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Bird Painting ~ A Study of the Season

Thursday, August 4, 2016 | 2:37 pm | Media

‘Calling Spring’ is a 20x30cm watercolour bird painting I’m working on, just because I need to return to my own work for a minute… It has been too long! Off the back of my Chasing Autumn tutorial, I wanted to take the theme one step further and produce a more complex bird painting on the same concept. It is a study of the seasons… As the last of the Autumn colour fades, we see the last of the winter and sense the arrival of the Spring just around the corner. As my friend Steven Merrett said ‘this one is calling out to be painted’ and I think he is absolutely right. I loved his pose, cheerful, calling out to the world as though making some grand announcement.

Creating the Chasing Autumn watercolour painting tutorial saw me out and about chasing the colours of the season for weeks on end. Some days were bright and sunny… others certainly were not! This particular day I had ventured out to film the last of the maples in their brilliant reds before the onslaught of the wild weather snatched the last of the glorious colour away. There is something so delicious about the blackness of the tree trunks in the wet, intensified by the drenching, the contrast just makes the colour sing even louder. It’s not how i do things for botanical art pieces, but for bird painting its all about capturing a drama, a story, the atmosphere and energy of a moment in time. To me the wet weather in the autumn makes everything so completely irresistible.

Already soaked through (including my equipment), i had jumped into my car, fowling off my camera immediately, followed by my hair and face, i stripped my sodden clothes off as my car windows began to cloud over, collected myself and rolled out of the gardens headed for home. No sooner had I regained my composure, did i see this gorgeous tree with its palm sized golden and red leaves poking over the top of a high hedge. Concealed in the courtyard behind, i knew it needed further investigation! Pausing as i considered the rain, torrential and relentless, i glanced at y wet belongings beside me, my poor camera on the seat and leapt out into the rain again to take a better look. The gorgeous golden colours, splashed with rose and rusts to brilliant reds, whispers of lichen dripping in the rain and the beauty of this tree resting there in the wetness made the second soaking well worth it.

I didnt have long, just a few moments before my camera would suffer too much, but i clicked away as I ran an attentive circuit around the tree, smiled and dashed off to the car to dry myself all over again. I knew just the bird for this scene… I have been saving it for just the right story and moment. Thank you for following the progress of this little bird painting along with me, I will add more as it develops… Thank you Steven for the use of this gorgeous bird image, i love this little sweetie!

© 2017 Heidi Willis. All rights reserved.