acrylic on canvas paper
9″ x 12″
“I’m a 39-year-old mother of three in South Carolina and a self-taught artist. My first formal painting class was in 2001 at the Greenville County Museum of Art. Then, I learned basics of composition in a photography workshop at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. I enjoyed taking unusual photos, and I painted sporadically since then, with a long break after my kids.
Recently, I picked up my brushes again. My inspiration is nature. I paint as I view my surroundings. Usually, I will choose an element from nature and hyper-focus on detail with an inconsequential background, although I have dabbled in landscape painting.
The blue jay and cardinal painting was done during the presidential election, when people of different races and cultures faced each other, and often clashed. Here in the painting, they mirror each other in different colors, and they face on equal terms, seriously but peacefully. One of the ideas in mind as I devised this work was ‘we don’t have to be birds of a feather to flock together.’
The positive response from the Art Prof team inspired me to spend more time painting, and a friend who saw my work on Facebook got me a job working in a sip & paint shop as teacher for adults and children. For adult classes, I specialize in Master copies, ‘trying on’ the styles of Monet, Van Gogh, and Matisse. This experience translated into experiments in my work with touches of unrealistic, vivid colors and a more painterly approach. I’ve discovered joy in watercolor painting, especially in a Chinoiserie style which suits my love of birds and flowers.”
“Right away, I notice how wonderfully the blue and red complement one another in this image. The pose of the two birds also complement each other as although they are not the same bird, they do hold a lot of similar physical characteristics, almost creating this very cool mirroring effect.
I’m really enjoying how the red bird is leaning in towards the other one ever so slightly, that pose along with along with its big marbley eye, read as if it’s a very curious bird, which gives this piece a lot of character.
I really feel an interaction happening between the two of them. I would love to see you explore more with complementary colors and shadows. Explore how warmer tones in the blue bird may give it a better sense of volume and increase the effect of shadows and vice versa with the red bird.
Similarly, I’d love to see this apply to the branch that they’re on and even in the background to increase an understanding of space and texture, but I think you’ve done a really great job of creating a lovely image and a very vibrant portrait of these animals.”
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