Doo do do... do do.. do do doo do...
Had to pay a little respect to Lou Reed today. I could see these Gentoo Penguins singing the doo parts while waddling along. And of course I had to have the one catching up to the others.
Gentoo Penguins are notable for their white patch that wraps around the eyes and swoops back around the crown of their heads. Another interesting fact: Gentoos dont stray too far from their breeding grounds, unlike many other types of penguins. I guess they like to stay close to their party hub!
This painting feels so fresh and cheery, so I had to find an appropriate name. I think I succeeded. He is sitting in a Prairifire Crabapple tree with bright pink-red flowers. The Prairifire Crabapple can be found almost everywhere in the USA, minus Hawaii, parts of CA, TX and FL. I like these trees for their no-fuss, no-mess attitude.
As for my most favorite bird, the chickadee: I'm waiting for my friend to turn face-forward, start in with the chorus and finish with a little tap dancing. It's going to be a really nice day:)
Blue Ginger is an unusual plant. Incorrectly labeled as ginger, Blue Ginger flowers looks like a ginger flower when budding, but that's really the only similarity. Many businesses in Hawaii and elsewhere have taken up the Blue Ginger moniker including restaurants, galleries and retail stores. The flowers are a very attractive deep blue/purple with a dot of golden yellow in the center. I will definitely have to paint more of these in the future.
In Hawaii, we have these beautiful Lavender Waxbills. They are medium-small sized birds with beaks that look stained by too many boysenberries. I feel the little crouching waxbill here is asking the other to "give a little bit, give a little bit of your love to me"... don't worry, she can't resist his sweet song!
This painting just makes me smile. The birds are Western Bluebirds, not to be confused with their very similar looking counterparts: the Eastern Bluebirds. I can tell because W Blues have blue/grey throats and E Blues have orange throats;)
My W Blues are perched on a flowering peach tree branch. The peach blossoms are in full bloom and I'm sure they smell yummy. You really can't beat the joy that is a beautiful day, nestled next to your sweetheart with sweet peach blossoms wafting through the air. So peaceful, so easy... What a feeling:)
One of my favorite songs for one of my latest favorite paintings. As soon as I sketched this composition out, I knew I would turn it into a painting and fall in love!
The Goldfinch is a common bird in California and elsewhere on the mainland. We do not have any Goldfinches in Hawaii, but we have some relatives. I love the black head markings on male Goldfinches. They look as though someone thumb-printed the tops of their heads. It makes them look more curious and a little serious, maybe intently intrigued? At any rate, my wee Goldfinch is giving us all he's got. Striking a pose with some pretty blossoms... How could we not want him?
These tanagers got their name from the male's red behind. I didn't make it that noticeable, but you can see a little streak of red on his right side. Tanagers come in a vast array of color combinations and live all over the Americas. The Flame-Rumped Tanager is mostly found in Panama, Ecuador and Peru. I really like dramatic difference in color between the male and female. They look as though they are two separate tanager species.
My two friends here are enjoying the day on a shower tree branch. Prince's "Purple Rain" popped into my head when I finished this painting, probably because I had shower trees stuck in my brain and the background of this one turned out a pretty blend of lilac and lavender.
We obviously do not have Baltimore Orioles in Hawaii, but I love the Orioles' color and social personality. I read that Orioles are picky eaters. They will not pick green or dull colored fruit, only the ripest red or deepest purple fruit will suffice. Even if the fruit is green when ripe (green grapes), it's a no go for the Oriole. Also, they like "gaping" the large fruit like cherries, which basically means the Oriole stabs his daggerish closed beak into a meaty cherry and then opens his beak to splay out a healthy helping for one.
This Oriole is preparing his approach to lunch. Life is good when food is aplenty!
This Sam Cooke song is one of my personal faves, and I know it's meaning is way more intense and serious than any subject within my paintings. My use of this title is referencing the literal change in time (seasons and changing leaves), but in no way am I mocking the deeper message of the song. Ok, just had to make that super clear because I really love this song and this painting for totally different reasons!
My Black-Capped Chickadees are watching the change with mixed emotions. I can relate to these birdies. I miss watching the leaves turn colors, but I don't miss the chill that comes with it... Brrrr!
A few weeks ago, I had a request from Karen & Gary to create an Anna's Hummingbird with Bird of Paradise. Initially I started out with a hummingbird perched on the flower, but K&G corrected me, saying they had never seen them land. I loved to watch hummingbirds when I lived in California, but we don't have hummingbirds in Hawaii. So now I am not so familiar with their behavior. Anyways, I created K&G's painting "Flying In Paradise" and it was so much fun that I had to do one more- similar, but not the same. "I'm Sweet On You" features a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird with the BoP and he hasn't reached the nectar yet. He's taking that quick pause, assessing the situation, before swooping in for a quick lunch.
Ok- first time I have done a re-redux... I am now happy with "Hey Good Lookin'!" And I promise it is a completed painting. Today I am free to paint all day and I have the studio room set up for lots of work. So without further delay...
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.