In late spring or early summer the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks return to Norfolk County in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. These granivorous birds often appear at our bird feeder which is located amidst both sweet and sour cherry trees. There is no sight more splendid than sitting nearby and watching these gorgeous birds feed and socialize – the males with their bright red breasts and the females with their tawny-brown cryptic streaks. The bird is named for its large beak which helps it crush seeds.
This painting was created during the pandemic while the Canadian winter raged outside. My desire to be on the land and be able to move outdoors and connect with nature is what prompted this work. I suppose it’s a longing for spring. I used photographs I had taken of Grosbeaks in our yard in order to establish overall form and posture for the bird. Similarly, I used photographs for the sour cherry tree blossoms – also from our yard. I combined the two in a sketch and then took some time off, returning to the sketch over a few days, several times , to adjust, to sort to recompose. Painting was done in a similar fashion over a few weeks. Here’s what the sketch looked like at one stage:
And here’s the final product:
Dan Nuttall, 2021, “SPRING, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, NORFOLK COUNTY”, acrylic on archival paper, 11 x 15″
The original has just been SOLD but there is a limited edition run of 10 archival inkjet prints, image size 8 x 11″, paper size 11 x 14″. Best approach? Email me or follow me on Instagram @dandoesdesign and DM me.