Author Archives: Nancy Leigh-Smith
Lately I’ve been painting birds, trying to do them loosely but not very successfully. I get too involved in trying to make them look like what they are.
This spring, a pair of Baltimore Orioles visited my Hummingbird feeder, bypassing the Oriole feeder that was also out. (The Hummingbirds use both feeders.) I put out some oranges and the female was very assertive in not giving up her place to the male.
I saw a large flock of Tree Swallows down at Grassy Bay just before the bugs got really bad. They flew too fast for me to get a picture of them flying but several of them rested on some reeds and I was able to get a photograph to paint.
These three needle-felted pieces are in the Out of the Box exhibition “Summer Fibrations” currently at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte. They are a little larger than the ones I posted last week. They are 9 X 12 and 12 X 9 inches.
They are all based on watercolour sketches or paintings that I did of scenes near my cottage in Calabogie.
The show is on until July 6, 2019.
The 3 pieces shown here today are small pieces (6 x 6, 6 X 8 and 6 x 12 inches) and all depict trees. All three were needle felted onto cotton fabric.
For the one on the left, I hand-spun wool in tight curls to use as the foliage.
This next one was on my blog previously. It uses free motion embroidery over the wool for added dimenson and texture.
The small pieces will be grouped according to colour around a larger similarly coloured piece.
Summer Fibrations promises to be a fabulous show with 215 fibre art pieces of various techniques and colours. Hope you get a chance to come to Almonte to see it.
My next post will feature my larger pieces that are in the show.
The black flies are out but if I keep walking I don’t get bitten, much. Fortunately, Thursday morning, on my early morning walk, I only encountered clouds of non-biting midges. I stopped to sketch this tree with my pen and added watercolour when I returned home.
It looks like many of the branches may be dead as there are no leaves on them. Or maybe this tree is just a little slow.
I find black animals a challenge to paint. I took a photo of this Red-winged Blackbird a week or so ago.
I used Daniel Smith’s Goethite (Brown Ochre) for the initial wash of the bird as well as in the background. I’ve had this paint in my palette for awhile but haven’t really used it. It’s more black than brown, but I love the granulation. This version is pretty close to the photograph.
I’ve not had much luck with my watercolours lately.
This piece is one of my better efforts of the last month. I started out with a bright spring green on my brush making random marks and then added blue. After the first layer dried I tried to make it look like something with negative painting.
It’s an example of having fun with some paint and a brush and seeing where it leads.
The snow is beginning to go. There are bare spots in the woods and on my driveway. The forecast for today is calling for 15 – 20 cm of snow so winter hasn’t given up just yet.
I try to paint a snow scene at least once a year. This is my second attempt at this one. It’s from a photo I took a few weeks ago.
The individual parts of this figure had been lying around my studio for a couple of years. They happened to be sitting on my desk when I came across the original sketch I had done for the figure. I had stopped working on it because the way I wanted to do it wouldn’t work with the pieces I had created. Having the parts and the sketch together reminded me of why I wanted to do this piece. So I rearranged my thinking and the pieces and came up with a more abstract approach.
It is made with thread machine embroidered onto water soluble stabilizer.
The Iguassu Falls Bird Park in Brazil is located beside the National Park containing the falls. I photographed these two macaws when I visited some years ago.
I chose to paint this photograph because of the angles the birds made with their bodies, tails and wings. In my photograph the birds looked grey and black even with adjustments to the brightness. The little bit of turquoise that I could see on one of the bird’s head as well as the yellow eye and mustache enabled me to identify them as Hyacinth Macaws. Further investigations on the internet showed their true colours.