Today I am cheating in the 30in30 painting challenge by posting a recent watercolor done in June. It is the same subject as the first rhino, but done vertically, in a different color pallet and painted more loosely. Both the color and the looser style probably render it less realistic (?).
Reviewing my inventory of paintings for 2018, I realized just how fast the year has flown my. This painting was done in June. I also reviewed the last challenge in February, for which I only eeked out 7 paintings. That challenge was during my high season doing art festivals and shows. For this challenge I prepared more carefully ahead of time and I hope to do the full 30 paintings. As soon as it is over, I really need to start prepping for the next challenge in February. Feels like yesterday that I did those paintings in February.
I like the play of textures, shapes and colors in a bouquet of flowers. I find them much more difficult to paint than wildlife and so I don't paint florals as much as I'd like to. I painted this one small to see whether I would want to paint a larger one. The jury is still out.
Day 9 of 30in30 painting challenge and I am having to step up the pace to keep up. I am working on another larger floral which, as I said, I find more difficult, and so it is putting me behind. I will have to switch to another subject or two to get ahead and work on the floral in between. Some paintings just need time to gestate.
How about them feet with the competing beak! It's Day 8 of the 30in30 painting challenge.
I have a watercolor collection of Hawaiian Birds which I began painting some years ago now, specifically to apply images of the paintings to merchandise to be sold in the gift shop of the Hawaiian Wildlife Center on the Big Island of Hawaii. They don't know about this new painting yet and that they will be getting fresh inventory of this little booby soon.
My sister lived in Hawaii for many years and I got to know people through her and the work we did together in her business. Vicariously, some of Hawaii has rubbed off on me. And I am thrilled to do these paintings for their cause.
A portion of the sales proceeds goes to the center.
I generally like to paint without backgrounds, letting the portrait speak for itself. However, I was unsettled about this painting, partly because the head was lost, although I was so attracted to his wings. I will admit I struggled with the background over the course of days. I believe I am happy with it now.
I won't vouch for the success of it, but I learned from a mentor and critique class when I lived in Atlanta, how to critique our work. It was so invaluable. It is amazing how much our feelings about the painting mean something and that we have to discover what it is that will make us happy about it. Often it is a matter of walking away and upon return we are able to see what is 'off'. Then we hope we can correct it!
Day 7 of the 30in30 challenge. One week down. "Only" 3 more to go! I have at least 5 paintings planned out, and will need to start deciding what else I'd like to paint for the remainder of the time.
This summer was my 4th as a volunteer to protect and rescue hatchlings at night on the beach. I'm lucky to live a block from the beach and to spend several hours a couple of nights a week doing something to save these guys. With the recent tropical storm blowing through South Florida, we lost a lot of nests. Last year Hurricane Irma, at the same time of year, washed the nests out as well. Sad to see. But overall, we saved a lot of turtles through the summer.
This painting is one of my current favorites. The piece stands out well even at this small 6x6" size. I actually painted it earlier in the summer but I'm using it for my "cheat" piece for Day 6 of 30in30.
This piece will make it to my collection of sea turtle ceramic coaster tiles, which have been a big hit at shows.
This painting was a commission with a specific bird in flight and specific coloring to match decor. Since the piece needed to be quite large, the final product would be a large format reproduction print. Since the original artwork is for sale, I am considering whether to keep the background white or to put in some sky. Right now it remains white.
Day 5 of the 30in30 painting challenge. I'm slipping a little bit with getting my blog posts written so I can go live with the pieces on time. Hoping today I will be able to play catchup.
Birds of prey, raptors, falconry, all of which I believe hawks, eagles, owls, and more (?) are referred to. Such powerful looking birds, even fierce sometimes. Can't help but want to paint their intense face and varyingly patterned and colorful plumage.
Instagram can truly open doors to other worlds. I was totally captivated by the photos from a Rehab Center for Birds of Prey in Columbia. Wonderful work this environmental conservation organization is doing to rescue raptors.
For this painting, as in many of mine, I decided to focus on the head. This bird, having a very long neck, I prefer close up and personal.
Another photographer, Nancy Freeman, has spectacular photos on a regular (daily) basis. I cannot fathom the patience to capture the shots she gets. As someone commented on Facebook, she (me too) doesn't even SEE the birds that Nancy sees and we visit the same habitats! Birds in front of us, but the shots she gets...wow! And such dedication.
Already day 3 of 30in30 and I've managed to keep up. Ha!
This is one of those cases. Only a mother could love. But I hear all those 'ooohhhs', 'ahhhs', and 'how cutes' out there, so maybe it isn't true.
A friend, photographer and author, whom I met years ago through my long-standing 'day job', Melanie Votaw, kindly lets me use her photos as reference. Most of my paintings, and maybe all of them, are painted from photos, and it is through the generosity of the photographers that have gobs of resource material.
Even having so many resources, it is only when the mood strikes that I can decide to paint from one of them. I'd say that is the hardest part of painting for me...What to paint next! To get around this for the 30in30 challenge, I created a folder, not only of favorites, but a folder 'PAINT NOW'. This means that I committed a sketch to paper and and the painting is queued up.
In the past I painted another albatross painting as I find them captivating.
It's that time of year again for the 30 paintings in 30 days, as Autumn and the busy time of year creeps forward, usually with increasing speed!
My summer has been spent shoring up my social media, exhibiting in several local shows, and planning for the upcoming deluge of indoor art exhibits and outdoor festivals over the next 6-7 months. Which has included several new paintings. I have 'saved' much of the actual painting for these 30 days...but with some cheating by painting ahead of time. Now I will begin to post.
I also spent a couple of nights per week on the beach protecting sea turtle nests and rescuing hatchlings once they emerge. Rescuing comes into play when the turtles scatter toward the lights in the developments rather than the ocean, which can be most of the time. I continue doing this through September and maybe early October.
This painting is of a sea turtle hatchling swimming off into the ocean. It joins the other sea turtle paintings which can be found by theme under SHOP in the navigation.