Saturday, March 27, 2010

Juvenile Trumpeter Swan........revisited

After my return from the artists' retreat in Florida last month, at least one reader noted that I did not post the drawing I worked on over those four days.  At the time I was somewhat discouraged with the progress I had made while there (or lack thereof) -- and so had placed it in a flat file drawer, never to see the light of day again, I supposed.

As many artists realize it is amazing what a little time, and consequently perspective, will do.  After completing the wild horse image (now the latest object of my discouragement -- all I can see is everything that is wrong with it!), I pulled the drawing of the young trumpeter swan from its drawer and gave it a good look.  Amazingly, its not nearly the failure that I recall!  So I have decided to complete it after all, in time for the exhibition "...Birds" at the Hudson Gallery in Sylvania, Ohio next month.

The photo references for this young swan were taken at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek, Michigan.  The sanctuary provides the opportunity for photographers to get very close to wild waterfowl, as well as captive raptors that have been rehabilitated from injury.  As you can see, I used the grid method to lay out the initial sketch.  It is being drawn on Strathmore 400 Bristol with Derwent Graphic pencils.

And the recently completed horses image?  The final photographs have been taken, and it has been placed in a flat file drawer all its own.........while my attitude adjusts!  I will share the final image soon, as well as the story behind the two horses depicted.

Finally, I'm happy to report that I know for a fact that Spring is here.  I know this because my wonderful 86-year-old  neighbor, Wilbur, returned from Florida several days ago.........a sure sign!  Before you know it he will be toiling in his (very large) garden daily, and leaving gifts of vegetables on my patio table.  He and his lovely wife, Doris, are tremendously good neighbors.  I am always so happy to see them return, as it means that the barn swallows and warm weather are not far behind!


  1. Lynda, for you, your work has to serve time in the "flat file drawer of shame"; for me, it's the space behind the door in the spare room.

    I no longer stress too much or pay too much mind to my initial assessment of a painting after it's finished. I've come to accept the banishment phase as a normal part of the artistic process. It's when a painting still looks awful after a few weeks out of sight that I worry!

  2. Aww Linda I'd worry if you weren't worried...I know that sounds Irish but I don't know an artist alive who doesn't worry about the "God this is awful, why did I ever think I could paint" painting that is on their easel. There are occasions when you just know there is no comeback but mostly I take a deep breath, sit it with the 'others' and comeback to it. That would be on the days when I can't even think what to I'm looking forward to watching the developement of this one and can't wait for the horses and their story.
    Hope Wilbur has got it right, British Summertime has officially started here's feels and looks like November lol.

  3. Well, clearly I am in very good company! I know this will happen....I know it is coming......I KNOW I am going to DESPISE THAT DRAWING, and still it takes me by surprise every time! : )

    Peter....lololol......that is very funny.....the "flat file drawer of shame". I'm sure I will be quoting you at some point in the future! (I looked at your graphite landscape / water work by the way.....beautiful!)

    Elizabeth.....its amazing, but I can almost HEAR your Irish accent while reading your writing! : ) It is looking and acting like November here today too, but I am in proper denial and have high hopes that at any moment the sun will come out and the temp will shoot up to WARM. Wilbur is never wrong!

    At any rate, nice to have a sense of humour about these things, eh? Both of you make me laugh.

  4. Hi Linda,
    What a lovely way to be sure spring is close :)
    I love your horses drawing, hope to see it framed and to read the story behind.
    Best regards,

  5. I am so glad I popped over and read this post.
    After the endless back and forth with my teapot painting. It is so good to read this.
    You/I can be discouraged, but never defeated.

  6. And here I had assumed that you had so much fun in Florida that you hadn't much time to get your pencils out! :-) The swan looks lovely.

  7. Remember that time heals all wounds...and corrects our vision of our own art! It's looking great!

  8. Carolina, thanks for your kind words......and it is not feeling like spring yet, but I am sure it is right around the corner!

    Jim, I read your response comment on your blog and.......I STILL love your color palette; have always preferred those kinds of subtle shifts - really lovely. GREAT quote by DaVinci: I may have to quote your quote at some time!

    Awwww Teresa, you are onto me........ : )

    That is so true, isn't it Michael?.....And I've had it corrected both ways! Its really an ouch to feel pretty good about a piece, then look at it a couple of weeks later and think, "Ewwwwww". Its all okay though; if we keep drawing / painting, I think our skin is increasingly thickened!

  9. Lynda, please keep us posted on the progress of this bird, it already looks beautiful and speaks of great promise. However, I would encourage you to lighten your image so we can enjoy all the subtleties...
    Have you ever entered Birds in Art? It's world-class, check it out, and think about it:

    Thanks for stopping by yesterday, glad you like the chocolate!

  10. I know is a BAD photo!

    I have heard of "Birds in Art" through a good friend. Have you been in it? I checked out the website, a couple of years ago I think, and it looks like an exceptional show. It had been many years since I had depicted birds so really did not consider entering, but since these two images I've done recently I've been considering checking into it. Thanks for the URL. I'll let you know.

  11. Please do go on with it Lynda. It shows great promise to me and yes. We all go through that Ahh! stage. I agree with Denny. Check the Birds In Art show. Consider it. There is a couple here in Dubois, the lady of which is the daughter of the founders of the Show. Very neat folks.

  12. Thanks Gary. I did check into it, then remembered that the two bird pieces I have presently are both already committed -- and this year's 'Birds in Art' deadline is April 15th! Definitely something to work toward next year though.