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A nest in the west – Illo Friday Spring

March 28th, 2006

For more current spring paintings from my journals … click here .

Last springtime, a finch family came looking for nesting quarters and decided that the eaves were not nearly as hospitable as one of my hanging Boston ferns. I saw the frantic search for twigs and grasses, the constant flying to and fro of the parents and before long I had a good idea that there were little ones on the way. One day when both parents were out looking for food I hurriedly took the basket down for a look (camera at the ready.) I took a picture that was the inspiration for this painting and quickly put the hanging nursery back where I found it. (There would be no drawing or painting from life for this one.) Eventually two sisters and a brother hatched, fledged, and grew to lead successful independent lives of their own. When I see finches returning in the spring I always wonder if they’re members of the same family.

Arty bits: Painted in gouache in a Moleskine sketchbook

25 Comments »

  1. Lovely, This is a sweet picture.

    Comment by shelly mcc — March 29, 2006 @ 1:32 am
  2. This is really gorgeous, lovely composition and combination of image and text

    Comment by Julie Oakley — March 29, 2006 @ 2:15 am
  3. I have never used gouache. Can you give me some clues about how to use it and how it behaves, please?

    Love your painting. Looks like it came out of one of those lovely English country books.

    Comment by Robyn — March 29, 2006 @ 2:17 am
  4. Delightfull illustration!

    Comment by endment — March 29, 2006 @ 4:49 am
  5. This is such a beautiful painting. It reminds me of those Hallmark cards done by artist Marjolein Bastin, except yours is nicer. Jean

    Comment by Jean Mikulla — March 29, 2006 @ 5:12 am
  6. Love this picture, so serene and beautful!

    Comment by Hanna — March 29, 2006 @ 5:34 am
  7. This is beautiful. Your calligraphy is awesome too.

    Comment by Deb — March 29, 2006 @ 5:41 am
  8. LOVELY, Karen — and so reminds me of the German (?) watercolorist – Bastein or something like that!! I LOVE her work — and YOURS!

    Comment by Lin — March 29, 2006 @ 6:07 am
  9. So tender.

    Comment by hfm — March 29, 2006 @ 8:31 am
  10. Somehow just discovered your blog, this is wonderful. Thank you.

    Comment by Ulla — March 29, 2006 @ 9:27 am
  11. Oh, Karen, this is truly lovely. Love the words you put with it, as well. Your work is stunning.

    Comment by Sioux — March 29, 2006 @ 9:57 am
  12. This is a really sweet illustration. It has such warmth.

    Comment by melissa w — March 29, 2006 @ 10:45 am
  13. Hi Karen,

    That is a delightful nest and composition. Just yesterday I saw a cupcake decorated with a similar nest of cocoa dusted coconut shreds and sweet blue dollops of frosting.

    Enjoying your other watercolor studies, too!

    Comment by chompo blogger — March 29, 2006 @ 12:17 pm
  14. Karen I have had such a great time wandering around your blog this morning. I hope you don’t mind if I blame you for my lack of
    housework and very late dinners!!!???

    Comment by clare — March 29, 2006 @ 2:56 pm
  15. Karen — this is absolutely beautiful! You’ve given me further inspiration to try gouache. Now I’ve just got to learn more about it!
    :-) Thanks so much for posting this.

    Comment by Linda — March 29, 2006 @ 3:35 pm
  16. A very pleasing drawing and I love the caption. Alison in Canberra

    Comment by alison — March 29, 2006 @ 11:42 pm
  17. Karen, It’s perfect for spring and personal enjoyment!

    Comment by TeriC — March 31, 2006 @ 11:09 am
  18. Great idea! :-)

    Comment by Willie — March 31, 2006 @ 3:31 pm
  19. Just a perfect take on the topic!
    Great work!

    Comment by gudbrandsdottir — April 1, 2006 @ 4:53 pm
  20. Most certainly a depiction of ne of the nicest rites of spring! I love the rendering of the nest…I feel as if I could touch each piece of straw and twig!

    Comment by carla — April 1, 2006 @ 6:48 pm
  21. Awwww! love this. Congrats to the Finch family ;)

    Comment by Pati @-;-- — April 1, 2006 @ 10:27 pm
  22. Maybee it’s really family – many birds return to the same place as last year, fantastic thet they can find the way! And wonderful to hear that spring’s just in the neighbourhood now. Lovely nest, great idea.

    Comment by georg — April 2, 2006 @ 4:27 am
  23. Love the colour of the eggs, perfect.

    Comment by tammy hanna — April 2, 2006 @ 12:17 pm
  24. The way you’ve so realistically captured the nest and eggs is stunning. :0)

    Comment by Aravis — April 3, 2006 @ 11:40 pm
  25. Lovely! I’ve just seen this on the Drawing Club (how did I miss it the first time?) I always wonder if the birds returning are of the same family too.

    Comment by Felicity — April 20, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

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