The last of Inktober this year closes out with the pet portraits.
Throughout Inktober I salted in the images of pets from friends and people I know as a part of the joy it gives me to give back to others, and at the same time, it was a fun exercise in pet portraiture and practicing values and shading. The above image is one of the spaces in the house that allowed me to enjoy the portraits throughout Inktober. I am missing them now that I have packaged them up to mail off.
Here is the entire set of the individual pet portraits, including a few I have already shared. I have 4 more ink portraits that have been requested which will be done after some Christmas orders are complete.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
This one is a WIP – I may watercolor it or even add a quote – not sure yet. Also, I will be catching up on the remaining days with pet portraits in the coming weeks..
Photo ref: Kevin Matson – Indiana Birdography
This image is closely tied into my very first picture and the journey I have taken with Inktober this year. We are broken in this life. We suffer loss and heartache, disappointment and betrayal, but we have choice to sink under that or, by taking action, we can rise up out of the ashes of the pain and choose life and love, growth and renewal.
Courage in the face of that risk of leaving the darkness of fear behind will reap great rewards. Always. There is victory in that first step.
Happy Inktober, everyone. It has been a wonderful experience.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
This is a quick sketch and a nod to our state DNR (Indiana Department of Natural Resources). I love the work they do to preserve our state resources, so log this under “people doing good things”.
“Unlike many of Indiana’s salamanders, the state-endangered green salamander spends most of its time far from the forest floor, navigating narrow cracks and crevices in cliff faces. DNR biologists have to get into some tricky positions to survey for this species!” – DNR article on Facebook
The photo reference comes from a birding friend, Sally Slick, and as soon as I saw it a couple of months ago, I knew I would use it for Inktober. These feisty little birds have fierce battles, but this was a beautiful image of one grabbing the other’s beak.
Also, it was first through hummingbird photography that I began to connect online with various birding groups and gaining several new social groups that have been informative and a lot of fun.
Sally happens to be a conduit for that type of connecting. I met her when she was at the Indiana Dunes (now a National Park) several years back and we stopped at a pull over where she happened to be parked and taking photos. She gave us pointers on where to find the Sandhill Cranes, as well as other tips.
Come to find out, she is a local (to me) birder and she introduced us to her group of birding buddies. We have since enjoyed meeting them when birding our local parks, as well as sharing our various adventures online.
Our pets are vessels of love, joy, healing which they offer to us unconditionally. It only made sense that Toby would be among the first images for this month.
This is a pre-watercolor inked version with the process below. The watercolor is at the bottom. I have that picture sitting on the mantle where I will analyze it for the next week. <grin> Anyone else do that? I know I need to add his white whiskers, but I may want to work on some of the paint values and tweak them before it is finished.
“Chickadees look like they are wearing little suits,” Charlotte exclaimed earlier this week as she watched our favorite little birds at our feeders. I knew then that was perfect for today. I used one of her photos as my source file. What a great example of one of the sweetest daily joys in my world.
So this morning I was thinking about how I wanted to render this (with a broad brush, as it turned out) when I heard a thump on the livingroom window. Ugh. Not yet out of bed and a bird hits the window. I padded out to look through the window over the tell tale shoulder of my cat as she stared intently down on the deck below where she was seated. Ugh again, a chickadee?!!
No way. Not today!
And they never hit the windows (which have film and stickers on them to stop this mistaken behavior.)
It was laying on its side and I was sure it was dead, then I realized that its little body was panting. Unlocking the back door, I slipped out hoping the neighbors were not noticing my jammies, and picked it up, sniffling. Carrying it tenderly inside, I put it into a dark shoe box, which is best for this type of injury, and said a prayer.
This was not the day for this, I thought sourly.
For the next 2 hours I went about the business of the morning and also threw open all the windows in hope that the little fella’s last hours were at least full of normal life sounds.
When I finally went to check on his status, having not heard a sound, I realize a miracle had occurred!
I did not even get his box lid open (back out on the deck) 2 inches before he had zipped out so fast I only saw a blur. A happy little bird, flying as straight as a bouncy little chickadee can fly. Thank you, Jesus!
Hope and Healing! A perfect moment for the both of us this morning.
This year I am choosing to use Inktober for multiple purposes, but the main one is to counterbalance all the sadness of this past year. We just buried another friend this week. Not covid. Those close to me have not been covid related.
This month is also the 1st anniversary of the loss of my brother from cancer
My best friend, Lainey, lost her mother earlier this year
We lost my Aunt Thelma
A teammate (my expert on my project) passed suddenly this past Spring.
A friend just this week
There are untold losses amongst the extended social, work, and church networks. This has been a year for Sympathy cards and condolences
While searching out images of hope and healing and things that bring me joy, I was thinking about the first prompt – Crystal. I do not own much crystal, but I know it is precious. And a good crystal dish is lovely and highly valued. But it is also easily shattered when not handled with care and reverence.
It was not a big leap to think of our hearts and how easily shattered they are. The grief, the loss, the hard things in life. So I went searching for that time in life before our pure hearts were broken and there it was. Myself and my much loved cousin enjoying Christmas before the world intruded. Before our hearts were scarred.
A time of innocence and joy. I want to tap back into that time – that heart is still there. It is time to heal.
I have been watercoloring this image before the Day 1 inking above.