Saturday, March 30, 2013


Say hello to my muse.  This is Clio, my Senegal parrot.  She lives in my studio (well away from paint and fumes).  It's spring, which means she has itchy pinfeathers on her head.  When a new feather comes in, it's encased in keratin which the bird preens off with its beak.  Only thing is, they can't reach their own heads, so they generally use the buddy system and preen them for each other. 

Problem is, Clio's a single girl, so my much less efficient fingernails have to suffice for her.  She tells me she needs her head scratched by putting her foot up to her head and making scritching motions.  She's not much of a talker, her only word is "Up," (what I tell her when I want her to get on my hand), but she does a masterful imitation of the microwave, and me laughing, and smoochy noises.
Not much time to paint today but I squeezed an hour in, which felt good because I've hardly gotten any time to paint at all this week.  So I worked on knife-painting (impasto) my Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).  I think his eye is a little too far back so I may have to fix that.

That said, it was a ton of fun painting all those little headfeathers that Clio likes me to scratch for her so much!  Knife painting is all about the texture and birdy heads have plenty of it.  The only thing I'm concerned about is I don't think I have an appropriately shaped knife for the feathers lower down.... I need something kind of shaped like a fan brush.  Not sure such a thing exists... hmmm.

More about lorikeets next time!