In Anemone Tea I, which I’ve just listed on the website and will be taking into Gallery 24 this morning, I’ve paired one of the Steller’s Jays that hangs out around my studio with an antique blue flow Chen-Si teacup and anemones which signify forsaken love in the Victorian language of flowers.
Starting work on a new painting today, Anemone Tea is the latest in my Birds and Teacups series. I’ve paired a Steller’s Jay with an antique blue flow Chen-Si handle-less teacup and saucer and deep purple-blue anenomes, signifying forsaken love.
Sketching my subjet with thinned oils onto primed board.
Sketching in the background drawn drom design elements in the teacup and saucer.
Blocking in background tones.
Flushing out my bird.
Arranging my flowers and filling out my cup and sauser, staying loose.
Working lights and darks.
Still working it…
Detail in the sinking sun.
Lately I’ve gone from painting dead birds to live ones!
My teacup birds, while quite whimsical in concept, are a really about putting some life into the still life genre. I love the layers of artifice that go into these pieces, There’s the teacup artist’s interpretation of a flower and then my re-interpretation of that as well as my careful observation of the real flowers in their corresponding teacup that I’ve arranged in the low afternoon sun that comes streaming in my studio windows.
Then I coax a bird to land on my vignette while I snap a picture. Yes, I wish. I must rely on my growing collection of photos that I take myself as well as some other photo references which I combine with my own work and obscure beyond any point of possible copyright infringement. I need to invest in some more feeders – but I’m not beyond stalking the neighbor’s feeders. I find mornings are best! Although I’ve paused while writing this to take shots of junkos with my telephoto out here on the patio with my feet up on the fire pit and my laptop on my lap! Now if that humming bird will just come back for my pommegranate blossoms – no such luck!
Here are some of my better birding moments, not all teacup appropriate, but you never know…
Spotted Towhee – Los Gatos
Purple House Finch – Carpinteria
Oregon Junko – Los Gatos
Lesser Goldfinch (male) – Los Gatos
Lesser Goldfinch (female) – Los Gatos
Anna’s Hummingbird – Los Gatos
Steller’s Jay – Los Gatos
Starling- Santa Cruz
Seagulls – San Francisco
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo – Santa Barbara
Black Swan – Santa Barbara
Peacock – Cupertino
Albino Peacock – Ayelsford
Flamingo – Oakland