A new abstract painting inspired by color and a little bird

Western bluebird

Western bluebird

Bird drawing enlarged for transfer to the 24" x 24" size painting surface.

Bird drawing enlarged for transfer to the 24″ x 24″ size painting surface.

Chief Niwot Encampment at the Creek, Detail, Karen Gillis Taylor

Chief Niwot Encampment at the Creek, Detail, Karen Gillis Taylor

Last weekend it was time for the next painting, and have some favorite books I go to for inspiration. I was looking through my field guide for birds and found this vibrant Western Bluebird which lives in my state of Colorado, down in the south, mainly. Though I’m not a “birder”, I once had a very pretty, colorful little finch drop into our house through the chimney and I had to help him escape. He finally made it up to the studio and I was able to get him out the window safely. He was beautiful. Now I look for those finches around the place all the time, and get excited to see them out in the garden. Small joys of life. I have seen this Western Bluebird here.

My second inspiration was a take-off of the same color palette, found in the little blue bird, and then in the “Chief Niwot’s Encampment” painting I made earlier. Now I have my color palette, time to move on to the drawing.

My original small sketch had to be enlarged about 400 percent for the final 24″ x 24″ painting on board. I decided to keep the sketch intact rather than redraw, so I used the computer and printed out sections and taped them together. Then I placed tracing paper over the top and traced the full line drawing. Final step was to turn the tracing paper drawing over and lay graphite down on the lines, turn back over and transfer/trace on to the primed painting board itself. I use a large graphite stick for the transfer process. (You buy one and you never have to buy one again in your lifetime!)

I painted all day Sunday in oils, a revisiting process, since I’ve been using acrylics for several years. More later on this, but it was great. I’ll show more of the painting soon.

This was, in all, a 2 day process. Thinking, imagining, remembering colors, becoming inspired by photos and books. But it’s not just a 2 day event.

We build our store of images and memories and “color banks”, throughout our lifetime. Art can be made with little experience or many years of experience. History tells us that. What I find inspiring is that I am enjoying my own place in this collection of ideas I have discovered and saved. Save all the ideas, they come back to help with the next project. We are builders.

Thanks for reading,

-Karen

Graphite stick for transferring drawings via tracing paper

Graphite stick for transferring drawings via tracing paper

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