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Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Pipe Down" new 8" x 10" daily oil painting by Mark Nesmith

Pipe Down
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"
2015

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I'm not a bird watcher exactly. I don't know the names of them all. I don't carry binoculars and I don't really seek out avian life, but I often notice birds, particularly when I'm at the beach.  Lately I've been plugging away mainly on larger canvases, often spending a few weeks or more coming back again and again to work on the same images.  Now that my shows at Third Coast Gallery in Galveston and Davis Gallery & Framing in Austin are in full swing I thought I'd get back to some smaller daily paintings I could finish in a couple of hours and just relax a little. 

I recently stopped off at Bolivar Flats and a couple of other beaches on my way back from the gallery in Galveston to shoot some reference photos and make a quick sketch or two of the sunset.  Bolivar Flats is sort of a mecca for bird watchers and photographers, and as usual there were plenty of our winged friends around.  These little pipers always catch my attention because their squatter statue stands in such contrast to the plentiful herons and pelicans.  

I started this 8" x 10" at lunch with a simple charcoal outline.  I wanted to keep things simple so I only used one, scraggly 1/4" flat bristle brush for the entire painting but tried to keep the surface interesting by varying my strokes and using the handle of the brush as well.  I've done a few small 5" x 7" panels in the past of spoonbills and pelicans, but this was my first piper.  At some point I'd like to try my hand at a larger more fully rendered bird, but for now I'm enjoying these occasional small flights of fancy.

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