Blackbird – New Journal, and Bird #76 of 100

I was watching one of Kimberly Santini’s Journal Through It videos the other day where she was sharing all of her various journals. It was fascinating to see the different materials and books she uses. There was one book that was a repurposed, or altered, art history book. You can see the video HERE, and the altered book starts at about the 43 minute mark.

I thought that was a great idea, so I looked through some of the books I had on the shelf in my studio and found one that I had purchased in a yard sale a long time ago. It was a book called Classic Crafts, and while interesting, they weren’t crafts that I was interested in taking up! The book is about 12.5 inches tall and 10 inches wide, so it’s a nice size, and much bigger than my other journals and sketchbooks. I had already altered it a bit because I had cut some pieces out to use for collage paper. It does have glossy pages, so I have to add gesso first before I start painting so that the paint will actually stick.

Then I had to decide what to put in this journal! While deciding, I gessoed the first two pages, and when that dried, I used some paint that was left over on my pallet to cover up the gesso. It was a turquoise colour. It sat that way for a few days. The other night, I couldn’t get the song Blackbird by the Beatles out of my head when I was trying to sleep. Then I started thinking of ways I could paint that song. Out came the black paint, and it took off from there!

Here’s what I learned with this Journal Entry:

  1. It’s freeing to paint just for yourself, with no expectations for a “perfect” final piece.
  2. Painting something black on black is tricky!
  3. Trying to take a photo of something mainly black and white with a hint of colour and a bit of a glossy finish is next to impossible!
  4. I am happy enough with this entry to share it.
  5. I think I’ll try this in collage.

I tried to take some photos, but they don’t truly show the subtleties in the painting. But as I say, these colours don’t lend themselves to amatuer photography!

Song Sparrow- Bird #72 of 100

This little songster is a sweet Song Sparrow. What he lacks in colourful plumage he makes up for in singing ability! And so what if he’s not colourful? Look at those snazzy stripes! I created this guy using watercolours, a bit of sepia ink, and coloured pencils. Thank you to Dave Slaughter for posting the reference photo in the reference library.

Mixed media and watercolour brown striped song sparrow on a blue watercolour background. Link to purchase is below the image.
Songster 7″ X 5″ Mixed Media on paper
Interested in this sweet singer? Comment below or check him out in my Etsy shop.
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Lemon Yellow – Goldfinch- Bird # 71 of 100

One of these things is not like the others! But this bright yellow Goldfinch matches perfectly with the ripe and juicy lemons he is investigating!

I decided to combine my 100 Bird challenge with my ongoing fruit series and came up with this one. It seemed fitting that the day before I finished this I got some visitors in my garden. Maybe they knew I was paying them tribute!

Lemon Yellow 6″ X 6″ X 1.5″ Paper Collage on Canvas
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Watercolour Wednesday… a day late! Toucans – Birds #69 and 70 of 100

Whoops! I forgot to post this yesterday, but here it is a day late! These two toucans are practising their social distancing. I think they’re doing a pretty good job. This painting is only 5″ X 7″, so the birds are only about 1 1/2 inches in length. I had to get the small brush out for this one!

Social Distancing 5″ X 7″ on paper
Reference Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash


Watercolour Wednesday – Yellow-rumped Warbler – Bird #67 of 100

I was so excited to spot this little traveller in my backyard the other day! Thankfully, he wasn’t shy and stopped to pose for the camera. After consulting my bird book, I discovered that he is a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle variety). I had never seen one before in my life! The tiny white feathers under his eye give him a look like he’s a little peeved with the world. With all that’s going on, I can understand.

Yellow-rumped Warbler 5 X 7″ pure watercolour on paper.
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Mixed Media Monday – Pod of Pelicans – Birds #62, 63 and 64 of 100

They say you learn something new every day. Today I learned that there are many different names for a group of pelicans. They can be called a brief, a pod, a pouch, a scoop, or a squadron. I thought pod had a nice ring to it, although pouch or scoop are quite appropriate considering how they use their big beaks.

This small 5 X 7″ piece was done in mixed media, starting with a pencil drawing on watercolour paper. I then did the background and rough underpainting of the birds in acrylic, finishing off with coloured pencil and soft pastel details. After collage, this is starting to become my favourite painting style although I’ll never give up my watercolours!

Pod of Pelicans 5″ X 7″ Mixed Media on Paper
Reference Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash
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