This crab apple tree is located between 2 large pine trees in my front yard in Ottawa. This year it was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker who worked on a couple of the branches. One of the branches came down in the last wind storm. Every year I expect it to die but it’s still surviving. I have painted it in bloom and in the fall and decided this time to concentrate on the bark.
I was raking leaves that didn’t get cleaned up last fall and noticed that the rhubarb was up.
I took a break to take a photo of the rhubarb which I used the next day to do a quick watercolour sketch.
I did a wet in wet under painting and then played with what was there to make it look like flowers. I don’t know of any flowers that look like the blue ones I painted. They may only exist in my imagination.
Spring has finally arrived. There are buds on the trees and the grass is green. The change in the weather inspired me to paint the following watercolours.
I decided to play with paint and chose for the first painting a limited palette of turquoise, yellow, and green.
After the first layer dried I painted in the grasses and added some purple for contrast.
For the second painting I used more colours.
I wasn’t very imaginative with what I added after the first layer dried. Maybe it isn’t finished yet.
Anyway, I did have fun and that’s the main thing.
I’ve had quite a lot of deer visiting the cottage lately. They come between 6 and 7 in the morning so I have to get up early to see them. I used to I grab my camera when I saw them. However it’s still too dark for photos when they visit so I started leaving my sketching kit by the window ready to go.
I have a deer block (food) that is a few feet from the walkout of my cottage. I have to be very still as sometimes they can see me through the window. When they are at the block they are relatively still for a few minutes.
My bedroom window is right above the walkout. I moved my sketching kit up there. There’s not much light in the room that early in the morning and I didn’t want to take the time to turn on the light so some of the colours got a bit mixed up.
Brightly coloured birds in the sumac drew my attention. These were the males. The females are more subdued in colour but more elegant. You have to look harder to see them and when they are by themselves they are harder to identify. Fortunately this one was in a large flock of both male and female Evening Grosbeaks.
I haven’t had any turkeys visiting me this winter. Last winter there were three groups that came fairly regularly. Occasionally they all would be here at the same time. This is one of the turkeys of a group of three that visited the most often and continued into the spring and early summer. The first time I saw the group it consisted of 3 adult males. During the winter one of the males was replaced by a female. The other two groups were larger and consisted of juveniles. One group was usually all male (8-10) and the other a mixture (11-13). I think there was some movement between the 2 groups.
The group of three came so often that they learned not to be afraid of me and I learned to distinguish between the two males. This is Harry.
Sometimes one scene can provide inspiration for multiple paintings.
Sometimes it takes multiple tries until what you have on paper feels right.
These 4 watercolours are from the same photograph that was taken in the Languedoc region of France several years ago.
I like something about each one but I think I’ll have to do it again because none are quite “there ” yet.
With this photograph it will take multiple attempts to get it the way I want. However, I can now see at least two different directions I could go in and so maybe it will turn out that the photograph will be the inspiration of multiple paintings.
This watercolour was done from a photograph taken several years ago on a trip to Costa Rica. I’ve had the photograph in my file to paint for quite a while but couldn’t figure out exactly how to do it. That was when I was copying the photographs more or less exactly. Now that I’m taking a looser more interpretive approach I found it a little easier.