It has been a while since I've posted here. I've been having work done on my house but now I'm back in the studio. It's early autumn here in New Zealand. We had a gorgeous summer and as the beach is just a mile or two away, it is very hard to resist the call of the water when I should be working. But my busy season approaches, so I must get busy!
Today's little oil study is a Great Blue Heron. My goal in doing this current batch of oil studies is to get better at softening edges. So much for soft edges on this piece! It fought me all the way - so I left the edges harder than I wanted and spent way too much time on it. I do these quick studies in order to progress as a painter and sometimes it doesn't come as easily as I want it to. Though I'm happy with the final piece as a painting - it's not the soft-edged study I had envisioned.
A Spotted Towhee is today's little oil study. This bird used to be known as Rufous-sided Towhee but for some reason, the name has been changed.
I'm hoping to do a dozen (or more) pieces in the next week or two for my oil study project so I can mail them before heading back to New Zealand in late November. With this batch, I'm working on edges. Get a group of artists together and we can spend a lot of time talking about edges...or the lack of edges. The idea is to suggest an edge without painting a hard line. Birds are the perfect subject matter for this exercise.
I love these little guys - their beep-beep-beep calls make me think of aliens (from another planet) for some strange reason. Just as I put the last brush stroke on this piece, I heard one calling outside. It's a sign! When in New Zealand, I miss the N.American birds most of all; hummingbirds, nuthatches, chickadees and ravens.
This is number 307! That's a lot of little paintings. I wish I could see them all framed and hanging together in one exhibition. I really enjoy painting these little guys. For some reason, they usually jump off the brush unlike larger pieces which are sometimes a struggle.
This 12" x 9" oil was inspired by one of the little owls I did for my 75 for 75 oil study project. I painted it a while ago but this morning, repainted the background. Wow - what a difference!
This will be one of the 25 originals I'll be exhibiting at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland - November 14-16.
I'm not sure if this is finished - but I'll know in a few days. I have to live with a piece for a while before deciding if it is truly done. Tern Beyond the Boom will be with the rest of my work at the Horton Hayes Fine Art Gallery in downtown Charleston, South Carolina for the opening of the group show Atmosphere, November 7th, 2014. I'll be at the opening - hope to see you there.
I'm back in the U.S. for two months and while here, have been sorting through some things I left in the U.S. I've found the motherlode....a few little studies that either weren't finished, hadn't been posted or I've saved from larger pieces that were discarded. There is still more stuff to sort through - so stay tuned!
This is a 12" x 9" oil of my favorite kitty model, Mouser. Unfortunately Mouser passed away a few years ago but I still love to paint her. She spent a lot of time looking at the wall - which made her an even better model.