The End of an Era

Okay, maybe that title is a little dramatic. 

Art A Fair is over. Honestly, I'm relieved. This will give me a chance to work on my OWN art, not just things to hang on my wall at the show. I don't have to worry whether it's too dark or not "sellable" or anything like that. I don't have to worry about restocking notecards and making sure I have something to work on when I go down there. Best of all, NO MORE WORK SHIFTS! I won't go into all of the frustrating things, but I will say I am glad I don't have to sit in a ticket booth for 6 hours every friday. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't hard work. But it wasn't even really distracting work. I would just sit there and think about all of the things I could be accomplishing at home or at my regular job. I could be painting, I could be organizing, I could be making money. Not trading my time for... Nothing. 

Okay, enough with the whining. What did I learn? It's a little sad that I really had to think about this. I feel like I have developed my skills as an artist, for one. And I am much more comfortable with talking about my work. It was a really good experience, and I am definitely glad I did it.

So, with that being said, here is the last piece I worked on for the show. I have been loving working on wood panels, so I figured I would close the show with something on wood. I wanted to make sure it was something that holds some meaning for me.

A hummingbird, perhaps! 

I've always loved hummingbirds, probably because my mom has always faithfully filled the hummingbird feeder in our backyard, bringing the little buzzing birds constantly into our midst. Each year, we find ourselves blessed with little nests filled with teeny tiny chocolate chip-sized eggs bearing baby hums into our microcosm of a backyard. This season we had the blessing (or curse, depending on how you see it) of two nests with three clutches of eggs. The first was about 6 inches from our kitchen window(hence the word "curse"), which meant that cooking and moving about the kitchen in general would cause the tiny paranoid mama bird to flit away immediately, leaving her egg to sit and us to worry that we may have caused a baby hummingbird to die of cold.

Fortunately, the baby fledged without any issue, and our backyard continues to be flooded with the hum of tiny wings.

This was a really fun project. Here are some shots of my progress:

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of my initial sketch, but I did the underpainting in transparent grey, then started with broad fanned white strokes in a feathery pattern. I followed that with some light grey thin strokes and then some slightly darker ones to create a whispy fluffy sort of look. 

I'm not sure what it is about the eyes of my subjects, but I tend to gravitate toward them. I think it may be because of the way light reflects in them. If I can manage, that's where I usually start adding detail.

I added his little head feathers and used a combo of copic markers and watered down acrylic to add a little more shadow. I love his sweet little face.

And the finished product:

And there you have it. A quick little fun project.


Materials used: Liquitex soft body acrylic, DaVinci watercolor, Copic multiliner pens (multiple colors)