Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bald Eagles on Nest Brush Painting

Bald Eagles on Nest at Tinicum. Brush Painting by Ken Januski

I've fallen into a deep hole here with Chinese brush painting, or at least my version of it. The cold weather of January and February often finds me working from my photos, much as I dislike the practice. The same is true this year except that I'm using brush and ink or a brush pen. And, I'm processing the photos through my understanding of Chinese brush painting, limited though that may be.

It has proved very satisfying. Eventually all of this work will manifest itself in either woodcuts or linocuts. Most likely they won't look much like this. But winter for me is often a time for studying and practicing, trying to learn birds better and in this case also learn Chinese brush painting better. One day I hope it will all make sense.

Above are two Bald Eagles, one of them on nest, seen at Heinz NWR a few days ago. Bald Eagles have nested there for many years now and it remains a thrill to see them there and at other places throughout Philadelphia.
Fall Female Yellow-rumped Warbler. Brush Painting by Ken Januski.

An observant reader will have noticed that the last three paintings use subjects whose name starts with 'Y'. That's because I'm working my way through my collection of photographs, seeing what strikes my fancy, and I've gotten to the end of the alphabetized collection. Above and below are fall and spring Yellow-rumped Warblers. also done as Chinese brush paintings.

Spring Male Yellow-rumped Warbler. Brush Painting by Ken Januski.

And last but not least one of the birds we most enjoyed seeing last year, the Yellow-breasted Chat. We saw quite a number of them at Cape May last spring. And accompanying them a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron, seen along the Manayunk Canal many years ago in the middle of summer. These drawings are done with a brush pen. It of course doesn't have the tonal richness of brush and ink but I do like the way it forces me to simplify birds into just a few lines.

Yellow-Breasted Chat at Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Brush Pen Painting by Ken Januski.

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