Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#10 Study: Pigeon Turning

!0" x 8" mixed media on watercolor paper

I'm further enjoying the crayons and house paints.  The combo seems perfect for these quick studies.    Instead of a pastel sketch then a separate oil painting ---I draw quickly then paint directly over my marks. It's really quite fun. I'm tempted to add some regular acrylic paints for more color variety but I'm challenging myself for now to keep the palette simple with just the three colors and white.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Study: Jar of Safflower Seed

10" x 8" mixed media on watercolor paper

Our pigeons favorite treat is safflower seeds.  This is a jar that I keep by the door to the back porch. All I have to do is shake it and they come right away.

I did this with caran d'ache (water soluble crayons) and house paints.  Some of my first paintings were done with house paint. I often return to this medium, it's feels refreshingly uncomplicated. I keep the palette simple---red, yellow, blue and white.

Friday, May 15, 2015

#9 Study of a Pigeon Wing

4 1/2" x 8 1/2" Oil on linen mounted on panel

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#8 Pigeon Study with Cloud

10" x 8" Oil on linen mounted on panel

For Mother's Day my sons surprised me with their own pigeon art.   My youngest made a sculpture with newspaper, masking tape, wire and paint. He signed his name on the tag around his ankle. I love everything about it. Just look at those feet and the little bits of color on his neck.

My oldest, in the thick of a stomach bug, made an origami pigeon and a card inspired by the pigeon that got into my paints. I love the little scratch painting she's doing. We renamed her Picasso (we use to call her 58, her tag number). She still has some paint on her breast feathers.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#7 Study: Two Looks of Buster

5" x 7" Oil on gessoed paper

This is our oldest pigeon, Buster.  As he has aged his coloring has gotten much darker and his beak now has a tiny hook at the end. He always looks a little surly to me.  The right look is a little odd but I kind of like it.  My son said it looked like two pigeons were looking in a window at us.

These were my preliminary sketches-

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#6 Pigeon Study

6 1/2 " x 3 3/4" Oil on linen mounted on panel

I read that they have clocked a racing pigeon at 92.5 mph!  We don't race our pigeons, we just raise and care for them as pets. I originally wanted to start a carrier pigeon club for kids where participating families would trade pigeons then send them off to fly home with a message. Imagine getting a message from a friend via pigeon! I think it would be amazing but it's a hard sell---it's work and commitment to care for pigeons. I haven't found another family up for the adventure yet. So for now, we're content to have them bobbing about our yard, with watching them take baths and with hearing their coo's throughout the day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

#5 Portrait Study of a Pigeon

4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Oil on linen mounted on panel

In the previous post, I liked the way I painted the back pigeon more than the front one. So today I really tried to focus on suggestive marks rather than detailed.  Before I started painting, I drew several sketches and I think it helped me get the tight rendering need out of my system.

These are my preliminary sketches done in pastel. The bottom left is the last of the four I did and the one I decided to base my painting on.


Monday, May 4, 2015

#4 Study of Two Pigeons on the Roof

10" x 8" oil on stretched canvas

That's Beetle in the back. I'm happy to report that she was out flying today and seems to be doing well.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

#3 Portrait Study of Beetle

5 1/2" x 5 1/2" Oil on panel

This is my last portrait of Beetle as we returned her to the loft and then out to fly again---hopefully she's all better.  While I was painting, her loft companions would visit us.  It was quite entertaining to have a small flock bobbing about my feet or on the porch railing. So why I did this, I'm not sure---I took a break and left my cigar box easel with the palette and painting open and exposed. I returned thirty minutes later to find one of the pigeons had stepped all over the palette then apparently climbed on the painting. There was paint everywhere and the painting was scratched all over and speckled with paint.  I just sat down with a sigh and began cleaning up and then scrapped the painting (I wish I would have taken a photo) and started again.  I hadn't initially intended to do a background but the residual paint strains from the scraping inspired me to do so.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

#2 Study of Beetle

6" x 5" Oil on panel

Hanging out with Beetle again this afternoon. Tried to capture her resting although she doesn't sit still for too long.  I like watching her stretch. She'll fan her tail feathers while opening both wings or she'll stick out a leg to the side as she opens one wing---that's my favorite move, it always makes me want to stand and stretch myself.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Portrait Study of Beetle

6" x 5" Oil on panel

This is our juvenile pigeon named Beetle that we've been nursing back to health. She's been recuperating in a big cage on our porch which gave me the perfect opportunity to observe her closely and attempt this little study. When pigeons are young their eyes are tannish brown. As they age they become more and more yellow-orange.  Her eyes just starting turning this week.