Every artist needs a good muse… and in my case this winter, it’s been a solitary Red-Breasted Nuthatch. I’m not sure if it’s a male or a female, but I think of it as a “him”. He has become so accustomed to me and my camera, I’d swear he poses for me before flying off. It’s a hard bird to photograph too since they’re constantly in motion, whether hanging upside down or flitting around on tree branches. I’m completely charmed by him at this point and make an extra effort to ensure his favorite food is out there and then worry when I don’t see him at his normal times. I’ve got loads of reference photos at this point and in a couple of weeks, I’ll have a painting of this nuthatch completed to share with you.
The arctic winters here in northern New Hampshire can still offer a variety of birds to watch, which amazes me. I mean, it’s not exactly an easy climate to endure, and yet, here they are! We keep several feeders filled with a variety of birdseed during the winter months when the black bears are not around to raid them.
I keep a camera, a pair of binoculars and a sketch pad at hand in case an opportunity for a painting should occur. Every couple of years, we’ll see birds such as the Common Redpole or the White-Wing Crossbill, which is a real treat and gives me new material to work with.