I've been quiet on the blog for nearly a month - apologies for that! This past month has been all about finishing commissions and working on several large canvas paintings for an upcoming show (there will be a blog post about that soon with all of the details - if you're a member of my mailing list, you should have received a newsletter with an invitation to the drinks receptions). I've also been getting the new whitefeather blog up and running, and for the past 6 days, dealing with a very nasty cold on top of everything else. Before I get back into the studio and end up chained to the easel for the rest of the day, I thought it would be nice to share this new bird painting with you.
The Night Bird Sings His Lullaby © Natasha Newton 2015
This was a commissioned watercolour painting for a client in the United States. She had written a lullaby for her baby daughter - one of the lines is, "the night bird sings his lullaby..." - and asked whether I could paint a bird with wings outstretched, singing the stars into the sky. I've been looking forward to working on this one ever since we first discussed it. She gave me a loose brief (not to be confused with loose briefs - they're another thing altogether ;) (sorry/not sorry), but enough freedom to make to decisions about the piece myself. The perfect combination! It's always lovely when a client trusts you enough to go with what you feel is right and will work within a painting, rather than being very prescriptive. I find it's essential, as paintings evolve as they go along. For example, the trees in this piece were actually an afterthought. Initially the bird was just going to be against a background of a night sky and stars, but after reading her lullaby, I felt that the delicacy of the winter treetops would be a beautiful addition.
Anyway, this piece turned out to be one of the most popular paintings I've ever made! I shared it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and posted it on my Flickr page too. I was overwhelmed with the amazing feedback from my followers (thank you!), and then it was selected by Flickr to be featured in Flickr Explore, which was the cherry on top of the cake. To date, it has been viewed on Flickr over 14,000 times - I find that just incredible! Due to this little bird's popularity, I decided to release it as a print, which you can find in the shop here. I also plan on working on further paintings in this style, just as soon as I get the chance. (I haven't forgotten about my British Birds project either - it's been on hold while I work on the show, but I'm super keen to get that started).
Ok, that's it for now; back to the easel I go to see how many pieces I can finish in time for the show. Wish me luck!