Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers! My mom is an amazing woman. Long story super-short: She got married at 20, had 7 kids(!), lost her parents when she was in her early 20’s, was a farm wife/mother, held various jobs outside the home, then, when I left for college, she got her college degree in her 50’s, wrote a book and sold it in her 70’s and is now writing another book in her 80’s. She even learned to play a violin in her 80’s! Talk about the Beast Within…she has him and passed him to me! Mom, you are amazing. You are, and always have been, an inspiration to me. So Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. This painting’s for you. 🙂
When I was a kid, growing up on a farm in Colorado, my mom would wake me up in the morning, saying, “Wake up, my little Chickadee!” Somehow, it made the morning seem a little less morning-y. So for Mother’s day, how about a chickadee painting?
Chickadee drawing on plexiglass. Yep, those are feathers
My brother takes amazing photos of pretty much anything. He understands the terms F-stop and shutter speed, and somehow uses all those little adjustments and funny protruding knobs to produce photos that say what I would like photos to say but never do. My photos look like a kid with a 110 camera…remember those? So when I asked for a chickadee photo, he came through in spades…or birds, I guess. The above drawing is referenced from his photo. Thanks, Brosky.
Then, while I planned out my painting, I thought, why not put feathers in the canvas? Why not, indeed? Yep. Feathers, three of ’em, adhered with gesso to the plexiglass.
Adding feathers to painting
Because I’m working full-time this week, I decided to work small. This is a 16×20, about half the size of my usual paintings.
Next, I had a coupon for Michaels, you know the 40% off any one item? I purchased the coolest die-cut thingy~! I love it! I went punch-crazy with 2″ circles and added them to my painting.
2-inch circles cut out of regular paper and tracing paper using Die-Cut Punch Thingy
I glued them on using the gesso:
Circles, adhered to the gessoed plexiglass painting
Here is a feather, already adhered to the painting. You can see a smidge of a die-cut circle in the upper LH side of this photo, and in the above photo:
Feather, gessoed onto plexiglass, in preparation for my chickadee painting
Now, the fun begins. A little Moonglow and Quin. Burnt Orange for the head…
Painting Mrs. Chickadee’s head
Moving on to the body with mixtures of Moonglow, Quin. Burnt Orange, and Cerulean. Leaving all the whites alone. No liquid mask was used in this painting:
Mrs. Chickadee body detail
I finished the bird, then started on the background. The background needed to stay very neutral and cool, in order to recede away from the bird. I debated on whether or not to add a building/vertical or horizontal structure behind the bird, but in the end, decided simple was best.
Detail shots showing texture:
Up-close shot of feather
Detail of one of the many circles of paper in the painting
In the end, super-cute chickadee:
Chickadee Mom, 16×20, watercolor on Plexiglass. $500 unframed.
Here’s to you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
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