The Gustavus Community Center has a nice little gallery space in its foyer, where local artists have been holding monthly themed shows. May’s theme is birds. It is a great opportunity for Steve and me to display some of our recent collaborative bird sculptures (Steve carves them and creates the mounts, and I paint them). This photo shows half of the show. I painted the kingfisher, warblers, and whimbrel. Steve painted the turnstone.
The swan painting on the left is also mine. It took me four years to paint… not because I painted slowly but because I couldn’t decide on an approach for the sky!
I recently started painting more small landscape studies. In part this is to improve my ability to show the environment for the critters I paint. But the process is also teaching me more about choosing and balancing colors (something I’ve always been a bit shaky at). And it helps me learn to adjust landscape elements—and even create whole new landscapes—while still having the artwork feel true to life.
Carver friend Steve provided me with two new bird painting “assignments.” First was a kingfisher, which had quite a bit of wood patch-work so I decided to paint it completely rather than try to show the wood grain as I did with the owl last summer.
Then a whimbrel. This one had to show the wood grain—it’s such a natural undercurrent for the feather texture!
Here’s the last set. As in previous years, this has been challenging, fun, and surprisingly productive—every year, I’ve ended up with at least one or two images that turned into other art projects—from sweatshirt designs to greeting cards. I wonder which of this year’s will inspire a future art piece?
My thanks to the folks at SCBWI and GNSI for creating the prompt lists!