Its terribly wet out and has been for a few days now. I have lots of work to do but its all outside so I'm in my studio trying to be productive and maybe learning something to boot. This is an oil painting about water, one of my favourite subjects, and a leaf beginning its journey to who knows where. After I was almost finished it for the day I realized it bore some resemblance to the American painter Larry Poons, whom I admire. Funny what comes up through the sub-conscious at times.
Yesterday I intervened with Mother Nature with disastrous results. Sparrows had taken over our Purple Martin palace and weren't allowing the Martins to land and, since I'd built the house for the Martins, I decided to remove the nest and put it in a new birdhouse I'd built specifically for the sparrows. Well, once the sparrows discovered the change they evicted their little chicks and threw them to the ground to die and made efforts to re take the palace. I've been discouraging them by throwing rocks at them whenever I see them, I'm a little miffed at them for treating their young that way but I suppose its my fault. The Purple Martins have shown up again and are showing interest, we'll see how it all works out.
I haven't had much time to paint lately, life as a carpenter has to take precedence at this time of the year! Looking through some of my works on paper and I came across this watercolour painted a few years back, I rather like it as it expresses exactly my sentiments when I came across the scene. And, since it is raining so heavily outside, the water theme is appropriate.
I sat in my back yard lounge chair and painted this watercolour a few days ago, actually before it really started greening up here at the beach. Shortly after I finished this one it started to rain. How wonderful it is to sit and paint outdoors on a spring day. Robins and sparrows, purple martins and goldfinches singing to their hearts content with the odd raven flying by with a sticky bun in its beak! I've lost count on how many paintings I've done from my yard. I'm a lucky duck for sure to be living in such a sublime place.
Rain has been the order of the day lately. Going for walks is a joy, the greening of the landscape is well on its way and the aroma of the poplars in bud can be intoxicating in a very good way. Kinda hard painting pastels outside in the rain so I painted this from my window in the studio, something I've done quite a bit of. I witnessed a funny event while painting, a Raven and a Magpie were getting into it over something and the next thing I see is the Raven flying off with a large cinnamon bun in its beak! He handled it quite easily and after stashing it somewhere was back in five minutes to scrounge for another one. Love those birds and their choice of snacks.
Every one in awhile I get an urge to paint out of the comfort zone and more likely than not paintings such as the one above appear. I actually really enjoy painting these as they allow me to use what ever technical abilities I have garnered over the years combined with a rampant imagination and playfulness. The paintings give me the same wonder I feel when gazing at summer clouds, always changing and open to interpretation. This piece is painted on a 12 inch square piece of masonite prepped with acrylic modelling paste and shellac.
Who doesn't love Petunias? Their cheerful and floppy blossoms remind me of a bunch of Ukrainian Babas all dressed up in traditional clothing sitting around a kitchen table laughing and singing as they make perogies for a big family wedding. (How is that for imagination?) I came across this watercolour painting yesterday as I was rummaging through my stock of papers for something to paint on. It had a bright yellowish/green background that I found unsettling so I decided that I had nothing to lose by painting over it with black. As some of you may know, yellow and black mixed together makes an interesting green by varying the intensity of either. Tom Thompson painted some lovely wild flower paintings using a blackish background to good effect. I am really looking forward to planting pots of Peturnias this spring so I have something to look at and paint. I'll just have to have them somewhere where the deer can't get at them!