May 23, 2012
Whine Alert! I threw my back out and even my regular swimming routine isn’t helping restore things. It has been over a week and sitting at the computer only seems to aggravate it. Oddly, standing offers the most relief, so I’ve been painting.
My apologies for not leaving comments on my favourite sites. Even this just sitting here is causing shooting pains.
This pair of Barn Owls is from a photo on the BBC Website, without credits as to whom the photographer was/is. I’m in the process of offering compensation for my using the image as reference.
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is, oddly enough, common in a great many countries but not here in Canada. From Wikipedia: ”. . . It is known by many other names, which may refer to the appearance, call, habitat or the eerie, silent flight: White Owl, Silver Owl, Demon Owl, Ghost Owl, Death Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Church Owl, Cave Owl, Stone Owl, Monkey-faced Owl, Hissing Owl, Hobgoblin or Hobby Owl, Dobby Owl, White-breasted Owl, Golden Owl, Scritch Owl, Screech Owl, Straw Owl, Barnyard Owl and Delicate Owl. “Golden Owl” might also refer to the related Golden Masked Owl (T. aurantia). “Hissing Owl” and, particularly in the USA, “screech owl”, referring to the piercing calls of these birds. . . “
The finished piece–a birthday gift for my friend Shiela
Thank you for your patience and support. I’ll be seeing my doctor soon, and hopefully we’ll get to the cause of the problem.
March 11, 2012
These two frames were recently given to me by my friend Shiela, and truly are the smallest I’ve ever come across. Measuring 1.5″ x 1.5″, or 3.5cm x 3.5cm, the paintings themselves had to be 1″ x 1″ or 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm in order to fit within the glass.
I used as subjects, birds based on the photographs of Cornel Apostol at http://apostolcornel.wordpress.com, who has introduced me to species we don’t have here, but ones he has at his feeders in Romania. I believe the first one is a Chaffinch or ‘fringilla coeleb’ and the one on the right is a Great Tit, or ‘parus major’.
January 29, 2012
My home, Kamloops, British Columbia, is one of the locations in North America where the Mountain Bluebird nests. They are stunningly blue–shockingly so, and are appreciated by birders the world over. A monogamous species, the Mountain Bluebird mates for life and prefer nesting boxes which local people here build especially for them.
Another favourite bird of mine is the American Goldfinch which is startlingly yellow and black in the Summer, but moults into a very modest olive green shade in the Winter. They are rampantly at our feeders these days, up to sixty at a time. They are acrobatic in their jostling for position and make me smile to watch them nudge one another off the perches.
There are many Ravens in our region which are larger than Crows and stir many feelings within me when I hear their calls.
Perhaps my most favourite bird in Winter is the Junco, because they appear to be timid (they don’t generally feed at the feeders, but prefer to pick at what’s on the ground) yet won’t be bossed around, especially by Goldfinches. I absolutely love their grey, white and brown feathers and their pert, quick ways.
I hope some of you will give some thought to framing some miniatures of your own. The two frames on the left were gleaned from flea markets, while the two frames on the right were imported from Italy. Of course, photos are equally pleasing in these tiny frames–and are perfect for Valentine’s Day. In case you’re wondering, I usually sell these at $25,00 each, depending on the quality of the frame and the length of time it took to paint the bird. That doesn’t make for huge profits, but it means being able to provide an original watercolour for not a whole lot of money.
January 4, 2012
I usually spend my painting days alternating between very large watercolours and tiny, intimate pieces. The miniatures sell exceedingly well, for after all, even if collectors truly can’t fit yet another painting on their walls, there’s always room for a wee one on a table, desk or mantle.
It’s birds which often become my subject of choice because many species are small and lend themselves well to the petite oval frame, or tastefully-tiny square. It’s such a joy depicting the finches and juncos I glimpse just beyond our living room window, attacking the feeders, nudging each other aside in order to get at the goodies.
Here’s a close-up of a landscape based on our British Columbian, mountain-surrounded Interior: