When driving around Darke County in western Ohio, I often come across a quick visual treat. A bluebird zipping low over fields and grasslands of the farming community I call home. Once you learn what a bluebird looks like they are often hard to miss. My wife always reminds me that they look like grumpy old men. I think of them as dashes of cobalt blue. I live on what used to be a farm. The bank barn and tobacco barn are long gone. There are still remnants of old fence posts that were made from Catalpa trees. Any bluebird aficionado will tell you once wood posts were replaced with metal posts the birds population started to fall. Thankfully bird lovers across the United States took to building special wood birdhouse that are specifically designed for the blue grumpy birds. We still have a few of these boxes out in the 5 acre pasture.
The painting evolved from a quick sketch on a napkin. The bluebird is caught in a moment before flight. The foot on the right is lifted up and the rest of the weight will follow down. The fence post is weathered and old. The barbed wire is crudely wrapped around the post and is intentionally disproportionate. Both look painful and unforgiving. The dead wood and weathered metal contrast the colorful life of the living bird. The background is more a quick action strike of color. Is the background a landscape or rusted metal? There is a sense of volume and realism to this painting.
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If you think there is a bit of gloom to this painting then I suggest hearing the bluebirds song. The jamming tune these feathered friends chatter and chirp can break the mood of any rainy cold monday morning. Zip A Dee Doo Dah
Bluebird sound: LISTEN.