After taking some time off at Christmas, I found it difficult to get back into a routine. There was just so much to do that was demanding time away from art, and instead of working every day, it seemed was only able to devote one or two days to art while the rest was... well all other stuff!! I felt like I was trudging uphill and every day that started out in the clear, turned out the Lord had other plans for me! These last couple of weeks I seem to have found my legs again and have been able to balance everything better.
I started this Macaw gourd at the end of October, got it most of the way done and only finished it up just now. I had wanted to work on a parrot for a while, I had taken some photos of some beautiful parrots at the Lake Tobias Wildlife park a few years ago that I was planning to use as reference. Unfortunately, since the photos were taken through a glass window, they didn't turn out all that great. I did, however find a nice shot on Unsplash (which is copyright free) that captured the macaw preening that I liked a lot.
I started by drawing the parrot with a mechanical pencil, using a shading pen to burn in the feathers. The trickiest part was getting the perspective right on the feathers as they were ruffled up.
I decided to make a very dark burned background to set off the macaw, created a border with gold leaf, then used colored pencils to color over the feathers. I opted to keep the colors somewhat subtle to let the details of the pyrography show through.
After that, I decided on a chip carved border along the bottom. The spot where the tail overhangs the chip carving was challenging, as I had to be careful that the chip pattern was not interrupted. The rim is finished with black dyed pine needles.
I am glad to finally be back in a creating routine, and this gourd is done and am excited to start working on some new gourds!
Art has always been a part of my life, and I have worked in many different mediums.