Birds and Flowers

Now that my schedule is calmer and more manageable, I am excited about painting again. It’s funny how creativity can be so easily squelched by stress and demands on one’s time and attention. Even when I had time to write or paint during the past few months, I usually couldn’t get started. When I did try, everything seemed flat and uninspired.

As I’ve found out over and over, I need chunks of time alone and quiet to flourish physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Without that, I start to lose track of who I am and just do things all day without truly “being.”

Often I sit and listen best when I have something in my hand, so this past week I’ve spent much time with a pen, pencil, or paint brush in hand, contemplating the beauty of creation and trying to catch a little of that beauty on my paper.

The hummingbirds really like the Bee Balm. Arielle and I were sitting on the front steps a couple of days ago, watching a hummingbird zip from blossom to blossom.

I painted these while sitting in the garden on a misty evening and plan to do them again with sunshine on them.

Steve came home with some beautiful lilies for me, so I painted them a few times. Flowers are hard for me for some reason, but I was happy with how some of these turned out. I am trying to figure out where to use detail and where to keep it loose.

I love painting flowers that Steve gives me. That way I can still enjoy the flowers long after they’ve wilted and the petals have drifted to the table top.

During the past couple of days I’ve been painting a Canada Goose and a Great Black-backed Gull from photos.

This gull is from a photo by Dennis Hill from a free photo site online.

Water, waves and reflections are all challenging for me, and I worked for quite a while trying to get the rippling waves right in this painting. With both the waves and the reflected wings, I painted using many layers, allowing the paint to dry thoroughly in between layers.

I did this Canada Goose from a photo by Carol Hickey. She takes wonderful wildlife photos and has given me permission to use them as painting references.