Friday, January 21, 2022

Keeping Busy with Watercolor Birds

These are crazy days. The pandemic still rages, although I do believe (not an original thought with me) the widespread, contagious nature of the Omicron variant will likely spell the end of the pandemic—everyone will pretty much have already gotten it. 

It is the most highly contagious disease I have never witnessed. And though the symptoms seem much milder than with the original Covid and the Delta variant, there are some who have gotten very sick with it. And it doesn’t seem to matter the vaccination (and/or boosted) status.

All that to say, for me, I have been staying in a lot lately. Not because someone mandated it. Because it makes common sense to me. People are contagious without knowing it. I don’t want to get it, nor do I want to be the cause of someone else getting it. My own common sense, when it comes to my personal health care management, has served me well for MANY years. Right now it is telling me to avoid unnecessary contact. 

So, I don’t mind so much staying in a lot, since (1) it’s MY decision and not a mandate; (2) it’s raining every day here in Washington anyway!

I’m enjoying doing some more watercolor practice, and for some reason, I am “drawn” to painting birds. I’m especially fond of birds that are found in Missouri. We had a lot of cardinals on our five acres there (before we sold out and relocated full-time to Washington state). I always loved watching them. I have painted several, and for this one (as well as the bird below it), I “loosely” followed a tutorial by my art teacher from Australia, Louise De Masi (who has been extremely ill with Covid, complicated by her asthma). Interesting that she painted these two birds that are “Missouri birds” to me.

Cardinal (not found in Washington but MANY of them visited our woods in Missouri)

Barn Owl

This is a Barn Owl. I didn’t see one of these in Missouri, as they are of course nocturnal. I researched it some and learned that there are seven owls in Missouri:  
Barn Owl

Screech Owl

Long-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Great Horned Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Barred Owl

This was the reference photo that Louise used:

I also found this information about Barn Owls (from

With their heart-shaped face, Barn Owls are one of the most adorable owl species in North America. These birds do not belong to the true owl family and are the lone species of their genus.

These birds have irregularly placed ears, with the left one slightly above and the right one slightly below the eyes. Because of their irregular ears, they have the strongest hearing capabilities among all owl species and can pinpoint the exact location of their prey.

Louise De Masi sometimes paints in a fairly realistic style (the cardinal might be an example of that), and at other times, in a fairly loose style (as is the case with this barn owl). So, if a professional artist can switch around with painting styles, I suppose it’s okay for me to do that, as well.

On my art table for soon: more birds!

#watercolorpractice #watercolor #watercolorbarnowl #watercolorcardinal #LouiseDeMasi #BirdsofMissouri

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