Monday, February 9, 2015

Past and Present

"Black-capped Chickadee and Blue Jay Portraits"
from the Favorite Birds Portrait Series
colored pencil drawings - © Bruce A. Morrison

I was recently thinking about where portraits and paintings of birds have gone with me over the years.  I don't believe I still have the "very first" images I drew of birds, but do have some from my teenage years...the very first "commissioned" birds I can remember doing were india ink drawings...I may still have slides of those...I'll have to do some digging and see.  I think they were around 1966-67 when I was around 16-17 years old?

The "portrait " series I've been dabbling with the past couple years, when my time permits, have all been in color pencil.  The earlier ones in Prismacolor and the later with Lyra polycolor.  My very first color pencil of a bird was a rather badly done drawing of a Peregrine Falcon.  I don't remember the year but I'm guessing it was around 1962-3.  I vaguely remember what that drawing looked like and it's not a memory I care to hang onto!  But we all have to start somewhere.

 "Blue Jay" on mat board
colored pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison

I took up color pencils again around the early 1980's...the image above is of the type of work I did at that time...using a colored board to draw upon was a convenient  tool - saving a lot of time in rendering a background color with the pencils themselves.  

"Snow Laden Cedar - Chickadees"
oil painting - © Bruce A. Morrison

I did many drawings of birds but didn't "paint" a bird until my first year in Community College.  I was in my art teacher's office and saw paintings he was working on.  He had a painting of a Killdeer that I was quite taken with - here was an artist painting birds!  I always wanted to paint birds and this was the catalyst that pushed me forward!  My art teacher "Mr. Halm" (Robert Halm) encouraged all his students to do what "moved" them and that was wonderful encouragement for me.

The "Snow Laden Cedar - Chickadees" was a change from earlier years too, I was now placing birds in their environment.

It is occasionally fun to look back where you were years ago, but that was "then" and this is "now".   Keep moving forward!