Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's Painting

So far, I have had a bad time with birds and their nests. There was the robin's nest horror, and then this week the wren's nest ordeal. While working out in the yard, Craig found a nest of baby wrens in a hole about knee high up in the side of our house where the AC wires go inside. Three little hungry mouths. I didn't see any sign of adult birds all afternoon and evening and thought about them all night wondering if they had been abandoned. The next day, out of fear, I resisted looking in on them until the afternoon. What I found was two dead babies. One was obviously taken by a predator. Unfortunately, many of our neighbors have outdoor cats, so this is the probable culprit. I am sure most people have no idea how many birds and other animals outdoor cats can kill.
The birds surely decided the nest location was too risky and left it and the babies to die. I had to pull them out by their little feet. Baby birds are the most helpless of this age they have absolutely no chance without parents. I spent a long time looking at them. So delicate. A sad day.

I am certain I might be a bird nerd.

5" x 7"
oil on panel
$250, framed

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finally.....back at the easel....seriously.

Last week my attempts to return to painting failed. Most of you know that we have been packing, moving and unpacking...and settling. I gave myself permission, in hand with well-trusted friends, to spend more time "nesting" here in our new home in Fredericksburg. I love doing handyman kinds of things and our place needed just that (and more...) I also spent several days painting the kitchen. For whatever reason every wall and every piece of trim in this house was painted antique white, all except for the ugly blue wall on the cathedral stairwell. So, you know, being all about color, I felt I needed to get at least one room painted.

I had breakfast with friend and fellow artist Elizabeth Seaver yesterday. I was greatly encouraged to talk with a comrade and I have gotten back to it this week. And, after six weeks away, it feels great.

Almost complete....putting in the details....

5" x 7" oil on panel

5" x 7" oil on panel

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to the easel??...

There are so, so many things to do when you buy a house. I feel like my brain is swimming with possibilities. I have not had the time to even think about painting over the last five weeks, and now suddenly it is back to it and wow, I feel kind of brain dead! It has caught me off guard, to be honest, and I feel like I want to do I need a vacation after all that has transpired since March from looking for and buying the house, all the roadblocks with the purchase, packing, moving and unpacking. What I thought would be a jumping back to the easel Monday has been more like a looking at the easel, walking around it, pondering unfinished paintings and a kind of "lostness" over it all.

This past Friday was First Friday in Fredericksburg so Craig and I headed out to go to openings and visit local galleries. A lot of people were out and about and I did get to see a few local artist friends, but I was surprised that it did not motivate and inspire me to paint as these events normally do. So, I guess I will go with it for now.

To my horror Sunday, I saw the nesting robin sitting on bare wood under my deck. I found the nest on the ground with three little blue eggs laying around it. It was either the high winds or a predator, like a crow or squirrel. One was broken, so I put the other two back in and secured the nest back in place with picture wire and waited. She returned in about fifteen minutes and sat on them. Robins are really particular, so I was skeptical that the pair would stay tending the nest. Yesterday, while looking from above the deck through the boards and saw only one egg in the nest, so one was taken. I haven't seen the robins since, so it has been abandoned. Today, I am going to climb up and get the other egg out. I plan on putting a nesting shelf under there for next year.

I leave you with Patte Ormsby's work. I saw one of Patte's pieces ot the FCCA opening this past Friday and was riveted.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Every box is unpacked, the studio is up and in order and several hours have been spent working on a neglected yard. After a five week break from the easel, I will be back to it on Monday. I wake up every morning amazed that this is my house. It was a long and bumpy road for sure, but here we are finally. We back up to a forest and creek that dumps into the Rappahannock River. There was a ground hog in the yard this morning, robins have built a nest under my deck and I discovered a beautiful eastern box turtle living in the wild rose bush. My kind of place.
Thanks for hanging in there with me....I look forward to catching up with everyone......

The studio: