Painting a kildeer from life in Dana Point California – oil painting study

Kildeer on ground nest – plein air painting
“6 x 8” oil on canvas board

The paintout continues in San Clemente. Today, I had a rare opportunity, very unexpected, to do an oil painting of a bird from life. We were walking along a bluff in Dana Point and suddenly saw a kildeer guarding its nest – only a few feet from where we were walking. The brave little bird stood its ground even though we were very close. I found a place to sit down about 6 feet away and my husband brought me a small 6 x 8 inch canvas panel and a palette and my plein air bag. I didn’t want to take the risk of standing up at an easel and scaring it – and besides, I was closer to it on the ground. For more than an hour the bird sat motionless except to occasionally turn its head. Eventually it stood up and called to its mate for a break. It is a kildeer behavior to take turns incubating the eggs. I have never had the privilege of painting a wild animal (not caged) from life before and hope that sometime it will happen again. Although the eggs were completely under the bird, I took the liberty of showing one partly exposed. They are speckled black and gray and blend in perfectly with the rocky sandy ground where they are laid in a shallow depression.

I won’t be entering this painting in the San Clemente competition although I will have it for sale in my booth. I doubt that anyone would believe it was “plein air” – imagine a bird sitting still for an hour. And yet, it happened!

Dana Point Headlands – oil painting – Karen Winters

Dana Point Headlands – 18 x 24 oil on canvas

This brand new painting, shown for the first time here, features the headlands of Dana Point near the Ocean Institute. You can see the face looking out to sea on the sharp edge of the cliff. I don’t know if that’s the author Dana after which Dana point was named or some other mythological figure. If someone reading this knows the answer, please post the answer, ok?

My, what a few weeks this has been! It’s been a steady pace of painting, show-prepping, selling, followup and more painting. I’m loving every minute of it, of course.

The Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden show show went very well. Thanks to all those who purchased works from me, and thanks as well as some very special guests who made the trek out to Claremont to say hello. A few nights ago, I attended A Taste of Art at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, where a group of artists (including me) all donated artwork to be sold to support the AIDS Service Center. It was great food, great wine, tons of good art and all for a wonderful cause.

Now I am back to my everyday painting routine, with many new works to come. So, watch this space … new art is on the way.