i see you - painting of a sparrow

I See You by Helen Shideler"I See You" is an 8" x 10" acrylic painting on Claybord of a white throated sparrow looking at me from my apple tree

I almost always have a camera on the ready within reach.  On this particular day I was perched on my deck, hunkered down,  camera focused on our bird feeders.  The birds were so active. Swooping in for a sunflower seed and then rushing off with their treasure to peck it open.  And swooping back in for another.  Over and over and over again.

The problem is - how fast they move.  Just as soon as I would get one little bird in focus, poof it was gone.  This goes on for a long time.  It always does.  I am totally convinced they are able to sense when they are being observed and become even more skittish.  Flighty actually!  Or they are simply teasing me.

So I continued to be hopeful as I always am.  Just a few great shots...pleeease! I focused on the bird feeder but to no avail.  Then I got a bit impatient and started to play with the camera.  A little to the left.  A little to the right.  Wait, go left again.   In the apple tree.  Snap snap snap snap snap.  This little white throated sparrow had it's eye fixed on me!  As I was watching it, it was watching me!  Hence the name of the painting.  I managed to get a number of photos that made me very happy.

Drawing out this little painting out was quite easy.  Painting on Claybord not so much.  It always presents a challenge.  When I start a painting I love the smoothness of the surface.  Halfway through the painting I think I should burn it.  But I always stay with it and feel quite rewarded for my efforts.   I love the amount of detail that painting on panel allows one to achieve over the roughness of canvas.  This particular surface, being clay, absorbs much of the first few washes but does allow me to use acrylics transparently almost like watercolours.

This painting is available on my web site in the Nature in Art Galley image gallery.  Click the link below to check it out.

http://helenshideler.fineartstudioonline.com/works/1761700/i-see-you