23 February 2011

Some of the First

I started painting feathers about two years ago.  It's been a while, so I can't remember all the details of how it came to be that my paintings ended up on feathers, I recall the important bits and pieces.

It was a slow day working at the Native American Museum in Frisco, NC.  I might have been sketching something, or I might have just been talking about art to one of our visitors...but one way or another, it was asked if I'd ever painted on a feather.  At that exact moment of the conversation, I thought that the woman had to be at least half nuts.  I was comfortable with painting and pencil renderings...but on a feather?  I was aware it was done, we have a lovely piece in the museum exhibit, and it completely blew me away.  So sure...it could be done...but by other people.  At least that was my first thought.

Very small horse head
I had some cheap acrylic paint at home, and there were some feathers lying around; so I figured why not.  The brushes weren't as small as I'd have liked, and the paint was difficult to make opaque, but I had my first few steps.

A horse was easy to do, at least that was my first thought.  OH...I was wrong, but it was a nice thought.  It ended up not turning out all too bad.  But I learned very quickly why we do not spray fixitive over our feathers...as there is a white mist over the down now and the colors are a bit faded.

Teeny tiny butterfly
The butterfly was also kind of easy once I got the colors down.  They don't really take too much detail until they get bigger, and you have to worry about all the veining in the wings.

It's still hard to get the highlights in the wings and the body, but all and all, not too bad.

At the time I was starting these, Branden and I had a friend living down on the island with us who went by the name Many Chipmunk.  He had helped out so much with the museum when we were getting ready for our Powwow, that I wanted to see if I could do something special for him.

I did a few, unfortunately, I didn't think to take many photos of my early works.  I still have a few of them left, and they're lovely reminders.  I can't say I work on the teeny tiny ones all to much anymore, but that comes out of more frustration than anything.

Painting of Trypphinia, my snake
I got frustrated very early on, and soon got some better paints.  The yellow posed the most frustration, and life went on much more smoothly when I had a yellow that kept it's color instead of turning translucent.

As soon as I got a decent yellow, I was compelled to do a portrait of my california king snake, Trypphinia.  While she refused to hold still, I was able to take a photo to go off of at my leisure.  The painting of Trypphinia was sold in the museum, along with a few others that I've done.

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