8″x10″ oil on gesso-coated board
“As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for the rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.” -John Adams, 2nd US President, 1735-1826
I do love the “warbling of birds” and I would be remiss if I didn’t say I love the “prattling of my children”, especially since this very morning, my eldest, Lindsay, and her hubby, Brian, gave us our second grandchild, Miss Olivia Cate Anderson! So I thought, to honor such a beautiful event, I would post a painting of a beautiful subject, a wild bird.
I know, you’re probably wondering, I didn’t know he painted wildlife too!? Ah, but I am a man of many interests. I have always loved the outdoors and have fancied myself something of a naturalist since I was about 12 years of age. I have always loved walking in the woods, listening to and watching wild birds and other wildlife. I love hiking and camping in state parks, particularly the Southern mountains and doing what I can to preserve and protect our natural world.
This painting is based on a photo by my friend, Kathy Dassinger Cobb, a photographer and lover of all things wild. I wanted a strong, abstract design, but kept it as simple as possible with utter focus on the bird. I have mentioned before my struggle to keep my paintings loose and this was no exception. Try as I may, my natural bent was to move toward detail, painting the environment where the subject lives, which meant detailing the branches of the tree. But overall, I am reasonably pleased with the outcome and I will do more. Funny, I have always avoided painting wildlife because of a certain stigma that the so-called “high art” world has attached to it. You know the one; wildlife art is “mere illustration”. Well, call it what you will, but I call it fun.
So, to my newest grandchild, Olivia, and her big brother, Jacob, I dedicate this painting in hopes that I may nurture in them the same love and respect for the environment that I have always held. It is in them that we will eventually place our trust to continue the good fight to save our natural world. Welcome to the world, dearest Olivia! Pop loves you! -Enjoy