Painting Gone Wrong and Tiny Blue Hunters

watercolor, watercoulor, western bluebird, bluebire

Western Bluebird watercolor 9″ x 12″

I felt like painting something different the other night, but then it went all wrong.  I picked this bluebird, from Bird On A Wire, not because the subject matter was different, but because I want to play with a different style.  My goal was to be less controlled and more dynamic.  I started with a complete wash of all the base colors.  Then I was going to start blobbing in some deeper colors.  I thought “just a touch up here and there”, and soon I’m back to my regular style.  I believe the one’s style is a bit like one’s personality.  It is difficult to change, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  However, it is a challenge none the less.  So here is my different…not so different Western bluebird.


Male Western Bluebird

A couple of days after I painted the bluebird, I happened upon a flock of Western bluebirds on the hunt.  They were working this meadow like a pride of lions after a herd of gazelle.


The mighty little hunter surveys his domain

Western bluebird, birding, nature, wildlife, photography

He spots his target.

Western Bluebird, birding, nature, photograpphy

He strikes!.

They would hop up onto any high point to search for their prey.  Usually, it was a rock or a tree seedling between six inches and eighteen inches above the ground.  They would survey the ground around them until they spotted some hapless insect.  Then they pounced.  Their movements looked fairly random, but as I watched them I noted just how systematically they worked the meadow.

Western Bluebird, nature, photography, birding, wildlife

The female bluebird searches for her prey.

golden retriever

“Did someone say bird”

64 thoughts on “Painting Gone Wrong and Tiny Blue Hunters

  1. I think it’s great Tim – really like it. I know exactly what you mean when you speak about trying to change the style. I had to laugh when you likened to trying to change your personality. That’s so true.


  2. I absolutely love this post and I think your painting is beautiful. I appreciate learning about the western bluebirds (since I live in Ohio.) I really like the way you handled the leaves, too. I am also one who have tried to develop a looser style over the years and finally have given up. I yam what I yam! Your posts are always so interesting and “make my day!”


    • Thank you Barb. You have a beautiful style, and so bright. I don’t really want to change what I do, I just want to add to my repertoire. I’m going to keep working at it, but don’t expect any Earth shaking changes.


  3. There is nothing wrong with having your own style. Evolving and challenging oneself is a good thing. The blue bird painting turned out really well regardless. And that is as is should be. In my world anyway. Great images and informative too!


  4. Keep playing with media you don’t usually use. The only thing you have to do is make yourself stop before you even think about detail. Think of it as an experiment, not something that has to turn into a finished painting. Then put it away for a few months and go back and look at it with new eyes. You might be amazed, or at least intrigued!


    • Thank you Megan. What a kind thing to say. Ok, I’m going to strut now …….oops, had to stop people were starting to stare.

      As for Blitz, those bluebirds don’t know how close to death they came. Sticks are great, but that’s what she is talkin’ about!


  5. You hit the nail on the head about someone’s style being like their personality.I have been exposed to both the controlled and detailed watercolorist and the loose and impressionistic and I don’t think one is better than the other. When we try something new that we have seen someone else do, we generally learn something that we can use and move forward with, like a new color or a new way of applying a stroke, but it will always come out as looking like our work. That is the joy of it I think. I like your bluebird and I like your description of them being on the hunt, but I still like that red dog the best, Tim! Your art is always impressive and I like your attention to detail!


  6. I love bluebirds, and I love what you tried. When I tried the same many a paper went into the dustbin, but looks like your’s made it just as well as all your other works. First impressions were that it looked so simple and light on the eye but I also noticed the strokes that you might have touched up towards the end, as a habit. It definitely looks different, and refreshing too. On a separate not, My book arrived, Firestorm in the Forest, and it is as beautiful as you and Mary (I mean your personalities! 😀 and otherwise)… Learning about the firestorm though it’s meant for kids, who said I can’t turn the clock back? Thank you so much for the signed copy and code.


  7. I see bluebirds around here but I didn’t realize they were such hunters.

    I know what you mean about trying something new and how hard it is not to fall back into old habits. We artists shouldn’t look at any painting as “failed”. When we experiment, we can grow and should always look at the work with that in mind. There is always something to learn from the process. I think your bluebird turned out well. It may take a while for you to feel as though your style is loosening up, but keep at it. Then maybe you can incorporate what you have learned into your “old” style.


    • I don’t really feel like the painting was a failure as much as my attempt to loosen up my style was. However, I did learn from it and I’m already plotting my next attempt. It is fun to play with it. It keeps thing interesting.


  8. Pingback: Make Yourself At Home, I Made Turkey | THE FORESTER ARTIST

      • Hi, Tim! Apart from bobbing the bird under water six feet from shore and giving the nice judge a minor stress attack? She did well…and her line manners are improving. Thinking fondly (and wistfully) of you as I am FF Tessa……I thought Toby was hard (couldn’t have done it without you!)……with experience, I now realize how easy Toby was!

        A new HRC club is starting in January – Central Valley. Hope you will be able to participate. I think you and Mary will enjoy the experience. My one regret is that I hadn’t entered Toby……

        Are you taking commissions? Is that the correct term?
        Looking forward to your next post.

        Happy T-Day!


  9. Ah, your painting is really beautiful, Tim!
    I’ve missed your posts for long time as I was( am! ) little busy.
    Enjoying to read them one by one and a perfect daily refreshment❤️
    Thank you for sharing those beauties😃❤️


    • Thank you so much Violet. I’m so glad to know that you enjoy the posts. I understand being busy, and judging by all of your beautiful watercolors you are busy indeed. It is a good thing you have Malus to take care of the blog for you. 😀


Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s