Friday, March 18, 2016

Carolina Wrens and Other Things

A pair of my favorite birds, the Carolina Wren, have decided to nest in one of the houses we built for them last year.  After the nesting season ended my DH hung the house near the kitchen door as a reminder for me to paint it - as you can see, that didn't get done!  The pair of wrens don't seem to mind though and seem very content with the house as it is.  I've read that a pair will build several different nests before finally deciding to lay eggs and raise a family in one.  I'm just glad this pair chose this house.  Photo was taken through the glass storm door so may not be as sharp as it could be.

I was so tickled to have the birds nesting nearby that I decided to paint them.  The following is the result with many errors that I can see.  Also, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't paint such a close-up view.  Carolina Wrens are small birds and such a composition makes this one look huge.

watercolor on Arches 140 CP paper

One of my favorite paintings done recently is this rooster.  It was painted in watercolor on Yupo which is a sort of plastic paper.  Painting on Yupo is what I imagine herding cats is like.  The paint beads up and must be painted in more of a dabbing technique than what is usually used with watercolor.  Also, the paint will rewet very easily or even scratch when it does dry so this painting was sprayed with a UV resistant acrylic coating.

Watercolor on Yupo
 Have also been doing quite a few watercolor sketches/practice pieces as well as an exercise from an online forum.  The following is the result of an exercise to use contrast to help define the center of interest.  The reference was some of our daffodils (which are nearly gone now).

Watercolor on Paper

Both of these are relatively unfinished and I doubt I ever finish them.  However, I may do an entirely new painting based on this reference photo - someday!  It was a challenge for me to paint the same thing twice in a row so I'm not in any hurry to do it for a third time.

I think there are other things I've done recently but they either went into the trash can or are so immemorial that I've forgotten them!  I did work up a small sketch for a larger painting that I want to paint eventually.  My DH likes this one and calls the subject 'Barry' and you'll see why if you scroll down a bit!  (Yes, 'Barry' and not 'Beary' - don't ask!  lol)

Watercolor on Paper

I don't know when I'll actually paint it as I haven't worked out the composition I want quite yet. 

So, I have been painting but it's like walking and chewing gum - if I paint, I don't seem to be able to do anything else at the same time so you all don't get any blog posts! 

I do try to keep up - honest!

1 comment:

Sue Clinker said...

I've finally managed to sit down and read through all the Blog posts I've missed over the last few weeks. Sadly we're having internet problems this weekend and I'm not sure if that's because of the appalling stormy weather or if its a fault with Talk Talk, our provider. Anyway, fingers crossed, we've now had a connection for 2 hours so maybe its sorted itself out.

How lovely that the wrens chose to nest in the box you provided. I have 3 birdboxes in our garden but the Blue Tits don't seem interested although they used them last year. Maybe its still a little early in the season for them though. I love the painting of the wren .. we have a little Jenny wren living in the hedgerow at the bottom of our garden but she's very shy and I've only managed to photograph her twice (both fairly fuzzy pictures) - she's tiny also.

The rooster is one of my favourites - I think you should do more like that! Its a very striking picture and great composition.

Daffodils are David's favourite flower and we always have vases full of them in our house at this time of year.