Posted on Leave a comment

Black Capped Chickadee in the Snow

In continuing with the “Birds in Pastel” Series , here is the second pastel bird painting, “Black Capped Chickadee in the Snow”. I created two pastel paintings of these birds because they are so cute! Chickadees are very prevalent in the winter, hence they are portrayed on snow covered branches. Flocks of Chickadees fly in and out of the pine trees hiding sunflower seeds they’ve taken from the bird feeder. They make the cutest chirping sounds signaling their joy in gathering sunflower seeds and hiding them. Sometimes I think it’s a waste of time because they never seem to go back and get their hidden stash. Usually a squirrel will come along and find the hidden sunflower seeds in the tree bark, and then the score is Squirrel 1, Chickadee 0.

Black Capped Chickadee in Snow Pastel
“Black Capped Chickadee in the Snow”

{The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting.}

This pastel was painted on Pastel Mat paper using soft pastels in cool tones to give the viewer a sense of cold temperatures and snow quietly falling on the Black Capped Chickadee.

I had a lot of fun painting the snow on the branches, but when it came time to add the falling snow, I was a bit hesitant. My dilemma on both paintings was how to portray falling snow, and not have it disappear against the white of the Chickadee. So I opted for a few snowflakes on the bird and the rest were just allowed to fall freely wherever I placed a mark. Here’s the first painting I shared in the previous post of a Black Capped Chickadee in the Snow with a warm tone color palette:

Back Capped Chickadee Pastel

Both paintings are different, and can stand alone as separate paintings, yet both look nice displayed together. They will be framed with the same frame style, most likely a white frame.

Next time, I will share a totally different bird species and he won’t be in the snow! Here’s a hint, blue is the color. Can you guess what type of bird I painted? Thanks for stopping by. Until next time ~ much love! Rhonda

Become a TMS member and be included in behind the scenes news, giveaways and private sales!

Posted on 4 Comments

Birds in Pastel Series

The New Year always brings me opportunities for change, not only personally but creatively. I’ve decided to commit this year to the study and practice of pastels, and let the oil paints take a rest. So, I’ve been working on a “Birds in Pastel” series, as my first course of study, because birds are at the top of my list when it comes to my favorite animals.

I have owned parakeets and a love bird back in the day, and nowadays I just admire all the birds that visit our bird feeder each day. In the spring I put out four hummingbird feeders and have an abundance of beautiful hummingbirds!

I decided to make my second pastel a Black Capped Chickadee, because there are so many of these sweet little birds visiting the feeder right now. They fly in quickly, take a sunflower seed from the feeder, then fly to a nearby area to hide the seed in the bark of a pine tree.

The first pastel in the birds in pastel series was the Red Cardinal showcased in my previous post. I was super pleased how it turned out and it was perfect for the Christmas season. Now, perfect for winter are the Black Capped Chickadees! So here’s my second painting in the series, “Black Capped Chickadee”:

Back Capped Chickadee, Birds in Pastel Series
“Black Capped Chickadee”

{The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original.}

“Black Capped Chickadee” was done on pastel mat paper with soft pastel. I chose a muted palette to convey the quietness of winter. I’m really enjoying the tactile character of this medium and the immediacy of vibrant color on the paper. It’s sometimes hard for me to stop working on a piece cause its just so enjoyable to swipe pastel across the paper!

I painted two Chickadees for my “Birds in Pastel” series and will share the second one in the next post. I’m thinking they will look great together as a set when framed.

Thanks for stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda

Posted on 1 Comment

Summer is flying by, as are the birds!

Summer is flying by, as are the birds. They  are leaving us for their migration south, and all is quiet in the morning now. No more loud jungle style bird sounds at 3:30 in the morning. That’s a good thing for those of us who like to sleep. My little Hummingbirds are all but gone, and so are the Robins.

I was lucky enough to come upon this Robin’s nest in a low lying branch of one of our pine trees, thanks to my husband’s discovery. We were able to watch the growth cycle of four newly hatched baby Robins. So cool! When we first saw them they were but a few days old. Here are a few photos and a short video of the baby Robins:

 

Newly hatched baby Robins

Nature is so amazing to me. You can see the bird’s ear holes and they have just a few wisps of feathers. We had to use a mirror to reflect back to the camera because they were tucked down deep into the nest.

A week later I checked on the Robins to make sure they were still in the nest and that no predator had discovered them. To my amazement, they had grown  almost all their feathers and their eyes were open! I never once heard the babies make any sounds; I think this is what protects them from predators.

We had a huge thunderstorm one night with 60 mph winds, but mama Robin had built her nest so well, that the storm didn’t bother her babies and they were still safely tucked in their nest the next morning.

 

Baby Robins in their nest

A week later, I was working in the garden and remembered I should check on the nest and was shocked to see the growth that had taken place! They grew so fast. I am so glad I snapped this last photo, because a few days later they were gone.

 

Baby Robins almost grown

The new family can hardly fit in the nest. They still made no sounds, and I was grateful my presence didn’t make them want to fly away. This is such a joy to see, because I adore birds. I have owned two parakeets and a love bird in my earlier days, and I feel birds are just innocent beautiful creatures.

Here’s a small video clip:

 

What summer highlights have you enjoyed so far? For me, it’s been nature, my flowers and veggie gardens, and painting plein air when possible. Unfortunately, we are experiencing wildfire smoke from nearby fires and the atmosphere has turned ugly, so no painting outside for a bit. We are  going to get rain in a few days and hopefully the smoke will go away.

Thanks for stopping by. Much Love ~ Rhonda