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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cardinal In Winter - Day 25 of the #jan30in30 Challenge

Cardinal in Winter, 5" X 5" Fluid Acrylic by April M. Rimpo
Cardinal in Winter
Fluid Acrylic on Paper Mounted on
5" X 5" X 2" deep cradle wood panel

Cardinal in Winter is the fourth in a recent flourish of small bird paintings. The owner of one gallery that represents my art asked if I ever did birds, which I do. Often I paint pigeons. 

My family seems to have a thing about pigeons.  An uncle had a pigeon coop when he was young. When my son was about seven years old we took a trip to Europe. Most days we started out in museums and by afternoon stopped at a park where our son could play with the other children. The language barrier never bothered them. Other days we'd go to a Catheral to see the architecture and amazing art treasures located there.  This was in the 1990s and at the time you were encouraged to buy small bags of dried corn and feed the pigeons.  We did and my son just loved every moment of it.  We have countless pictures of him feeding the birds, them landing on his arm, etc.  The glee on his face has resulted in a few paintings.  To see my pigeon paintings you might want to look at Pigeons: Evolution of a Series. But I digress.

The gallery owner didn't think pigeons would sell in her gallery (I'm grinning since our family's fetish may not be common), but since I have always enjoyed painting pigeons, other birds were a nice diversion. You may recall I shared Chickadee on Day 11 of the Challenge, Morning Song with a Golden Finch on Day 14, and Dove on Day 24.  

Cardinal in Winter was a fun painting to do.  I started with a couple photographs I've take of a female Cardinal in my yard.  I combined her with a photograph I had taken of a holly bush one winter and figured out a cropping I thought would be a nice design.  Now the poor females a never brightly colored since they need to be well camouflaged when taking care of their eggs and chicks, so I knew I needed to convert her to a male.  I had photographs of the males as well and used those for the color reference.

You may have noticed I am using paper that was prepared for the yoga series. It was perfect for a sky background in the winter with pale blue and lots of little white spots. I will mount this paper to a 5 X 5" deep cradle Aquabord since I like the presentation of the deep cradle.  Once varnished it will be ready to go.


  1. Expressive piece, April. I'm sure your birds will sell well!

    1. Thank you, Sandy. Since I don't normally paint birds on a regular basis it has been a nice diversion learning their anatomy.

    2. Yes, and much easier than human anatomy, I might add! :-D

  2. So lovely April. Your textured background is wonderful! he seems to be saying something important... makes me wonder :)

  3. They are such beautiful birds, we don't get them here. I love how you have continued to use the same paper and the background still fits in with your previous works.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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