Yesterday I started a "Self-Study" workshop with Meredith Milstead. It meets 4 Sunday afternoons in May and I've chosen to work on my "unfinished plein air" pile of paintings which is getting rather large. I'm starting with the one I began a few days ago. The top photo is my subject at a plein air paint out with Tuscon Pastel Society at Tanque Verde Ranch. Next is the block-in, value study, done that morning and the bottom photo shows what I accomplished in class yesterday - still a lot to be done, obviously. I'd like to achieve more of a broken color effect on the prickly pear pads, but am not sure I can manage that.
I'll be working from photos in class, though she prefers we work from life - thus my homework will be studying reflected light, and I'm tasked with painting something each day and sending her a photo - to prove I'm working! It's getting hot here in Tucson, and I'll be working from a still-life setup, so I bought 3 pretty Bartlett pears this morning.
I frequently visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and one of the highlights there is something called Raptor Free Flight. Harris Hawks, this barn owl, another owl and a raven all fly free and have been trained to swoop in and grab a juicy tidbit (probably a dead mouse) from the handler. This one, with its lovely heart-shaped face, was thoughtful enough to pose for an instant so I could get a picture. It's always a thrill to watch them.