Take Flight P.1 Finished!

Oh it feels so good to finish a painting. You make that final brush stroke and you just know. It's done. It's not perfect, maybe it's not exactly as first imagined, I could have added more detail etc etc. But for me, it's done. And the important thing is I love it! 

In case you missed the initial post and time lapse of me painting the first layers of this Spotted Dove, you can find the post here

This is painting one in a series of six. Acrylic background, oil bird on wood panel (20x25CM). More to come soon!

dove detail (1 of 1).jpg

Xx Zoe

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Take Flight Series P.1

Last week I painted a few trial backgrounds in acrylic on recycled wine boxes, and this week after having decided how I liked the background I started on Painting 1 in my Take Flight Series. The chosen background is shown in the second picture. .

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I haven't yet decided if I will do different background colours or keep them to a similar theme. I'll see how I feel about it when I start the next one! 

Because I'm using oil paint for these birds, and also because of the way I want them to look, it's a much slower process than it would usually be as I have to wait between layers for the oil paint to dry. I feel like it's a good challenge for me in practicing patience! 

I painted the first layer of Painting 1 yesterday afternoon, and made a super quick time-lapse too. The first in this series is a flying Spotted Dove. You will see these little love birds hanging out together in your backyard or sitting on your house gutters. 

I'm excited to work on this painting, and I will have more to show soon! 

- Zoe

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Take Flight

I'm discovering more about myself and what it is I like - what I like to paint, who I like to spend time with, what gives me energy and lights me up. I have spent a lot of my life wondering how to please everyone else, hiding behind an exterior of "pleasantness" to avoid being perceived as too different. I now make an effort to live the life I want, but there's still so much of myself hidden beneath the surface which I'm afraid to reveal. 

And I'm talking about very mundane things here like the clothes I would really love to wear, or the way I speak to people, or how I express joy. I get caught up in "what would people think if I...." 

I had a conversation with a friend last week and we talked about dance and self expression, and choosing experiences which may be uncomfortable, but which also bring us joy and energy. I was so uncomfortable talking about dancing, even though I love it. I often crave dance and movement but I sometimes end up feeling embarrassed and avoid it. That's not always the case though, sometimes with my favorite trusted people I'll go a bit crazy. And I have taken on a challenge from my friend to try out a Dancing Freedom class!

Yes, I feel extremely uncomfortable even just writing that. 

I'm learning to say yes to more experiences which challenge and excite me, and a big NO to those which just don't resonate. 

So, part of this means taking on new projects to challenge myself. I have been a bit quiet on here lately. I did some brainstorming last week and asked myself "what do I love to paint?" I filled a giant piece of paper with scribbles about BIRDS, beautiful things from nature and animals.

OK so I really like painting birds, so I'm just going to paint more birds! 

My latest project is called Take Flight and is an exploration of how totally ordinary backyard birds are actually quite beautiful in there own way. In the same way I might hide parts of myself from people who aren't closest to me, these birds go unnoticed because they're not as flashy and beautiful as exotic birds. But if you stop and observe them, you will see their unique beauty, their specific melodic singing and be impressed by their "birdly skills". 

And also, even though I love hummingbirds, some of the other thousands of birds deserve some attention too! 

Take Flight

I've been inspired to create a series of oil and acrylic paintings on wood panels depicting ordinary backyard birds made spectacular. 

Wood and oil are both totally new mediums to me so right now I'm just trialing these ideas to see what works. I'll have some work to show you very soon! 

- Zoe

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