I took photography in college but now I mostly snap pics on my IPhone. I can compose my shots in the camera giving me good reference to paint from later. Painting outdoors is great, but as I’m painting one thing I see a dozen more things around me I want to paint.
I have friends who are photographers and who are generous enough to allow me to use their photos from time to time as reference for my paintings. They have more patience than I do to get some fantastic shots. This “White Iris” was shot by my friend, Deb Drew Brown, which I turned into paint.
My birdfeeders in my city neighborhood attract a lot of brown Sparrows with a few Blue Jays, Cardinals, Woodpeckers, and when I’m lucky, the brilliant yellow Goldfinch.
My photographer friend, Deb Drew Brown has a backyard that is much more woodsy that attracts a larger variety of birds. She has given me permission to paint from some of her photos including this Baltimore Oriole snacking on an orange on the railing of her deck. This is a brilliant delight against the neutral background of the Michigan winters.
I Had the Best Time Giving Back
Ingham County Fair is in full swing this week, and I was able to contribute to the festivities. They asked me to be a judge for the 4H youth art competition. I was honored and thrilled. It’s not just judging the artwork. I got to sit down for a minute or two and discuss the art with each artist, let them know what I thought was great, and how they might improve next time. Maybe hearing some ideas from an artist, someone who is not their teacher might mean something. (Or not.)
I did my best to share my knowledge. I found a lot of their art very exciting.
A little sad that so many more entries have gone over to the photography side—everybody has a camera on their phone you see. At least they are trying to be good at it. That’s a plus. And they are seeing the world artistically. That’s a good thing.