Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mountain Bluebirds - Something unexpected happened this winter.

Something quite unexpected happened this winter when I started participating in an online group that weekly paints a different 'colourful bird'. I have always known I like to paint what I encounter in my life, but I was surprised to find out how much I didn't like painting birds I was unfamiliar with. I didn't feel any attachment to these birds that were posted each week for us to paint and after the first couple of attempts, I gave up and went back to painting nuthatches, chickadees, crows, bluebirds and wrens, all birds I have studied and understand.

What birds are around your home this spring? Walking my dog this morning a Pileated Woodpecker surprised us by dropping big chunks of dead cotton tree bark and yesterday in the same area, a chestnut back chickadee landed very close to me. Wow, were it's chestnut feathers ever fluffy and the brown colour rich.

'Mountain Bluebird in the Kootenays'
watercolour by Eileen Gidman 
The mountain Blue Bird was painted from a photo given to me by a birder from Bonners Ferry, Idaho. As I am not a great photographer, I really appreciate when birders give me permission to use their photographs as reference material. Thank you Deb.
Little carved wooden birds
'Cardinal, Mountain Bluebird, and Chickadee'
I also had some fun days this winter carving simple wooden bird ornaments.


Win Dinn, Artist said...

Love your 'local' bird, whether in a painting or carved, Eileen. Such a pleasure to see them returning in quantity for their summer in the valley.

HollyM said...

I would totally agree with you. I think I could paint only what I'm familiar with here. We see the pile acted woodpeckers on our walks but get the smaller ones at our feeders. I guess the chickadees are my favourites. I love catching the nuthatch too. We get tons of goldfinches.
Your carved birds are sweet!

Laura Leeder said...

I agree with you Eileen. There is something special about having a wonderful memory attached to the subject matter you are painting. I am especially fond of your wren carving!