Anxiously Waiting

I have a new appreciation for how dedicated and anxious nesting birds really are.

Take this robin for instance.  Gary and I recently made a trip up to the cottage with the intention of cleaning and freshening it up.  We packed up our car to the roof and headed out.  Once we go to the cottage, we had to make several trips inside with our arms loaded up.  Fist trip in we did not see the nesting robin. But it saw us.  In a flurry of rather noisy, flapping and with a look of indignation - then the robin left the nest every time one of us walked by.  This went on for quite while until they either got tired out or simply gave up.  I eventually was able to un-intrusively get a few reference photos.  

Anxiously Waiting by Helen Shideler

When I took the photos I knew there was a painting in there.

Yesterday, while painting at Hooper's Studios and Gallery for the opening of "Four Watercolour Painters" (of which I am one), I decided to paint this scene.  I very loosely sketched out the bird in the nest. It took shape very quickly.

I was careful not to overwork the cedar shakes as I wanted the focal point to be obvious. The robin was fun to paint.  The nest took more concentration than I expected.  As a result, I was unable to complete the painting in one sitting.  Contributing to distracting me from completing it was the fact it was 32 degrees celsius with high humidity.  Hard to paint in a sauna.  Hard to paint in high humidity with watercolours - you cannot in any way shape or form get a crisp line. 

I packed up.  Drove home and enjoyed the amazing show of lightning on display. And finished the painting this morning,