Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Series of Sparrows

Winter Birdbath 10 x 12"

Winter Birdbath II 10 x 12"
Winter Birdbath III 10 x 12"

Winter Birdbath IV 10 x 12"
I have a heated birdbath in my backyard and it provides endless hours of entertainment to our family.  The primary bathers are cheeky sparrows though we have various finches, redpolls and the occasional flicker and magpie as well.  I've seen the sparrows bathing in -20C which caused me some alarm.  I watched them carefully to see if they'd turn to ice in mid air but they flew to a tree and preened for a while with no apparent damage.

Over the years, I've taken thousands of pictures of birds in the bath, in all seasons and all light conditions.  I figured it was time to explore the subject in paint.  These 4 paintings are all on gessoed watercolour paper mounted on birch panels.  The palette that I used was muted and earthy as befits the little birds and the dry, winter setting.  The hardest part was to separate them visually from their backgrounds; they blend into it very well.  I relied largely on colour temperature and the judicious use dark accents to define the birds.  Still, the fact that they could also be somewhat lost in their surroundings appealed to me because that's exactly how they are in the back yard.

I'm sure I'll continue to pay tribute in paint to these little clowns and the pleasure that watching them brings.

4 comments:

suzannepaints said...

This is gorgeous. Love your very painterly style, Ingrid.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I enjoyed checking out your work on your blog. You're pretty painterly yourself.

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

I love the second one best!!! I thought you were still working on figures...let's paint out?

Ingrid Christensen said...

I'd love to.
I'm waiting for a sunny day, though.