I have been considering painting animals lately. Studying and drawing birds kept me enthralled in younger years. All of those pieces now live in lovely homes, and my focus has been on capturing the spirit of the outdoors in paint and canvas for years.
All along, I have been involved with horses, dogs, and cats. My neighbors have sheep, goats, and chickens. Deer, elk, bobcat, coyotes, mountain lions, rabbits, and a multitude of other animals live around me.
They call to me with their beauty and spirit, and the opportunity to turn my artistic attention their way has come from a friend's desire to have a painting of a rooster in her kitchen. I dodged it at first, and found a lovely painting in a gallery. "Why don't you paint one?" was the answer that is spurring me on.
Carolyn, right down the road, used to have a wicked rooster. I called, and things have changed. That old boy is gone; the new rooster is gorgeous, and takes good care of his hens.
Yesterday was a cold afternoon, with a wonderful silvery gold light. A delicate high cloud cover softened the sunlight on winter's pale colors.
The resident young peacock followed me around as I looked for the rooster. I found him with some of the ladies, standing tall and outlined with sunlight. Perfect. He spent some time looking grand, and then decided it was time for he and the flock to run. End of the day's session, but I got what I needed.
We'll see how my experience with the ever-shifting light on the landcape will help me in capturing the elusive character and beauty of a living, breathing creature.
And as usual, inspiration for other paintings and drawings are already crowding in.
To the easel...