06 Aug New Friday Harbor painting plus more never say “finished”
posted August 6, 2021 from Seattle, WA
I am very excited about a new Friday Harbor painting I’ve gotten underway this summer. Several decades ago I decided Friday Harbor was a hopeless candidate for a painting but we made a trip up there in early summer looking for an Asian bird that was hanging out on the west coast of San Juan Island, a White Wagtail. We dipped on that but I took shots of the town as we hoved into the dock.
I still don’t know what living breathing subject I will have, but it will be a bird, all Mammals and Fish are ruled out, as is not having such a subject. It’s down to an Osprey, which I have used many times before, but then, Ospreys are hard-working birds! The other is a Heerman’s Gull. That’s a bird that is beautiful in perfect adult plumage but let’s be honest, somewhat ordinary-looking in other plumages. It has the disadvantage of not being well-known at all in spite of it’s non-rarity. With a gray body, black and white trim, white head and red bill it is extremely dapper but I expect would be very hard to paint it without looking like I’m making things up. I’m leaning to Osprey 60-40 on this.
Here’s what it look like on August 13, 2021. I’m not worried yet about the Osprey, I’ll try to get a hold of that this week. The big danger is trying to make things look right too soon and ending up working wet on wet. That’s fine with oil and watercolor I guess but it’s a recipe for disaster with acrylics.
Wow, I’m really loving this painting. I’m on a tear and I’d like to get it on the booth at 12 x 16 by September. I’m loving the way the Osprey doesn’t ruin it or, at least so far, look unrealistic. Ospreys can be deceptive, I’m anticipating trouble down the road with this one but I’m very optimistic about it. Of course I usually love paintings when they are at this stage.
My new project of specialty birds of different states is not dead. I am finishing the Kiskadee, shown above, for the South Texas skinny.
Here’s a bird that might fit into a lot State Bird Skinnies but I am painting this mainly with Canadians in mind. When they come to see the Blue Jays play the Mariners, there are only two meaningful ways we Seattleites can be truly good hosts. One is the Mariners could let the Blue Jays sweep. Unfortunately, I can’t make that happen, but two, is we can make sure all the wildlife artists at the Pike Place Market have a Blue Jay print.
And this Ferruginous Hawk may or may not be succeeding for Birds of North Dakota. I’m not sure this can be rescued, and I am having an even worse time on the Chestnut-collared Longspur.
Much of my painting time has been on the computer continuing to work on files that I have already worked very hard on. Here is what Hummingbirds of Costa Rica looks like now, above. This should be available printed on photographic paper at the 14 x 18 size on this website and at the physical store at 1st & Pike in Seattle.
And Here is what Birds of Upland Seattle looks like now. This version is available on photographic paper in the 18 x 24 size at the physical store at 1st & Pike.
And this is Market at Night, a 2005 painting that I worked somewhat and published in two larger sizes (available on this site under Shop/ larger prints and Shop prints for 11 x 14 mats). I am really happy with this one.
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