The Bird, 2011, oil on cotton, 30 x 40

I painted this painting on the floor of my kitchen in a one bedroom apartment in Winthrop after I'd been taking classes at SMFA. I think it's one of the first paintings I really prepared for, both in execution and idea, and certainly the largest I had painted so far.

 

The idea of painting a bird on the beach came out of weeks of wandering around the Town of Winthrop with a conte' crayon, making loose, black drawings in a notebook. There are at least 5 or 6 drawings of seagulls on the beach surrounded by stones. The beach in Winthrop is covered with stones, not sand, and I struggled for a long time to draw and paint the beach "accurately" in that regard. I decided on just a few stones, with a nice purple one so as not to crowd the bird. The rest of the beach is covered in lead white paint I mixed in a teacup. It has since cracked. The windows on the buildings are drawn in with black conte' crayon. I distinctly remember mixing some encaustic somewhere into this painting, but I've stared at it for a while now and can find no evidence. Maybe it's why the white cracked. 

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