'Sitting Out the Storm'
oil on board
20cm x 20cm
I love painting birds, especially garden birds, sea birds and of course geese. (that doesn't really leave much else, does it?)
You may well have perused my website and Facebook page and come to the conclusion that I am a little obsessed with them! You may well be right.
When I was plotting and planning this challenge during December, I wondered whether I should play safe and stick to the same subject matter/theme for the thirty days. There were lots of advantages to doing it - especially as they would look great together, have a degree of cohesion, be easy on the eye AND (if they were anywhere near good enough) they'd be a body of work to maybe, just maybe, consider submitting a few to galleries.
However, the idea was swiftly chucked out the nearest window when I sat down and really analysed WHY I was undertaking the challenge.
This 30 in 30 challenge. It's a chance to experiment. It's not about 'gallery perfect' art. I want to feel by the end of it that I've been on a journey and on the way learnt from it, hopefully honed a few skills and moved on.
It's about pushing myself into otherwise unchartered waters, trying out new techniques, learning new skills, working with new mediums but also doing things I LIKE doing that make me happy. There's no point in painting things I'm not wholly comfortable with. I've done that many a time with commissions with very tricky, detailed briefs and I've been beside myself.
I like to paint random things, on a whim. Things that pop up in my head in the middle of the night or when I'm out and about rambling the English countryside.
So if the subject matters don't sit well together, it doesn't really matter. I
'm doing it for me.
I've always loved the vibrant, red stemmed twigs of the dogwood. They come into their own in the winter when they form stark, stiff patches of red against the heavy, grey skies of an English winter or blaze their showy colours in contrast to a stark blue/white blanket of snow.
This blackbird is a regular visitor to my garden and I've painted him more times than I care to mention. He's quite happy to peck away at the ground or sit for ages in the bushes and trees, surveying his patch. He has a very soporific effect upon me, too.