Chickadee dee deeee

Sweet, fat, fluffy and round.  

And cute! Dear little chickadees. I cannot stop painting them.  They make me so happy.  We admire them daily as they flit in and out of our feeders.  They fly in and steal a sunflower seed.  Fly into the grapevines or into a nearby tree.  Crack open the seed.  And then come back again.  Over and over for most of the day.  So entertaining!

Chickadee dee dee by Helen Shideler

Not a crazy bird lady

Before you get the idea I am a crazy bird lady,  I will explain.  You see we have large windows all over our house and place the feeders strategically so you can catch a glimpse as you walk by.  Quite heavenly.  Tonight there was a pair of cardinals outside the kitchen window.  I am amazed at how red he truly is this time of year.  She was in  the feeder and he was ever watchful.  Until he saw me watching them. And then they were gone.

Chickadee by Helen Shideler

And so there are two little chickadee painting.  The one on the bottom is sold

Gone to the Birds

I joined in a challenge to paint 30 Paintings in 30 Days.  The first week quickly became about painting chickadees!

I knew the challenge was coming up so between Christmas and New Years I braved the elements to attempt to get as many photographs as possible.  I stood out on our deck for hours.  Freezing my fingers off while waiting for the perfect photo opportunity.  Interesting enough, it did not take me too long to figure out that these feathers cherubs are much faster than I.  I managed to get many empty feeder shots. And a few with the snow flying as the little cuties flew off the feeder.  

A Discovery 

After about three days of obsessive photographing and freezing I discovered that my Canon camera with my long lens can shoot through the glass at my kitchen window. Well now.  No more freezing.  Interesting enough only the long lens can do it.  Go figure.  So about 500 photos later, I have enough reference material to keep me painting for 90 days!  Loving it.

Oh Yeah

The first painting I did for the challenge was of a white husky appropriately named "Lily".

Particulars 

These painting are available on my web site.  You can get there from here by clicking on AVAILABLE WORK on the top menu on this site and going to artwork portfolio.

Lessons Learned

Due to the inclement and cold temperatures, I decided to use LIquitex acrylic varnish.  They recommend for best results that you first apply a thin (and they mean it) coat of gloss then apply a thin layer of matte. This is great product for work with backgrounds.  Not so much for leaving      the lovely white backgrounds of Gessobord or Clapboard unpainted.  No mater how careful your are you get a bit of frustrating streaking.  

RECOMMENDATION: If you are leaving much of the surface unpainted, you are much better off to use an archival spray varnish.