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the house finch

19 May

Over the past half decade I have really taken a liking to bird watching. I find it to be a fascinating hobby; one that would definitely take years to master, as there are just so many beautiful birds with ample variations. Not only are they gorgeous creatures to watch, but they are also a great source of inspiration for my artwork. Serious bird-watching started in 100 Mile House where you may remember a few cuties like red-polls and chipping sparrows from post these: frequent winter visitors, the birds are back and chipping sparrow.  When we first moved to Castlegar, there was a short one year hiatus of feathered friends, as we lived in a basement suite… we really missed having the outdoor space, as well as the company of birds and their songs, so moving to our own little house, with a gorgeous front yard, allowed me to hang a feeder again. IMG_8149We have a great variety of fliers come to visit our “restaurant,” but one of my favorites so far is the house finch: bright red highlights, speckled stomach, deep browns on his back, and that fantastic prominent beak! I painted a tiny little portrait of one a few weeks ago, but had yet to share my results here with you here on the blog, so here he is. He was all hand-drawn with graphite, painted with acrylics and then finished with ink on a one inch deep 4×4 wood panel. IMG_8343 IMG_8349 IMG_8354 IMG_8371If anyone is interested in taking this little guy home, send me an e-mail and we’ll discuss details: naturesmyfriend@gmail.com

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smiling at september

1 Sep

Figured I should face a new month and the beginning of a new season with some unbridled optimism. My pen pal and artist friend Sarah ensures that I am never short on a supply of her “Half Full” hand painted tags. I share their positive advice by mysteriously leaving them in random secret spots around town. My hope is that these beauties will catch someone off guard, and will instantly brighten their day. Here are some snaps of a few of the happy advice tags I left around this town recently: IMG_5847 IMG_5855 IMG_5850 IMG_5838 IMG_5840(to see a few more happy “half full” posts, click here).

too good tuesday 10

9 Jul

lifeisgoodFLOWERSEverything has been too good lately. John and I did the big move over a week ago, and couldn’t be more thrilled with the upgrade to our new house. We hosted both sets of parents this weekend, and enjoyed sitting in the sun on the brand new patio furniture, and dreamed up recipes for the newly acquired BBQ (many inspired by a gifted cookbook & its feature beer can chicken). Sunday, we watched John play softball, while eating a picnic dinner that consisted of our fresh catch from the Columbia River in an amazing cold bean salad. I found a bit of time between innings and taught my little cousins how to draw owls! The weather in the Kootenays has been ridiculous… hello summer! With all this sunshine, I can’t wait to get on our beautiful bikes and cruise around the new neighbourhood. Yesterday, I started a new part-time job, working for a dragon; After two happily engaged years, my beau and I have been finally talking plans about the wedding, the prospect of owning our own home, and maybe someday even raising a family… all of these things require money! We have been doing well for ourselves, considering we’re both chasing careers that are fueled mostly by passion, but the prospect of saving up for a brighter future has me excited to also put in some work away from the studio.  I’ve also been continuing to paint under the open sky, as you can see above, adding to my adventures with watercolours. Life is good these days.