Bird Song

I'm not sure if I am finished with this painting  - haven't signed it yet. I started it during Earth Hour, when I turned off all electric lights and painted by candlelight. I was - pleasantly - surprised by how the colors turned out. Much brighter than they appeared while I was painting!

This is the first large painting I've attempted since starting my Painting a Day Project. Those paintings (52 paintings in a little over 52 days) were all 6x8" or smaller.  The first thing I remembered is how much more physical painting on a larger canvas is. Instead of most of the movement coming from my elbow, they movement for this painting (40x30") came from my shoulders and hips.

I also challenged myself on this painting to just let go and paint. I was feeling somewhat uninspired as I began this painting. I think really I was a bit intimidated by the size of the canvas. I've painted this big before - and larger - but it has been since the Fall. I'd really gotten used to the little guys, and suddenly, here was this big blank canvas. Since I really didn't know what I wanted to paint, the safe thing would've been to grab one of my little canvases. I sure hate screwing up a big canvas. As "free" as I want to be, the thought of wasting a $85 canvas is always a little nerve-wracking.

But I decided to just throw caution to the wind and paint big. But paint what??  I decided on a vertical orientation - another step out of my comfort zone. I tend to paint horizontal or square. But Saturday night, I went for the "full monty."

The first thing I thought of when contemplating the vertical canvas was trees. So I painted in some quick vertical strokes in ultramarine blue. Then I added some yellow ochre strokes. In doing that, two things happened: I started thinking about and visualizing birds. And, the trees morphed into reeds and dried grasses. 

So, out of quiet mind, candlelight and Native American flute music came "Bird Song."


1 Response to Bird Song

Carol Stephens
I love this picture and the story of how you painted it and your delight at how the colours turned out. Is it for sale please?
Thank you

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