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Friday, March 16, 2012

Reinventing The Wheel

Using oil paints, I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel. My control with brushes on wet paint is practically nil. I need so much practice, the amount of time I figure I need to gain finesse is beyond the years I've got left on the planet--better get a move on now that I'm admitting to forty. I'm actually thinking of hunting down an oil painting class...

My son, our technical adviser on the weekends and Southeastern Michigan's perinatologist during the rest of the week, is being painted alla prima, wet into wet, acceptable with landscapes and clothing, not so acceptable when firming up facial features. With portraiture, some advance planning must be done to zero in on the spots where the method will work and the spots where it won't. Waiting out the long drying time with oils, (three days at least), is a necessary part of the process. What to do in the meantime? Draw or do another painting of course. But when the temperatures are in the seventies, going birding is more fun.

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but I am almost an official "birder". I submitted my photograph of the mourning doves to a birding blog and the blogger seemed thrilled--said he was going to use the photo. Mourning Doves are extremely rare in Ireland. I looked for the photo today, but it's not there. Maybe tomorrow? --Meanwhile The Big Year,last year's birding movie with Steve Martin, is pretty good. Honey and I saw it last weekend and were definitely intrigued with the sport. All you need is a camera and the curiosity (and money) to fly anywhere, brave any climate, to spot whatever fine feathered friend you haven't spotted and recorded before. The objective is to see them all. I have no idea how many species there are, but I'd bet I don't have time for that either. The next extraordinary bird I'll see for sure is the Great Blue Heron. When they fly over, they block out the sun. I always worry they will take a dump on my head as I sit on my deck at the cocktail hour, but it's my deck,my cocktail hour, and I'll take the risk. This photo is the abandoned Heron rookery across from my house. It's abandoned because the prehistoric looking birds crapped into the bog for so long they polluted it. Herons won't live where they shite. When the water becomes contaminated from their droppings, they move on. Remind you of anybody? Yet we've abandoned the space program.

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