Another small bird for my mini painting series. What can I say? I just love these little birds! I remember seeing them in forests when I was a kid especially in winter and they are around where I live now too. I think this one is extra fluffed up because it’s chilly.
Depending on the device you are using, this painting may look much larger than it actually is. Towards the end of the summer, I painted another series of “minis” just 4″ x 4″. It is so much fun to paint these – talk about instant gratification! I tried to keep them quick and playful. The subjects are such that they can be depicted around life-sized.
There’s something so adorable about nuthatches …maybe it’s the way they walk head-first down the tree trunks. Anyway, I decided to capture that classic pose here.
Painting birds is so joyful for me so I wanted to revisit the varied thrush but this time in oils. This piece was not painted alla prima. I let the first layer dry and then was able to scratch through to some of the bright under-painting where I wanted. Check out near the bird’s claws for example. I was quite pleased with the balance between representing something real and having an abstracted feeling. There is a very free feeling in that colourful background.
Here is Tom’s poem that goes with this painting. He actually wrote this one separately from the painting but it turned out to be perfect for it!
Branches glow like ladder-rungs up, up the trunk in springtime sun: a thrush alights upon the bark, it’s orange breast a joyful spark of colour after winter’s grey that ushers in the brighter days.