by Janis Gaines

My latest…


I saw a cardinal this afternoon which inspired me to paint this picture. It was the first one I had seen at this house. It was perched on the chain link fence in the backyard, not far from the deck. In fact, I think it had been sitting on the wood railing for the deck, but Tequila, our cat, spooked it away. I’m glad it didn’t fly too far. It was quite a sight — the stunning red against the green/brown backdrop of nature. I didn’t see any other birds nearby.

I do not have any bird feeders up at the moment, and it made me think I need to get some birdseed. I love to watch the birds, but I’ve been hesitant to draw them closer because of Tequila.

For the picture, I chose to have the cardinal resting on a branch. I thought it would be easier to draw than a grey fence. I’m pleased with how this one turned out. I think the proportions are nice. I had wanted the beak to be a brighter orange, but I could not get the color I wanted with the paints I had. I am using acrylic paints on paper. This took me about an hour to complete.

One thing I’ve noticed with painting is that I’m often initially afraid to commit to the page with the paint. It seems so permanent and what if I mess up? And yet, usually the brush will take a surprising curve of its own that turns out to be just right. In all senses of the word, I am just “feeling” it. I have absolutely no formal art training or knowledge. And while my work is amateurish, it pleases me so much. I am thoroughly enjoying the process from beginning to end — and really that’s what matters most. 🙂

The music that I listened to while painting…

“Benedictus” by 2Cellos

© September 24, 2013
Asheville, NC