This piece was not easy. I knew I wanted to paint a nuthatch, but I was really unsure of the direction I wanted to take it. It initially started on wood with a collage background. Soon after I started applying paint, I knew I didn't like the direction it was going and started a new nuthatch on watercolor paper. Again, I didn't know what I wanted to do with it.
I love how nuthatches walk/hop up and down trees, many times upside down! I wanted my nuthatch to have that upside down position that I usually see them in. This little guy started out as a white breasted nuthatch but became the red breasted because I wanted more color!
I'm not sure why I was drawn to pink, green and orange as the main colors. I think this started to feel problematic with the bird. It just didn't seem to match. I decided to make his little belly much more orange than what it appears in real life. I thought, why does he have to look exact? I have a tendency want to make things look exactly as they are. I've noticed Fischer has this too. If I'm painting something that doesn't look the same in real life, he'll quickly point out "mom, that's not what it looks like".
I was so close to cutting up the picture and just using the parts I liked, or starting over. I decided to keep working at it and see if I couldn't make it work somehow. And guess what? I think I like it now. I know I'm not going to throw it away or cut it up, I have to say, I'm happy with it.
I think what made this painting kind of hard for me is that I'm going to be donating it for a silent auction for the Holiday Faire at the Waldorf school here in town. For one, I wanted it to be a gender neutral subject, I thought a bird would be great. Unfortunately there might be too much pink in it though to make it very neutral now. I'm just worried that no one will like it. I definitely have to matte it for the auction, and I'm thinking I might frame it as well. We will see, maybe I'll end up painting something else:)