When it starts to snow here, I usually start painting either beaches or flowers. This is the demo piece I didn't complete when I painted at Cabin Cafe last weekend. I was having too good a time chatting with coffee drinkers to focus on brush strokes. In this piece I concentrated on the basic shapes and left out a lot of details, remembering that the colors are the stars of this show.
My husband has a friend who is fond of Instagramming his sandwiches, and the caption usually lists what the contents are. He makes plain old sandwiches look like works of art somehow, so for a host & hostess gift for a party he held last weekend, I painted one of his creations, and my husband had the caption etched at the top. So fun to paint a sandwich!
I'll be painting at a local coffee shop - The Cabin Cafe - on Sunday the 13th if you'd like to drop by. They have great coffee and lots of seating, not to mention the rustic wood burning fireplace for wintery days. They're on Bow Trail and 45th Street in Calgary.
A close-up of a made-up and therefore unclassified species of bird.
Nest Study III Oil on Board 9 x 9"
This is the tidy, single person's nest I was telling you about a couple of blog posts back. It may not seem so when you look at it now, but that's because I went back in a messed it up a bit to create interest. It was just so "formed" before... so perfect looking. Made me nervous.
Nest Study II 9 x 9" Oil on Board
This is the second nest that served as a trial run before starting Due On Sunday. I do like the warm background in contrast with the blue eggs, but decided for the larger piece that I wanted to paint the opposite, and mixed a color that came out looking like a lovely psych-ward green.
Due On Sunday Oil on Board 14 x 14"
Am I supposed to capitalize the word "on" in the title of this painting, or not? You'd think I'd know since I used to teach language arts. It looks wrong when it's lower case, and wrong when it's upper case...
It took me four small nest studies to figure out what kind of nest I wanted to paint on a larger piece. I settled on one that is kind of messy, which is probably a reflection of my current life. One study came out really compact, neat, and tidy with all the branches tucked into their proper spot, and little pieces of grass placed exactly right to create balance. This nest would have been appropriate in my university days when I lived on my own and my socks were folded and placed in the drawer in their color groupings.
Now I have children.
Cute, but they've changed the look of my nest. I took some time to research the nests of various bird species, and it turns out lots of birds make messy nests... some look like they're about to break in half but the parents still lay eggs in them, and to me they look the most interesting.
I spent all of last week at a workshop taught by Carol Marine, and I learned more from her in five days than I have in my last five years of painting. If you ever have the chance to take one of her courses - run and sign up as fast as you can... use your elbows and lose your manners to get to the front of the line if you have to because you will never regret it, and you will grow immensely in a very short time. Not only was it educational, it was relaxed and positive because that's how Carol is. She came all the way from Texas to teach us Canadians how to paint from the "Islands to the Ocean", and to SQUINT!