Monday, June 30, 2014

Jive Talking

"Jive Talking"  6"w x 6"h
I titled this piece Jive Talking as I thought that's what these two chickadees were doing. What is jive talking anyway? I don't even know ... but the shoe seemed to fit. As far as chickadees go, I haven't seen any recently as I have several starling families living around my house that have taken over the feeders. They can clean out the suet feeder in a day or two. Usually, there's at least a dozen starling chicks at the feeders, and they are full grown now, so I think it's time for them to move on to greener pastures. I'll trade the squawking starlings for songbirds any day. :) Please contact Siiviis Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information on this piece.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Two June 'Dees

"Two June 'Dees" 6"w x 6"h
People have really seemed to connect with my more recent chickadee paintings. The friendly disposition of the chickadee is what I hear the most about, and people really appreciate the markings of the birds as well. They sure are a joy to paint, I find myself watching them more closely at the feeders now, and will be posting several new works along this theme soon. Please contact Siiviis Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information on this piece.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June Birch Forest Lake

"June Birch Forest Lake Triptych" 12"w x 4"h
Here is a sparkly little 12"w x 4"h triptych titled June Birch Forest Lake. The deep ultramarine blues of the sky and waters lighten in color value all the way to titanium white. The intensity of the contrast makes for an eye-catcher. The birches is the foreground are having a tough time competing with the background, while the distant summer greens enjoy the lazy days. I've enjoyed working in this color palette and have several new works to roll out here in the coming days. Please contact Siiviis Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information on this piece.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer in the Forest

"Summer in the Forest"  12"w x 6"h
"Tiny Trees"  4"w x 4"h
Here are two pieces painting simultaneously titled Summer in the Forest and Tiny Trees. 'Tis the season for blue and green. The landscape is covered in thousands of shades of green, and I've managed to paint a few shades of green into these pieces. If only I could make summer longer, I would .. but I can enjoy the season now and capture it on canvas in the meantime. Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on these pieces.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cedar Waxwing on Gold 1 & 2

Cedar Waxwing on Gold No. 1
Cedar Waxwing on Gold No. 2
Here is a pair of 6"w x 6"h cedar waxwings that complement a larger piece titled Cedar Waxwings that I shared last week. I departed from my usual minimalistic brushwork to layer the golds on thick in the background. There's something to the color of these birds that compelled me to focus on the background. I know it was the gold bellies of the birds which are full of mountain as berries, no doubt. :) The mountain ashes are in full bloom now, boasting big white bunches of tiny petals. Last year, I was sitting on the deck drinking my coffee when a gentle breeze hit the trees and the little petals all fell down like snow. It was a neat experience, I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I had to get a new cup of coffee as mine was full of petals. I suppose it's about time to go fill my palette with color and listen to the singing of the songbirds outside, and the soft sound of the brush against the canvas ...
Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on these pieces.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pileated Woodpecker

"Pileated Woodpecker" 10"w x 10"h
Here is a new piece titled Pileated Woodpecker that is based on memory. One cold morning I was walking back from the bus stop with my dog and there was a large bird on a tree up ahead. As I approached I assumed it was a large crow or black bird until it took off from the tree and came inches from mowing me down. The white stripes and bright red cap on the head of the bird are the last thing I remember seeing as I hit the deck. I haven't seen one of these birds since, but wow, I was wide awake after that brisk winter morning walk. If you're having trouble getting going in the morning, you don't need coffee, all you need is a pileated woodpecker. Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on this piece.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Maples Dressed in Green

"Maples Dressed in Green Triptych" 30"w x 10"h
Blue and green are two colors that are just so soothing to the eyes. After working with a yellow or red color on a canvas, it's always a treat to paint with the blues and greens of the summer landscape. Perhaps I like to stare at these colors, or I like to observe landscapes such as this one titled Maples Dressed in Green. Or both. Either way, someday I'd like to move to a place that's green and summery all year round. Such a place doesn't exist here in Minnesota, oh but maybe it does .. when captured on canvas. Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on this piece and many other works in all shapes and sizes ... and colors ... like blue and green ...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Early Spring Robin Nest

"Early Spring Robin Nest" 10"w x 10"h
"Worm Wrangler" Private Collection
Today's painting, titled Early Spring Robin Nest, features a robin's nest with four eggs on a matching blue background. This piece, like yesterday's, is based on memory. The robins built their nests this year amongst leafless trees due to the late spring we had here in Duluth. It probably wasn't the best situation for the birds as the nests aren't sheltered very well from predators, but it was a good situation for watching the nest building birds. The cold, damp spring had a plus for the robins, though, as they had all the worms they could gobble down crawling around on the pavement. Whenever I see a robin pulling a worm out of the ground I'm filled with amazement and disgust all at once. The thought of eating a worm isn't a problem for these birds, though, as they hop around on the lawn, somehow always knowing where the worms are crawling just below the grass. With this piece, I enjoyed playing with the composition, working the branches of the tree to reflect the swirling motion of the nest. The background is plain and simple, focusing the attention on the eggs in the center of the piece. The tree and the eggs have one thing in common, they are both on the verge of breaking forth into new life ... budding and breaking to signal the new season of spring greens and summer breezes. Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on this piece and many other works in all shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cedar Waxwings

"Cedar Waxwings" 10"w x 10"h
Just when I think I've seen every bird there is in northern Minnesota, a new bird flies into town. This spring I had the delightful experience of watching four cedar waxwing couples build nests and eat the remaining berries off the mountain ash in by backyard. I always wondered which bird ate the berries, and I can see why they liked my yard as my trees had many dried berries hanging on their branches. I suppose a full bird bath and multiple bird feeders didn't hurt either. The cedar waxwings have the most interesting feather coloring. On the tips of their wings and tail there is a bright red and yellow, and their bodies have a streamlined look to them, so I could resist painting them, and this piece is titled Cedar Waxwings and is 10"w x 10"h. They appeared to be very territorial, often chasing away robins, starlings, and any other bird that ventured too close.

They chose to build their nests in the gutters of my house along the upper roofline, and try as I might to change their minds, they just didn't listen to me. A couple weeks later I was treated to the cheep cheeps of baby birds as I drank my morning coffee, and frankly, it was a bit much at times as I'm sure I could also hear the starling and robin chicks squaking for morning breakfast to be delivered. Not every story has a happy ending, however, and after we received a weekend downpour of several inches of rain, the cheep cheeps of the chicks and colorful feathers and song of the cedar waxwings were never heard again. But it still doesn't diminish the wonderful experience I had watching these birds in the trees and lasting impression they made on me. Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais for more information on this piece.