Painting During Loss

2.5 months ago my baby brother, age 44, was told by his doctors that there was not a thing they could do for the colon cancer that he had battled for some time. His wife and 5 children chose to do home hospice so that they could be with him (covid rules-grrr). This past Wednesday he passed away after a valiant fight. I have learned to despise cancer!

My way of dealing with this was to spend time painting him as I remember him, and pushing myself to get better at portraiture through this, trying again and again. I want to use this grief as a force for good instead of letting it sink me. So hang in there with me, I will be posting more Inktober soon, and my brother will be my subject more than once, I am sure.

FUNDRAISER FOR THE FAMILY

For those who feel to help his widow and children, I have included our fundraiser. Thank you!

Bandits

This is Notch – I think she may be a first time mother. She has at least 2 babies so she got bold enough to come up to the deck. It seems they get hungry about this time of year. I also see them in the deep winter when the snow is thick. Otherwise, they only visit at night. How do I know? My tomatoes growing on my second story deck keep disappearing.

Blackpoll Warblers

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During the shutdown I have not been birding like normal, other than off my back deck. However, the back wild space has delivered in spades – actually, in what we birders call “lifers” (the first time you spot a species.)

We had a couple of Blackpoll Warblers go through last week, giving a brief, yet very delightful glimpse as they paused on their travels from S. Am. to Canada.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

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The Rose-breasted Grosbeak’s have been plentiful this season. I have my own photos, but a friend, Steve Bradley, took one of a male that truly inspired me. I used his photo for my painting and one of my own for the female.

First I practiced drawing them since their big old beaks were a new shape for me.

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Then I tried the male on my Mom’s Mother’s Day card/letter. I decided I liked that so well, I did the couple in my nature journal (the first image above.)

Nest Building

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I watched a Cooper’s Hawk wrestle with a huge stick that had a smaller one hooked to it.  When he finally got them untangled, he ended up with the short stick and appeared quite disgruntled about it. He tossed it down and left, at that point, and went up into the tree and started wrestling with another branch. It was very entertaining.

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