"The Tyger" by William Blake is one of my favorite poems. Not that I am a poetry buff, but I have always liked his phrasing and the awe and amazement posed through his question , "what immortal hand or eye could/dare frame thy fearful symmetry?" My orange tabby isn't really fearful, but he's got the look that says, "I'm really comfortable... don't try to move me." Whenever my cat looks like this, I can't help myself. I must go over and pet her head and gently rub her back. Then I swoop in to cuddle her up and give her lots of hugs and kisses until she meows her way out of my arms! Hehehe... I just can't help myself! If I were to write my own Tyger poem, my all-encompassing question would be "what immortal hand or eye could make such a beautiful beast which no human can resist but snuggle?" I know, it doesn't go with the iambic tetrameter but it's a question that needs some answers!
It's no suprise that I love Birdettes! I was getting an itch to make another Birdette, so here is my little friend, a Slate-colored Junco. They are simple in color, mostly black-grey all over except the white chest and underparts. Females are, of course, duller in color than the males. Until recently, Juncos were separated into different species including Northern or Eastern, etc. Now they are all considered Junco as a species and categorized mostly by coloring for the sub-species. But enough about the technical stuff! This Junco looks like he's looking for a friend. I felt it fitting to title this one "Somebody To Love". Help a little guy out! I mean, really... what's not to love?
I have sketchbooks full of drawings and ideas. Some are made into paintings immediately, others may never translate to canvas, and a few will be revised for a second creation. "Paradise Found" is the last option- I created "Aloha Afternoon" a while back and loved the composition, and I donated to a Waimea School Fundraiser in hopes that it will bring them some support for next year's expenses. Then my friend contacted me, interested in purchasing "Aloha Afternoon", so it gave me a chance to have another go at this design. I wanted to make the background lighter to pop the 'Apapane. Also, I swapped out the Naio flowers for the Hawaiian Gardenia, the Nanu flower. Personally, I do not like to copy paintings that I have done in the past, but I do enjoy trying a twist on a previous favorite.
Red Warblers are found in Mexico and Central America, but I had to bring them to Hawaii today. I love their bright red plumage with white cheeks. They look so sweet and precious! The pine tree that serves as the Red Warblers' perching place looks like it is bursting with fireworks, so I had to go Katy Perry with the title... Plus these two look like they are ready to get their dance party started!
This Flame Robin won't take "no" for an answer. He may look sweet, but he's also determined. The Flame Robin is from Australia, mostly found in Tasmania and the southeast of the country. I love their burst of deep orange on the breast and the contrast next to their dark charcoal grey caps and coats. I kept this guy simple. No gimmicks, no distractions- its all eyes on him and he's in the business of getting you to take him home!
I have a short attention span like most people nowadays. So when I'm researching something on the computer, I usually end up reading about another topic altogether. For instance, a few days ago, I needed a recipe for alfredo sauce and ended up reading about a man who made and wore short-shorts out with his family (including his teen daughter). Apparently his daughter was wearing similar shorts that were showing her buttcheeks and she didn't want to change out of them, so Dad decided to help her see from another persepctive.
Anyways, I was browsing again yesterday and discovered Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrels, oh my goodness! They are adorable! I had no choice. Upon being introduced to these amazing wonderballs of cuteness, I had to paint them. My rendition has a bit of blue in the coat. In real life they are not blue, but that's artistic license- gotta love it!
I see these guys sitting on their branch and welcoming us to join. Their little paws neatly folded over their big bellies. I can hear them saying "Kon'nichiwa! Good afternoon!"
I made a punny! This little guy is a Violet-Crowned Hummingbird. He looks like he's just having a good time with some friends, hence the title. I chose to use a very small canvas- size 5"x5" for this one. It is petite but adorable. Now I'm thinking I need to make a bigger one to see the difference size can make! And then maybe I will make a panoramic size and add a bunch of little hummingbirds with the daisies... It will be a tiny takeover of my hummingbird minions!
"The Only Exception" started playing as I was painting these Wood Thrushes and it seemed fitting as a title. The song has a falling leaves kind of melody. Prior to hearing this song play, I had painted the right side thrush with her eyes open. But after listening to the music, I decided she need to be totally swept away in the moment. Now with her eyes closed and the male thrush looking at us, it's as though we are allowed a view to something pure, simple and very special.
Today I have to take my dog to the vet in the morning, so I will try to squeeze in my painting session after the appointment and before going to work at the gallery... For now these are two of my plans, I will pick one to paint today, probably the Wood Thrush pair with autumn leaves.
To be continued...
The American Goldfinch is a brilliant bird. In breeding season, the male gets a new coat of bright yellow plumage and his black head marking becomes more defined. I painted this pair sitting on a favorite flower, the purple thistle (cirsium), that produces seeds they like to eat. Another beautiful day of feasting and snuggling!
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.