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After months of anticipation, the letter finally came last weekend! I will be showing at the Wild Arts Festival sponsored by the Audubon Society of Portland.

One of their requirements is that artists show at least one piece that is related to animals, preferably birds. I have never painted birds before and the work above is my very first. There are many bird artists out there and their work is excellent. I wanted mine to be different so that the audience is not viewing at just another bird painting. The work above is from a picture taken on the island of Penang, Malaysia a few years ago. And the star of the painting is a Malaysian Chestnut-headed bee-eater having its lunch perched on a branch of a Plumeria tree. This bird is only found on Penang.

My husband and I spent a couple years traveling to cities visiting galleries and gathering information on how galleries work. They always ask what is your technique? What would you bring to the table or walls that will be different from other artists? What will make them want to showcase your work? So, for two years, I have tried to discover what I can do that is solely my signature. I did not realize it but when I started to paint a piece that had a large surface area, I found it challenging as I had to work quick to make sure that I don’t leave any blotches of colours that would make the piece look tacky. I soon found myself filling the area with small, mosaic-like patterns. To many people, it would look like tedious work but it proves very therapeutic to me.

Applying the same technique to the leaves of the Plumeria tree seemed a logical approach . I could easily convey how the dark and light is created by the sun’s rays by giving different shades of greens to the mosaics. I wanted the Bee-eater to stand out so decided to just leave it painted as normal.

There is much to do before November so I hope to keep everyone posted with my progress.


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