Just as we were thinking that spring was around the corner, winter decided to puff up and bring wintery precipitation of every form to east Tennessee. In a matter of 24 hours we had an inch of sleet, freezing rain, snow, and artic air that plunged the temperature down to 4 F degrees, with lower wind chills due to the bitter wind.
I spent a lot of time feeding and watching birds while ice glistened on every limb, sparkling like crystals when the sun came out briefly and creaking and popping as the wind brought the deep freezing cold front. Feeding bluebirds became a challenge.
Bluebirds are special eaters--spiders, berries and fruits in the winter--they can't digest seeds. Larger birds suddenly became territorial--initially it was an American Robin, claiming all the berries for himself, and then a rogue Mockingbird moved in to claim every food source driving all the smaller birds away. Everybody was stressed!
I simultaneously worried about the survival of my bird friends and stood in awe of the dazzling beauty that surrounded them.
I'm just getting started with this exploration. Creating a winter background, saving the white for the ice, getting that bluebird color and shape just right. The only way to know how you will do it is to get started. This process will result in either a valuable exploration or a painting. Either way, the artist wins.
Decision making -- the process
Chickadee in Snow
Bluebirds and Ice
Polar Bears sketching and my journey to Churchill