Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Apples for June

Oil - 30 x 24 inches

I could listen to a Gray Catbird's song all day. Nary a rhythm nor repetition have I ever heard, so its long string of notes makes it quite suitable for compelling, audio entertainment. What a Catbird lacks in colorful plumage is certainly made up for with its call; and this is assuredly one of those instances where the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" applies. Try to mimic one, and you'll find yourself spinning in a cacophony of playful notes jumbled in tangled extravagance.

I've noticed these birds singing alone in the shadows of branches. They can look a bit roly poly, and for lack of a better word, contorted, while singing. With their feathers fluffed out, bellies bloated, and beaks aimed towards the sky, they'll hold this puffed-out pose for the duration of their song, which if left undisturbed, can last quite a long time. If circular breathing occurs in birds, Catbirds positively have this trait. I wonder if it's ever been studied. Anyway, this particular Catbird was perched in my crabapple tree last spring, coveting the colorful blossoms of June. It was a painting I was hesitant to start, because to me, it would be a complicated and questionable undertaking. I never know how a painting is going to evolve and progress.

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