Last summer we had a pair of Carolina Wrens that frequented our flower gardens, especially in back of the house. This year I never saw them. Maybe I just wasn’t alert enough, but I sure did miss them. I even hung a small bird house made especially for wrens but none ever came nor did any other bird use it, for that matter. For a brief moment I thought it might be inhabited by paper wasps but that turned out not to be true.
We have some kind of wrens in San Miguel around our house there, which we see usually early in the morning or at dusk when they make their way around the rocks and our brick fence looking for bugs in the crevices. I’ve even had them perch momentarily on my kitchen windowsill, an act I consider to be of supreme order.
This little guy (and I assume it is a guy) we saw in the tropical foliage in Florida a couple years ago on a visit to Corkscrew Swamp. I’m sure I didn’t hear him, not being reliably able to hear birds with higher pitched voices, but we managed to spot him from his flitting about the big banana tree leaves. I think I’ve made him look a bit like a robin, but tomorrow I plan to do him in another pose, so I have a second chance of making him even more true to life. Even so, I like to think of this Springtime bird as the weather turns to Fall. Something to look forward to at the other end of Winter.
Yesterday was an exercise in imagination. Today I’ve gone back to the same reference and painted what was really there. I showed Melissa, who took the picture, my painting, and her comment back was that she’d seen something kind of medieval when she took it. So it was fascinating to me that we’d each thought of something totally different.
I like the moth as itself, but its pose, strangely suspended as it is, gets the mind to wandering, creating creatures of its own.
I rarely, rarely do anything that’s fantasy. This image just spoke to me from the first moment I saw it, and I had to make it mine. The original picture is a white moth taken through a window at night. Thanks to my fellow artist friend, Melissa, for graciously allowing me to use her photo as my reference. She has a great blog to match her wonderful art — artist books and paper sculpture — and this was taken during her artist-in-residency at I-Park in Connecticut through her studio window.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll do the actual moth, but I wanted to turn it into what I saw when I first looked at the photo, which was a ballerina. Of course it wasn’t, except to me. I just thought it was so cool. My lady has no discernible slippers, and she has some fanciful antennae. She’s really some kind of lady turned moth. You can decide what she is to you.
I’ve wanted to paint some koi for a while now but have felt like everybody does it. It’s sort of like everyone painting Venice. Dave and I have a theory that we’re the only living artists who’ve not yet painted the Grand Canal. I try to refrain from cliche as much as possible.
But today I had nothing else in mind, and with time quickly slipping past me I needed something to just kind of play with. So I returned to our Florida pictures from the Amelia Island trip where I remembered there being some photos of koi that we spotted in a pond in one of the little towns we visited. My version is kind of mysterious, which is why I chose this particular picture. The little fantail is the only thing for sure, everything else being kind of murky and dreamy. Those little circles to his right used to be coins dropped in his pool, but I turned them into part of the mystery.Â He’s just part of that very big ocean out there.