Monday, February 25, 2013

Speaking of Warblers - 2013

Cape May Warblerat Magee Marsh. Watercolor by Ken Januski

Cape May Warbler at Magee Marsh. Watercolor by Ken Januski

Every Junco that flies across the backyard makes my heart skip half a beat, hoping it's the return of the Nashville Warbler from Saturday. I still have some vague hopes of seeing him, based solely on my experience with birds that seem to be one-hit wonders, then reappear. But we only saw him for a 30-60 minute period and my guess is that he is gone.

While looking through some of my photos today I ran across a number of a Cape May Warbler drying himself off after a bath in one of the small meandering streams at Magee Marsh in Ohio, right next to the boardwalk. Since there's a Members' Show at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center this weekend and I'd like to put in something new I decided to experiment once again with the Cape May.

I've tried this once or twice before without much success but they're such beautiful birds, perhaps my favorite of the wood warblers, that I decided to try one more time. I modified the watercolor on Tuesday morning so the newest version is at top. As I've said many times I don't like working strictly from photos. That was reinforced in my recent rereading of the new Bob Kuhn book when he said that he could always pick out a painting based strictly on photos. I believe that's true. It tends to look a bit stiff and lifeless because only someone who really knows birds knows how to take liberties with them to make a better painting. I'm just not familiar enough with Cape Mays to be comfortable with them. So this relies much more on a photo than I'd like. Still it didn't make sense to let that limitation stop me. I guess I'll just have to see more breeding Cape May warblers and get more familiar with them.

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