Here is my newly completed work “Chopper”. He is a North American Pileated Woodpecker, and it was fun hanging out with him as he took shape. I am really trying to find a balance between being detailed and adding some splashes, spills, and splatters to create a dynamic. I think the balance in this piece is a bit closer to where I want to be.
I just finished “Archimedes”, my little Saw Whet owl. While painting this I tried to start incorporating some much looser strokes, and I spent a lot of time flicking the brush around the edges to create atmosphere and dynamics. Even at rest, I wanted this guy to have some energy!
When it comes to my artwork, one of the inspirations that keeps motivating me is … butterflies! I love their bright colors and lovely diverse shapes. On top of that, it makes me blissful and calm when I think of how gracefully and easily they navigate their surroundings, fluttering through the air or landing on one flower and then the next. Never in a hurry and always, seemingly, bearing a sense of purpose.
I am lucky, then, that we have a butterfly garden in a nearby park. It houses many beautiful plants and features which draw in fluttering beauties continually during the summer months. As a way to get inspired, I recently decided to visit there, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The day was sunny and beautiful, and there were many different types of butterflies visiting flowers all around.
In the middle of the garden, there were chairs where visitors could lounge and take in a view of the garden or relax with a book. What a lovely place!
I circled the entire grounds several times and stopped to observe as many butterflies as I could. They allowed me to come very close, as you can see here (I took all pictures with a smartphone and did not zoom in!):
Bees were also enjoying the bright blooms and nectar buffet. Luckily they were too occupied with work to get agitated about a camera “buzzing around.”
Here are all of the great scenes I was able to capture at the garden. I can’t wait to recreate some of these beautiful things with my paintbrush!