Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bird on a wiry branch

A long time ago (or so it seems), I began this painting. It was late winter, the trees were still bare and gray, and birds of all feathers were sitting in trees, huddled against the cold. Then, life happened: Todd got laid off, we tripped over each other while we searched for jobs from the same computer, spring came, Todd found another job, we began planning for and attending end-of-year activities at preschool and church. And all the while, this half-finished little lady mocked me from the easel in the bedroom. Fuzzy, incomplete, without a branch to stand on, she caught my eye while I made the bed, or gathered laundry, or tried to find an outfit that still fit without squeezing my middle...

And then, on Tuesday, I was blessed with an hour to myself, and daylight streaming in the windows—the very same diffused daylight in which I had begun painting all those weeks—nay, months—ago. I grabbed brushes and palette and scrambled to free the poor cardinal.

Here she is at last.

Yet now, she feels so out of season. I don't think I can bear to hang this one right now, not with green finally winning the tree color contest. The poor little gal looks so chilly, puffed up against a cold breeze; I can't imagine putting here anywhere near all my yellow flowers and fruits. I think she will take a back seat until autumn. Meantime, in the dog days of summer, I'll plan to get to that barn-in-a-snowfall painting I've been keeping on hold for years now. A snowy barn and a puffy cardinal, both splashed with red and sharing the same gray background, should make a lovely cold-weather pair.

'Til then, bring on the brights, the sunnies, the fiery colors of this happy season we're entering.


Facie said...

Such a lovely painting! Maybe in another few weeks when it hits 90, as it often does around this time of year, you will want to pull it out. You know, to remind you of the colder days.

Mel said...

thanks, Facie! yes, you're right--quite often we're being slammed with full-on summer right around now... I'll remember your advice if I start to feel too sticky. I certainly spend a lot of time gazing at spring and summer scenes when it's the middle of winter--so doing the opposite makes perfect sense. : )