A Windy Welcome

              Below is the progression of A Windy Welcome.  Acrylic & ink on wooden cradleboard, 8" x 10" x 1".  The bunting was added in the background with neon blue & a glossy Pantone teal paint.  Many businesses and realtors will decorate with colorful banners to declare 'welcome' and mark the celebration of a grand opening or open house.   The birds in A Windy Welcome have adorned their space with the like.  Read about the inspiration behind this painting here.  My art studio has a twitter!  Follow for updates and special coupon codes for my Etsy shop!


a pair in the pinwheels

The shape of the birds in this painting are loosely based on indigo buntings...I drew a male and female and gave them both brightly colored feathers.  In reading about the blue bird's coloring, I learned that the feathers refract & reflect the light to give off a blue cast, like the sky.

My afternoon was spent rearranging the composition, moving around pinwheels and sketching in a companion for the solitary bird.  The cradleboard I'm painting measures 8" x 10" x 1", with a matte robin's egg blue background.

The image was transferred using carbon paper.  About four years ago at a thrift store in Seneca, SC, I came across a stack of carbon paper pads about a foot high.  This pile was purchased for a mere five dollars, a lifetime supply of transfer paper.  That Salvation Army yielded some of my best random craft supplies....boxes of buttons, sherbert colored thread and vintage lace, gold embroidery hoops...

Paper Pinwheels

   Last summer, shortly after I moved to Texas to be with Steven, I began making little paper pinwheels to draw from.  They've appeared in a few paintings since then; to me they seem youthful, celebratory and hopeful. 

   I'm working on sketches for a new painting about patience & home.  Last week before one of my classes at the painting studio, I watched a tiny bird pick up twigs and things from the sidewalk to build a nest.  Peacefully and steadily, she flew down to retrieve the supplies.  The next day I returned to the studio and saw a half built nest had blown down on the sidewalk.  In the sketch, a bird has made her home in the wind, hopeful for the future.   This song has been on repeat in my studio while I work.   
I copied the drawings from my sketchbook onto tracing paper. The images were then layered and taped down in their ideal arrangement.  Figuring out the composition using tracing paper allows for easy rearranging until the scene is balanced. Plus, I get to keep my sketchbook intact.  #Printmaker


Electric Twitter

Found (Here) Studio is now on Twitter!  A page from my sketchbook & the joys of coloring with highlighters...


Someplace Nice

My favorite new subject is the indigo bunting-he is a vibrant blue color, plump and appearing delightfully grumpy in my sketch.  I first learned about this fellow a few months ago when my husband's aunt sent me some photos from her birdfeeder, including two of a bunting with a goldfinch.  There is so much character in their shape & they have lovely, enduring songs.

As I read about them today, I became fascinated.  For one thing, they migrate at night, using the stars as a guide.  There is something inside of them that allows adjustments for the movement of the star as they follow it in the sky.  It seems to be a bird from a dream world, navigating the twinkling sky as it travels to warmer places.


Bower Birds of a Feather

                     Bower Birds of a Feather....acrylic, 8" x 8" x 1"    

This painting is a montage of images sketched from photographs, arranged & painted in layers of acrylic.  Originally, the background was glossy with splotches of teal and white, but it was visually competing with the cluster of birds.   I painted over the glossy color with a matte teal paint & added the dots to frame the imagery.  The shade and sheen remind me of a robin's egg.

I began reading a book the other day, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It has been on my list for a few years, since I watched a movie based on one of his other books, Everything is Illuminated.  It's been a long while since I read anything that wasn't art history related, I have a bad habit of starting books and leaving them halfway through.  Then there are the few rare books that I've read ten times over, like A Farewell to Arms & Jurassic Park.  Anyhow, there is a small section where the little boy in the book imagines people with skin that changes color according to their mood, to better understand the feelings of others.

This struck a chord with me, and also reminded me a lot of the mood rings that were so popular in the early 90s.  As your skin temperature changed, so would the color of the ring (mine was always blue, which was supposed to mean relaxed, but I got bored with the fact that it was always the same.)  I can remember being anxious that the color would shift to red or orange and my true feelings would be revealed (warm colors weren't as 'good' as the cool ones).   The little blue bunting, my favorite in the scene, looks to be about the color of my old mood ring.  I'd like to do a whole series of these bird paintings, with stacks & stacks of birds of varying colors--maybe an invented species with arbitrary colors like neon pink, purple and deep blue. My mood ring bird series.


Bird Painting Progress

The cradleboard I'm painting measures 8" x 8" x 1".  The birds were all transferred from my sketchbook onto tracing paper, and then arranged like puzzle pieces within the composition.  Right now, I'm just putting down the first coats of paint, and the bare sketches are still visible in the right corner.  Above their heads, I plan on adding a curved branch with leaves and flowers.  The birds are stacked and appear flat without any shadows for now.  I like the flat space and crowded appearance, and I can imagine their overlapping chirps and fluttering wings.


Bower Birds

My married last name also happens to be the name of a bird-how perfect is that?  Male bowerbirds ornately decorate their nests, called bowers, to attract a mate.

I'm beginning work on a new project, which will eventually be an acrylic painting. The sketches are based on photographs from my husband's aunt, all taken at her amazing birdfeeder in Missouri. You wouldn't believe the variety of birds it attracts!  Bluejays, orioles, flickers, woodpeckers, chickadees (my favorite)... 


Find Me (here)

Recently, I was featured in an Etsy treasury list called 'find yourself.'  It is a great collection compiled by Blake and Hannah Sanders, the amazing art duo!  We are all printmakers and they have been my friends for many years.  Together, they head up Orange Barrel Industries, always inspiring!

This particular collage was made especially for Hannah, modeled after the lost original called The Search.
It was the inspiration behind the renaming of my blog & etsy shop,  Found (here).

I used to be quite the night owl in my studio, but lately I love the mornings.  The day is new, the light is nicer and there is nothing better than sitting down with a fresh cup of coffee to make art.  Here's to tomorrow!