Painting without a Fight

Cardinals in the Snow

After posting this painting on my website, Mary Gwyn’s Art, I was looking at it in the web format and seeing things I hadn’t noticed when looking at the actual painting.  Sometimes a painting will surprise me when I observe it from a different angle.  This was one of those times.  What struck me was the warmth in the birds.  I had set out to paint a cold winter scene but these guys don’t look all that cold to me, in spite of the falling white stuff.

The warmth didn’t bother me.  It just puzzled me.  I had to go back and think about what I had done.  Indian Yellow!  I love that color and sometimes I just get carried away with it.  It warms up everything, no matter what it is.  Recently, a pear came alive from the generous application of Indian Yellow.  That pear was flat out glowing.

These birds could have become a little more chilly, like the weather, if I had added a bit more Hooker’s Green or Payne’s Gray to the red.  But I didn’t.  The Indian Yellow just jumped onto the brush and away it went. Like the pear, these birds are glowing.  Maybe they are supposed to. Cardinals can be like that in a harsh winter landscape.  That bright shock of red flitting by in the cold gray light. It wasn’t planned in this painting. It happened because that pesky Indian Yellow was bent on taking over. Some colors do. It is usually better not to fight when a color is determined to dominate. 

(This painting is for sale at Heart and Hands on Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee.)  

Franklin, Tennessee is a great vacation place if you, “aren’t from around here!”


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