I took a photo of some seagulls a few months ago near Lake Michigan (Ludington beach), and decided to paint them. I call it “The Gathering’ because these little guys do love to gather together!
I love the unique look, plumage and colors of the Great Blue Heron, one of the more elegant birds that can be seen along the waterways in Michigan. I placed this one in a setting near blue water, for color harmony.
Special thanks goes to Regina Brindle, a gifted bird photographer, for the photo reference, which was used with her permission.
A few weeks ago, I posted about what Michigan artists do during the long cold winter, when temperatures are subzero (24 degrees below zero two days ago, in fact), when cars without heaters for the engine block won’t start and the snow looks like powdered sugar on top of the pines and oaks.
We get ready for art fairs and apply to galleries. I am applying to two this summer, and both required going to ZAPP (an online artist application site) and providing a photo of my display booth. The only problem: I didn’t have a display booth.
So, I called to find out what to do. The really nice gal who answered said, “Well, you get a tent and set it up with your display.” I then asked the logical question: “in MICHIGAN? In WINTER? How?” I then was told to set it up inside. Oh. My formerly Texas brain didn’t make that leap in logic; tents are only outdoors down there.
So, I got a tent (with side panels, even). A very nice friend helped me build a fold-out display board. I put up the tent, inside a friend’s warehouse. And grabbed some of my pictures that aren’t in galleries and some cards, to make my display. Below is my “booth shot”:
I didn’t put up the sides, but will during the art shows; but at least the display panel held my paintings, and the table held the cards. Now, the wait, to see if I get juried in.
So, what do Michigan artists do during the winter? We apply to art fairs, and shovel lots and lots and lots of snow!
I live in a national forest, down a lane that winds up to my house. And over the past few months, as my roommates and I drive home, we have seen a large winged grouse come flying at our car, attacking the rear windshield or bumper. This grouse has become quite tame, and feeds on bits of seed that fall from the feeders; we’ve even named him “Louie.” So, I had to paint him, and below is the result.
This is a bit brighter and more abstract than some of my bird paintings, because I fell in love with the bright colors in his feathers, and wanted to contrast this with the white snow and dark branches he likes to hide in. Louie is certainly beautiful, and is fun to watch when he (she?) comes to eat with the other birds.
Maybe this spring, there will be babies, too!
For Christmas, I gave out two gift certificates good for a painting of their choice to two friends. One, who is a birdwatcher like me, immediately said, “I want a painting of Loons” (which show up on her lake, they visit every fall and spring here in Michigan). The other said, “A moose!” (I’ll show that one in a few days)
I didn’t have any loon photos that I or my roommate had taken, so I “cheated.” I went to a wonderful artist’s forum (wetcanvas.com), to their photo library, and found some good photos. So, unlike my normal paintings, the photo references was taken by another individual: Steve Mac, a gifted photographer. ; I put photos of two of his loons together into a painting.
Since this was a private Christmas present, and not for sale, I’m assuming that it was okay to use this photo, as long as I give photo credit for the reference photos that I used. I do hope my friend enjoys the painting! They are beautiful birds indeed; I love to hear their lonely calls in the early evenings.
Here’s the finch painting that I showed how to paint in my previous posts.
I’ve added more detail and color to the branches and the bird, and the layers of feathers, using the same colors I described before.