How to Paint Birds
I’ve always loved birds. I feel them in my body, on the back of my neck. I feel them running down my spine like scales on a piano. I feel them in my heart.
I’ve drawn them in graphite and coloured pencil, in line and tone, in a controlled way and loose as a goose but until a few months ago I had never painted them.
I plan to paint birds in watercolour, a series of them. Native birds, endangered species…I look at photos on the internet. I go out and buy a book – OMG, 50 bucks for that? – well, it is hardback.
I’ve already got bird books, but these photos are amazing and I’ll use them all the time with my students – but 50 bucks – I’m feeling a bit guilty sideling out of Paper Plus, clutching my new bird book in all its glorious, shiny hardbackness.
Page after page of exquisite photos and nothing is doing it for me.
I’ve heard we have intelligent receptors for negative and positive emotions in our bodies. That makes sense to me. Over the years – I have 61 under my belt and spilling over it a bit – a positive response to images, probably to everything in fact, happens inside my body, in my chest and my abdomen.
Negative responses happen too. I can feel anything from mildly uncomfortable to downright nauseous. Certain colour combinations make my hair stand on end and my stomach churn.
The bird receptors down my spine aren’t receiving a positive hit…ok.