Kingfisher work in progress, on my easel
The summer weather is wonderful and it certainly is adding to my colour and subject inspiration. I am walking Bailey, my bearded collie, regularly along a canal path and yes, I am seeing a stunning kingfisher. I am fascinated by its' sudden flash of turquoise. Mainly I see a blur of action rather than a beautifully coloured bird sitting still. The heron, too, is busy fishing but unfortunately he seems to prefer the fish in our pond to the canal.
There is something infinitely magical about being an artist. It is almost as though you have a legitimate excuse to observe beauty. I have taken so much time to study nature, rural landscapes and the wildlife I am lucky enough to see daily. I am now thinking of ways to incorporate what I see in each new painting.
This week, I have returned to a favourite pose of the kingfisher with its' treasured catch. And I will be working on a few ideas for paintings in my next solo exhibition will take place in September in Surrey , UK.
For now I couldn't resist sharing this painting as it is so peaceful to work on. It started with the eye and I worked gradually away from this starting point by adding the feathers. The wings of the kingfisher are spread as the bird leaves the water, taking flight after the perfect dive. Sunshine is bringing is effecting its' shimmering plummage. This is a gorgeous piece that has a fabulous sense of movement , energy and life in it.
There is a moment in many a painting where the artists' brush touches the paper, in this case so very softly, and the subject begins to emerge. My heart always sings at this point.
Here is the image of that moment. The creative stage when I could see a kingfisher coming alive via colour alone. No preliminary sketch.
"The Moment" on my easel.
The kingfisher appearing in the first stages of a new painting in watercolour
I feel so much joy when I am painting. Joy and peace at being in that incredible " zone" where there is only me, my paper, colours and brushes on the planet. And I love it.
My artists tip for today? Paint something that you absolutely love as a subject, and aim to bring that feeling into your work. Try to allow the viewer of your finished painting to feel the connection between you as the artist and what you have painted.
By the way, my new book which will be launched next year is so wonderful to work on that I will be very sad when it is completed. It is inspiring me in my own work to improve my skills and making me race to paint each day. Heaven!