A couple weeks ago I was walking by as my mom was arranging pumpkins and gourds in an old galvanized tub to sit at our front door. She had just started and had only put this one white pumpkin in when I saw it. I loved the way the neutral colors played together (shocking!) and quickly snapped a shot of it. As far as the bird goes, well, I took artist’s liberty there and added him for interest.
I saw definite growth in this piece for several reasons. First off, I didn’t do a lot of layering. Though the bird is dark he is only two layers, so if you look closely, you can still ‘sort of’ see how the paint and water naturally flowed and landed…though it would have been even better if I did it all in one layer. The second area of growth is seen in the hay. I have done 3 other paintings with hay and straw and each time I painted each individual piece of straw; but this time I just ‘represented’ it, which you know is progress for me!! Finally, I was quicker to ‘experiment’ with the background. While this year-long challenge was to involve risk taking and practicing, most of the time that has not been the case out of fear of failing. However, without too much deliberation, I decided to try something new with the borders since the background seemed too crisp and boring on the top half. But since I had already painted the bird, I could no longer do a wash in the background as the black paint would have bled into it. Unfortunately, in the end the border didn’t go as planned, but that’s okay…I learned! My plan was to add a bit of an aged/warm touch to it, but I didn’t add enough ochre and umber, so it ended up giving it a spooky look instead…definitely not what I was going for!
More times than not, I have the title to a piece before I even begin drawing and painting it; or as I am working on it, it will come to me. Well, I have not had a title for this painting and this morning my friend sent me an email entitled “Consider the Ravens” and reminded me of Luke 12:22-26… Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? I thought, “That’s the perfect title… “Consider the Ravens”! But the more I thought about it, I knew it wasn’t a good fit for me because the bird I painted is not a raven, and this perfectionist might start twitching if I called him one!! Haha! Soooo…I need your help to come up with an appropriate ‘twitch free’ title! Please fire away…
If you missed my post which explains this year-long challenge, please read You’re Invited To The Unveilings.