Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Caleb's Cardinal

"Caleb's Cardinal",  8"w x 6"h, crayon and watercolor on paper
I'm been on a cardinal kick over the last couple of years ... on a quest to paint the perfect bird. There's just something about a bright red cardinal. Over the years during walks, I've observed people stopped and staring up into a tree. As I approach I see that they're watching a cardinal. The cardinal has such bright red coloring that they attract attention to themselves. While I'm not one to want to draw attention to myself, I love how the cardinal is not afraid to be who they are. In comparison to the male, the female cardinal has some red, but is mostly light brown in coloring. Perhaps there is some kind of natural defense mechanism built into this red coloring, maybe it intimidates other birds or just makes them jealous, making them wish they had bright red feathers. Whatever the case, I love to watch them, and paint them. Turns out, so does my son Caleb, who's painting is featured here today. While I quietly go about my painting life, my kids are always watching, even when I think they aren't. Caleb chose to paint this in his art class in school after observing my cardinal paintings, and I'm drawn to the black outline of his cardinal. The color is vibrant in this piece, the watercolor sky a cool complimentary blue. Perhaps this is a friendly little reminder that my kids are watching me, quietly observing what I paint and how I go about life. Someday they may be artists, they may not, but they'll never forget the love of the outdoors and the weekend romps through the woods we've had. So I'll make sure I set a good example to those who are watching me .. my little ones, the cardinals up in the trees, and the good Lord above all.

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