Sunday, June 17, 2018

Back to painting!

It's been quiet here for a while! Almost a month since my last blog. Time flies when you're having fun! We were away for a couple of weeks for a drive across the country! It's a big country.... We saw so many beautiful places. I can't wait to get started on all the new ideas for paintings. But for right now I'm still working on birds. A couple of these I did before our trip, but did not post yet, so here they are.

This pink flamingo was in a zoo in the Netherlands that I visited with my friend (she provided the picture). It's not complete without the pink flamingo!

This snow owl is in the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge. We visited there earlier in the year. Check it out when you're in the area!

The nuthatch is from a picture by Petra Glorie. Unfortunately the story of the baby birds did not end well in this case. Nature can be cruel, and predators are everywhere.

My son's girlfriend made the picture of the barn swallows. We stood watching them as the parents flew in and out every few minutes. They were flying like acrobats while catching insects around us on the grass field. They are fast! It was fun to watch those beaks pop open at every prospect of food!

I made some bird pictures while in Yellowstone. They were stuffed birds at the information center, but hey, it works. This magpie was one of them. We did see some life ones. They are common in the Netherlands too. 

I thought I had missed this year's peony bloom, but there were still some blooming when we came back. Since they will not wait till I get around to it I painted one right away. The next day they were pretty much gone. I'm glad I grabbed the chance!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A penguin, a hummingbird, a nest, and two doves

My son loves penguins, and said I needed a penguin in this bird collection, so here it is. I gave him a different background than the zoo where the picture was made. 

I believe this nest was made by a house wren. It was build into some outdoor curtains. House wrens will start building just about anywhere. As time went by the nest sagged more and more. The eggs did hatch, but I am not sure if the birds lived. They were gone one day. The nest was just too open and exposed not to be noticed by predators. 

I have a birdhouse that lost its hanger, so I just set it on the deck next to our kitchen window. It did not take long for 2 house wrens to find it. Every once in a while they serenade us. When the window is open it is like they are singing inside. It was so funny to watch them start building! You would think a twig like this would not go through that small hole in the birdhouse, but they are persistent and get it in there after a few tries. So after seeing this I wanted to paint another wren.

These mourning dove babies sat in a nest under the roof overhang of my parents' shed. They just sat there the whole week I was there, watching everybody come and go. My dad said they are back this year and had another two babies. It does answer the question of why you never see baby pigeons. I guess they like to stay at mom and pops for a long time and being tended to.

The reference picture for this hummingbird was made by Petra Glorie. She makes beautiful bird pictures while attending bird banding sessions. Birds are caught, banded, and released. Besides painting the hummingbird, this was good practice in skin colors!
I'm now in the home stretch of these 50 bird paintings! Down into the single digits. Yeah, getting there! It's a good feeling to see them all together. They are looking good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Swan, egret, Cooper hawk, and a goose

I find that I enjoy painting swans. I finished a large painting of a couple of swans which I will post later. This swan we saw while on a bike trip in the Netherlands. So beautiful!

An egret from Florida; this one was in a bird sanctuary.

Thanks to my co-worker who rescues birds, in this case this Cooper hawk. He wants to get out of there!

Mama goose is keeping a watchful eye out while the babies discover their world. Geese are everywhere these days.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Kestrel and titmouse

The American Kestrel is a small falcon, beautiful, and colorful. I like how this guy is just looking at you. 

 The titmouse is such a cute little bird. So funny that while I was painting this one a real titmouse sat in front of my studio window on a left over dry coneflower from last year.

Picture credit for both these goes again to Petra Glorie

Monday, April 30, 2018

Two more

The first time I saw a bald eagle I was driving on the freeway and he came flying over. Wow! I was so excited to see this bird! Picture credit for this one goes to Petra Glorie

When I had a birdfeeder out the blue jays quickly took over! They were a bit of bullies to the other birds. Beautiful birds though. Once again I found painting the markings on the back tricky.
Jan Peels made the picture I used for this one.

Friday, April 20, 2018


This duck had a nest in my parents backyard. Their yard is small and fenced in, but it has a lot of greenery for a duck to hide in. My parents saw the duck fly into their yard several times and after some searching found the nest. A couple of weeks later mama duck emerged with seven ducklings. I happened to be visiting at the time and it was so cute to see. My dad even got them some baby duck food, and the little ones swam in the water bowl he set out. A few days later mama duck got very restless and was looking for a way out of the yard. My mom helped guide them to the river through the streets of their village.

These birds were sitting in a nest under our canoe, which was hanging on the outside of the shed. I saw a bird flying under the canoe a few times and went to investigate. I found the nest with eggs, and so decided we would not use the canoe till the babies were grown up. So we did not canoe for about a month! These birds are fly catchers so they are doing good work of catching insects. The are quite the acrobatic too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Winter king"

This little wren has a much cooler name in Dutch: winterkoninkje (winter king). Big name for such a little bird, but then again, the song of this bird is so much bigger than its size. Thanks to Andre Jacobs for the picture!

I'm inching my way to the halfway point of 25! I have two more in progress, so I hope to be over the hump tomorrow. Each of these birds has been taking longer than expected. It's a challenge for sure, but in a good way.