a painting and you become the spark that completes the greatness.
Why are some paintings so universally appreciated? Is it that the more common the subject, like Mona Lisa's smile, the more everyone can get involved?
Whatever it is, be sure you leave room for the viewer, because you are the viewer too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Watercolors and Oils Paintings of birds
 are in two Art Shows:
**Skinny Pancake, Burlington, VT at Lake and College on the waterfront
**City Cafe, Steamboat Springs, CO, the City of Steamboat Springs' office complex

Blackbirds fly as one: they lift off together and there are no followers. Amazing in their unison and camaraderie. I painted them in watercolors to feel their presence-the paint is transparent and gives clarity to a subject. Then I can see the subject in oils!

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Greater Yellowlegs" watercolor 5"x7" $85

The birds I paint are always more alive at the scene and this Yellowlegs was very active: in and out of the side marsh of the Connecticut River and lifting its legs gently through the shallows and dipping its head and prominent bill in and out of the water and more.
Still a painting can express our emotions towards the entire scene and more importantly jog that one memory years later. We all will see some differences;colors, shape, values and paint that which we see. However in the end they are all accurate because it is the memory and a work of art. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Tufted Titmouse" watercolor 4"x6" $85

Against the vibrant fall colors, this little grey bird with the large dark eyes flew back and forth to my feeder and put on a show when the chickadees tried to get a sunflower seed. One would be on one side and the other at the opposite side. The feeder gets me painting with each new bird sighting. I often get the question and comment in my classes that they just don't paint enough. I suggest they get a feeder and spend a half hour each day, with coffee in hand watching, then painting the new sightings and be done!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Common Loon" watercolor 4"x6" $85

I visited a friend at her family's cottage in Owl's Head, Maine.
It amazes me that even with a small watercolor the colors are true to the new landscape I'm painting. The colors which I selected, seemed random but I do believe it is the intuitive human eye which is so good with color not our brain. Before the watercolor is photographed, it can seem insignificant, hardly worth saving with all my studio paintings towering above this piece of paper. Once in a photo I see it as others would-a work of art.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Robin" watercolor 5"x7" $75

I've seen this Robin before in my yard and in fact she's been here all summer because robins will nest as many times as they can each summer.
As fall arrives, the rich colors in the trees seem to develop or are my eyes just seeing what they want to see?
The background in this watercolor mimics the rich fall colors: indigo, reds and yellows. I painted this with the Winslow Homer mantra: keep layering and removing paint till it is just right. He never said die.
Watercolors are not delicate just the paper and paper is expendable. Use heavier paper to keep painting. Use materials that are right for your painting style.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Costa's" watercolor 5'x7" $75

This one lone Costa's Hummingbird was feeding in a blossoming Ironwood Tree on the Baja. It was so tiny and seemingly lost in the pale pink petals, but invarietably the Zantus's hummers fought for their space, chasing the Costa's. The unbelievable speed in these chase scenes was dramatic and mesmerizing.
We would have set up our camp chairs and watched forever but finally night was coming and dinner called.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Harris's Hawk" watercolor 5"x7" $65

I listened to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science's bird handler and watched them lay prey for this Harris's Hawk. At lightening speed and ten feet above the ground it flew to center stage and up to the hand of it's handler. It's deep rich color and agility was mesmerizing. I sat with my watercolors in the audience and made this sketch. I saw many large raptor so close I felt like I could touch them.   

"Peregrines" watercolor 5"x7"

Birding in Vermont is made pretty easy at Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), which is where I brought my watercolors and left my binoculars in the car. I spent the day with owls, buteos and vultures.
VINS rehabilitate injured raptors to tiny hummers and I could view fledging cedar waxwings, bald eagles, and these Peregrine Falcons among many others. What a treat to see them so close, even with their crooked wing or blind eye. Their colors, elegance and beauty is unsurpassed.

"Three Xantus's Hummingbirds" watercolor 8"x10" $95

I go birding with my watercolor paints. It isn't always that I have time to paint when out with fellow birders but always bringing my paints keeps me in tune with
the Art of Birding: shapes, colors, habitat and brushstrokes. While other birders create their life-list, I record the total image-a bird's landscape that I can paint on a lunch break or back in my studio. Some studies I sell and some studies become my life-list, in a journal with habitat notes