Harsh and Fierce

Watercolor, approximately 7" x 7" $75.00
Watercolor, approximately 7″ x 7″ $75.00
Another round of snow has dumped another 4″ or so on top of many inches already covering the ground. The meteorologists were calling it a “manageable” snowfall. Like many, I am bone weary and sore from falling in this “manageable” snowfall.

Reminders to myself that we need to live in the moment, be grateful and accept things we cannot change, do not seem to work when I find myself whining along with friends and family. Lamenting altered plans, wasted time scraping and shoveling, longing for a glimpse of green. Sometimes putting into practice the art of gratitude is sorely tested.

Several shelves in the studio are now back in order, my commission is finished, and with many classes being cancelled, I’ve had some time to paint for myself. The eagle above is one of those paintings. Painted with permission from a photo by Gary Jones Photography, and as part of a February challenge posted on Sharon’s Art Facebook Page, I started it unenthusiastically.

Birdwatching is part of my life and good for my soul. For the past four days, I enthusiastically participated in The Great Backyard Bird Count (it’s been too cold and miserable to go many places). But, I found the original photo rather fierce and harsh. Spent my details on the eye and beak. Definitely wasn’t loving what was showing up. Out came the big “butter” brush and I soaked the paper around those details, and more characteristic for my style, let it go. With the help of a spray bottle and the rigger brush, I finished it quickly.

The fierce and harsh came out, and I like this painting. He’s a reminder that when faced with something we don’t care for, perhaps we just need to reach down a little farther, use a little more imagination and shovel through. We might find something we like, even if a bit different than the norm.

Or, perhaps he’s just a reflection of the fact that this winter makes me want to scream.


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