Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yellow Crowned Night Heron

The last painting I "completed" was given as a  Christmas gift.  My daughter's private flute instructor of the past nine years is also the head of the York County Wild Bird Refuge   She has made it her  mission to protect the Yellow Crowned Night Herons who have made an artificial lake in the middle of York City their home.

It is quite an experience to attend the annual Spring Garden Recital surrounded by fledgling herons and other birds who are being nursed to health by Mrs. Deckard.   Her wonderful backyard garden in transformed into a hospital for injured and rescued birds.  While the young ladies are playing their flutes in the gazebo, wrens and robins and finches fly about, oblivious to the commotion taking place in the garden.

I had to research the heron that she loves, borrowing reference photos from birdwatchers along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.  The swamp flora  was partially my own garden and partially borrowed from another photo, but largely invented as Vincent Van Vogh seemed to visit me while painting this.  I was inspired by my visit to the Van Gogh: Up Close exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I painted this over a discarded painting of my own garden which I attempted to paint en plein air.  The painting was abandoned after I was attacked by hordes of Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs who kept flying into me and my canvas.  I could not find any sandpaper so the ridges and textures remain from the abandoned painting.  (I like doing this, but I've often received criticism for it).  Please click on the picture for a better view!

This is quite a contrast to the style I have been studying.  I am taking a class using Old Masters techniques.  It is a lot of blending and smoothing and sanding, small brushes and discipline which I am not used to.   Not my typical style, but I am learning a lot.  I think it is always good to challenge oneself as an artist by exploring as many genres as we can.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's New in 2013

Nothing much to post about.  Last postable painting was the Yellow Crowned Night Heron. I gave it to my daughter's flute teacher.  I did post it on Facebook in it's not quite finished form.  If any one is interested, I will post it here.

I have been taking a painting class at the local Art Association.  I felt I needed to be in a class to get out of my "slump".  So I am taking this Old Masters painting class and it is a love/hate thing.  It is much tighter than I usually paint and I must say that I suck.

Nancy, was a watercolor teacher of mine some 15-18 years ago.  She is very good at this but it is not my thing.  Still I find the challenge enticing.   I've learned some nifty things and I might do a little more of this.
If nothing else, it will help me to teach my students.

On another note, I am going to start a new blog for my Photo 2 students.  I will post some photos for them to look at and critique.  (I might be visiting some blogs for these).  I will also be requiring them to create their own photo blogs to post and critique each other.   So please visit them if you think about it.  More details to follow.