Backyard Birding – A Painting Project Takes Wing

I’ve been an avid “birder” since I was a child, thanks in large part to my grandmother and mother’s interest.  There were always feeders hanging on the front and back porch as well as in the apple tree in the front yard.  I recall watching my mother refill the hummingbird feeder while a hummingbird perched on the top of her head, keeping an eye on things until it was full again.  There was a large field behind our house and beyond our fenced yard.  There were bird houses located the length of the back yard fence and every year blue birds and tree swallows would battle for nesting rights.  I’m a long way from childhood and my interest in bird watching is just as strong; however, I don’t see as many birds these days as I remember from my youth.  Part of this is location since my home is at the top of a small knoll, surrounded by woods and a small pond rather than big hay fields.  Or, I should say I see different birds now.  Part of it is also the decline of bird populations due to loss of habitat and climate change, among other things.  Like most of the country, we’ve spent the spring and summer sheltering at home, so I’ve had more opportunities to observe the bird life than I usually have.  I’ve wanted to work on a series of paintings with an attainable goal.  I decided I would paint all the birds I’ve seen around my home and I’m pleasantly surprised by (and a bit daunted by) just how many there are.  I have a lot of painting ahead of me!  But, what better way to spend this time at home, than in my studio creating a body of bird art.

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Painting In Progress (Common Loons)

This painting could be called a labor of love, both on my part and for the loons.  The first summer we spent at our current home was a lot of work.  We had to build the studio almost from the ground up and had little time for leisure.  However, we sometimes took moments to put our boat in the pond by our home.  Hearing the sound of loons calling across the water was magical and drew us out onto the water.  We’d gently float along observing the many creatures with whom we shared the pond.  Once, two loons popped up out of the water right next to the boat.  They were so focused on their courtship, they seemed unconcerned with our proximity.  It was a special moment with nature that I treasure and is the inspiration for this painting.   You will be able to see the finished painting at my upcoming exhibit, “Northern Exposure”, to be held at the Gallery at WREN in Bethlehem, New Hampshire in September.

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Rhythm & Hues Exhibit – Copley Society of Art

The small works show will be on view at the gallery until the end of August.  It’s also viewable online at the Copley Society of Art website.  However, if you find yourself in Boston, and want to visit, the gallery is currently open to the public only on Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm-5pm and by appointment during the week.  Please contact the gallery directly if you have any questions about their health compliance procedures. 

I’ve enjoyed watching birds since I was a child so it’s no surprise this past-time would become a natural extension in my artworks.  The rural setting where I reside offers an abundance of birds as subjects for my paintings.

Title:  “In The Pink”, 8″h x 5″w

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2020 Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors

One of my watercolors has been accepted into this year’s show at the View Arts Center in Old Forge, New York.  My painting, “Leaves of Autumn” featuring a ruffed grouse scratching about in the fallen leaves was the artwork that made the juror’s cut.  So glad to be a part of the exhibition this year.   Despite the current health crisis, it’s nice to know The View is still hosting the show.  The exhibit is open to the public from August 8th through September 27th.  Be sure to check with The View Art Center for more details and health guidelines.

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“Watercolor 2020” Exhibit – Bryan Memorial Gallery

The Bryan Memorial Gallery has re-opened it’s doors to welcome the public for several exhibitions of art, including a new watercolor art show.  I’m honored to have had three paintings accepted into this juried exhibit.  The show has been extended to run all summer through September 7th, 2020.  I’m assured the gallery is practicing all health measures and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit if you want to stop in to see the art.  I recently learned this painting, “The Great Escape” has sold.  Finally, something for the good news jar!  Not to worry… I have a few more paintings in the show that are available.

 

Title:  “The Great Escape”
21″h x 13″w
Original Watercolor

 

 

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