You can hear the pilleated woodpeckers hammering away when u go out in our yard. And we do have all of these woodpeckers in our yard too. I almost got a pic of a pilleated today but he was too fast for me. Watercolor ink neocolor ii oil pastels. In other words i used all my toys!
However I did get some great osprey pics on out boat ride this evening. They are nesting on the railroad trestle at the end of our neighborhood.
The osprey did not like the boat bear their nest. You could hear them shrieking til we drove off.
There were three nests on the trestle but only seems to be one active now.
All in all a nice river ride. More tomorrow. Margaret xoxoxox

A history with birds

Worked on the goose some more. Funny thought about my bird drawing. I remember in third or fourth grade making bird books. Probably traced the birds and copied the descriptions. All in pencil because god forbid the kid had an ink pen. She might be lethal then. Evidently the bird affair is a long standing one with me.

Funny the things you forget til something jogs your memory. The jog was an old paper my brother wrote about the brown thrasher the Ga state bird. It was in a bag of papers my mom saved for him that I need to mail to him along with his less than stellar report cards. His daughters will enjoy those. I for one would have loved to see my dads.

The goose before i worked on jt some more. You know i think the neck is too short. Odd. I watch geese alot. I should know better. This was not deliberate like the neck of the heron. Hmm the things u dont notice when u r in the heat of drawing.

Drawings are all done w watercolor, Caran dache neocolor ii,some prismacolor art sticks in an 8×10” stillman and birn alpha. NO PENCIL drawings aka direct painting. All done with a watercolor base first.

I have alot of trouble telling the difference in these two birds when they come to the feeder. So do others. Alot of people identify them both as flickers. Like my mom a bird nut if there ever was one. These two birds sure did get cute. Except for the ink smear. No idea where that came from.
In my dreams they would all be as good as this crow. Something to strive for right?!!

Anyway enough birdie thoughts. Nite note Margaret xoxoxo

Sandi Hester and some birds

I ran across Sandi, a terribly charming Nashville TN artist, when I subscribed to her substack An Artists life a few weeks ago. I am kind of hooked on her entertaining youtube feed. She talks about everything from art supplies to art books and how to lake the most art possible. I could spend entirely too much money with her helpful tips. Oops. Been trying to swear off art supply buying.

Having fun playing in my big 8×10” Stillman and Birn alpha. Watched a youtube by Sandi Hester who said leave everything set up so all you have to do is sit down and draw something. So I did. Something i had been meaning to do anyway. She suggested drawing birds from a book but i have so many pics on my phone I don’t need to. Somehow I discovered that they are NOT Canadian Geese but actually Canada Geese. Too late. I had already written the name. Sigh.
Anyway this is done with all that leftover watercolor from pouring and Caran dache neocolor II. Oh and Moltow paint markers. A true mixed media bird.

Was just thinking of the diff in these two birds and WHY did i like the heron best? I drew the goose with caran dache and sprayed it to wet the color. I used the watercolor in the background with a big Chinese brush wet on wet with cobalt and indigo. Smack smack and it was done.

The egret was painted first with the cad yellow light indigo and raw sienna. The water is cobalt. I let the bird dry and then drew on it with the neocolor ii. Too much fun. The grass is neocolor ii and prismacolor art sticks. The water. I got the tipples by folding a kleenex w a knife edge dragging it croswise in the paint. It lifts it and leaves a wave. Hmm or is it a reflection?!!🧐🧐🧐

And i drew a Great Blue Heron who hangs out on our river bank eating I have no idea what. This is also done with that same endless watercolor, neocolor ii and prismacolor art sticks. And yes hes my fav. I did use my artistic license and shorten its neck so it would fit on the page. Hmm maybe I will do this one again on watercolor paper and slap her in a frame.

Margaret xoxoxoxo

How to paint a nest

My fav things splattering and slinging watercolor. Always fun. Colors used paynes grey, indigo, thalo blue, burnt umber,sodalite.
The sketch. Not much there is there?
Mask the eggs first! I like pebeo masking fluid.
First adding masking! Not too sure abt flinging masking fluid. Could be dangerous! Just lay it down roughly and u will be good to go.
Spray it down w a big sprayer and add some color. Prussian blue and burnt umber. And some splatters!
More masking and more color! Careful not to go to dark.
Deliciousness all those yummy colors.
Remove the masking And now to paint the eggs.
A lovely blue w some splatters and paint slinging with my cheap joes scrooogys loose goose aka a saber brush and shes done. Wonder what kind of bird will pop out?!

Margaret being lazy today but thinks it might be fun to have another run at a nest. We do love our birds. Xoxoxox

From the River

Our volunteer Sunflower continues to shoot skyward. I swear it grows 3 inches a day. Jack and the Beanstalk don’t have anything on it. Hopefully a sunflower on the opposite page. An old Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook I never filled up. Lovely paper but I abandoned it because it won’t lay flat which annoys me. Drawn w my original very first beloved coral Lamy Safari with carbon platinum black ink.
Cleaning continues. Found these two old sketches of dear Erica from 2014. Goes to show you can improve if you draw enough. Legs far too short. 😵‍💫
While she is long and very slim those tiny hands?! And once again foreshortened legs OFF. So keep those pencils sharpened and practice practice practice. Daily practice does work just like in tennis. Or should i say like golf since its Masters week here in Augusta Ga Ya gotta put the hours in.
The cleaned and sorted cupboard. Way too many brand new sketchbooks. Who knew i had all of those?
Sooty playing guard cat. No bird need eat. Clueless what he’s doing. And that’s the sunflower in front of him.

Margaret xoxoxo from the rainy river.

Sometimes a sketch book is just scribbles

Love escape to the country and its variety of houses. Probably my fav show other than big bang. I get the urge to draw the beautiful countryside and the wonky odd ball charming houses and shops. i finally did. And probably will again since this one didnt turn out the way i wanted it too. And oopsey. How do they get the pronunciation Lem-stir out of the name Leominster? Go figure. I love the fields and Yorkshire the land of my ggggggrandmother Hartley takes my breath away. She lived just diwn the road from All Creatures Great and Small Skelldale House.
Drawing the seagulls at the dam. They were plucking herring from the water. Rather like drawing gesture sketches but they never hold a pose for a second.
The first pages. I think they got better.
Sweet Daisy who is always a willing model snoozing on the back deck and especially appropriate for ink sketches since shes fifty shades of grey.

Stillman and birn alpha uniball micro pen pentel brush pen

Margaret who has taken way too much antihistamine today. 💤💤💤💤xoxoxoxo

#29 The Blue Bird of Happiness

Leans a little to the left but calling her done. I didn’t draw the line under her straight. Opps. The wind was blowing her feathers but not that hard lol. You will notice she looks straight in the next one. Just one little crooked line did that.

Evidently females are more grey than males. Thanks Mike. Took a while getting the right blue and fixing the whites. Yes i hauled out the gouache. Added thalo to the cobalt which perked her up.
First round. She was too dull even for a female
Round two fixing the beak and the eyes which required alot of fiddling.
Still not right.
Almost there but not blue enough.
And done. Thalo and cobalt burnt sienna quin rose and cad yellow white gouache paynes grey.

Margaret back to her other painting. Involves blue bonnets and indian paintbrush Xoxoxoxo

A Birdie kind of Day

Still not finished but clueless what to do to finish him. It will come sooner or later. He kept me awake last night thinking about him. Still no answers but thoughts if a bigger one on wc paper instead of in my journal. Delft Blue Derwent watercolor w Black Inktense and indanthrine, red, yellow and orange faber Castell watercolor pencils.
So while i was thinking about number 1 number two came to visit. Pitt pen , Black Inktense pencil and red, yellow and orange faber Castell watercolor pencils. Guess I need to finish the fence hes standing on.
When i left the neighborhood this am two random geese were crossing the road in front of me. Since i drive a prius they couldn’t hear me and they were oh so pokey i finally beeped at them.
I could head one say to the other RUN BABY RUN! Did u know geese are mated for life pairs?!

Margaret xoxoxo

Finally Done

Ballerina Aches 140 cp Shes finally done. Had to lift her fingers on her right hand. They were so bad. Still not quite perfect but close enough. Quite and interesting technique since most of the painting is done by lifting paint not painting it.
The fingers were way too short especially her thumb. Really rather amazing you can lift a figure out when u use arches. Not sure how this technique would work on any other paper but arches.

I did run across an interesting website that has a great list on which watercolors can be substituted for other watercolors like quin pink -alizarin or rose madder. I saved a copy. You probably should to.

Gorgeous day today . Spent a while outside looking for the bald eagles which according to the guys were hunting out back. Camera in hand. NO bald eagles.

Margaret xoxoxox

The correct color

I actually took this out on our wet back deck to photograph when the rain let up. You get more accurate color photos on an over cast day or so they say. The great debate was on as to whether it was done. I decided it was.

Heres the photo i took inside last night. A BIG change in the color, isn’t it?! Anyway the new owner of this large painting pronounced it “wonderful” so i take it that he thinks its done. Painting the edges, varnishing, and adding the wire tomorrow. This will eventually end up in the owner’s cabin in the Western North Carolina mountains.

Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished. (Lao Tzu) is the theme of this painting.

The vultures have been gathering on our sycamore alot recently.
One was on the pool fence today feet from the back door. Fascinating creepy things. According to my husband they only eat meat once its rancid. No feathers on their head lets them get right into that rotten meat. 🤪
I had to take these pics thru the bars on the back deck rail. I was afraid to go outside for fear of scaring him off.
Pretty cool catching him with his wings wide open. Well at least part of them. There were several more in the yard. Our attack cats ran them off.

Margaret xoxoxox who had enough excitemnt for today. Lol.