Friday, November 21, 2008

Common Redpoll

The Common Redpoll is one of the most beautiful birds we get at our feeders in the fall and winter. Each bird is individual in its markings. The female has little or no red, while the male can literally look like it is bleeding from its chest. Some males are more white than others, while some seem to have a rusty glow about them. They are feisty little birds, and do not hesitate to chase away larger birds like the woodpecker from the feeder. They think the sunflowers are all for them! I love them and their cheerful chatter, even in the coldest weather. They are what I call "survivors" - which is what I feel like I am at times!

By the way, a bird like this one in watercolor takes anywhere from 5 - 8 hours to paint... they are tricky little creatures! But they are fun to watch come to life under your brush!

I have been "tagged" by two wonderful artists, Theresa Miller and Veronica Funk.  This is "a fun way to get to know one another as artists". 

The rules are to: 

 1. Put a link in your posting to the artist who tagged you.
 2. List 7 unusual things about yourself.
 3. Tag 7 other bloggers at the end of your post, and comment on their blogs to let them know they have been tagged.

Here are the 7 not-so-unusual-things about me:

1.   I have received an Award of Excellence from Photographer's Forum Magazine.

2.   I have had a photo published in a "Best of Photography" book.

3.   I have been a waitress on a large ferry during a hurricane (not too many people in the dining room that day!).

4.   I was an Elementary (grade school)  teacher  for 14 years.

5.   I have written, directed and produced several full length dramas.

6.   I have a daughter who lives in Mexico. 

7.   I live on 6 acres of land outside the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The 7 artists I would like to tag are:

          Jean Victory

         Cheryl McCarley

         K. Joann Russell

        Mary Sheehan Winn

        Carol Carter

        Susan Carlin

        Lori Andrews

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

If you wish to purchase Common Redpoll, or commission a similar painting, please contact me at



kim said...

Gorgeous, Mom. Just beautiful. You are so talented, and watercolor, even though it's supposedly your toughest medium, I think it's also probably your best! You're an inspiration. Love you!

Joanne said...

Thank you, Kimmy! I wish I could have seen your watercolor chickadee before you gifted someone with it! YOU are the talented one, and I am so blessed to be your mom! Have a great weekend, and kiss the kids for me!

Jean Victory said...

I just love the watercolor and you've peaked my interest in this bird, I just love birds. I would love to see a photo of one. The male has the red color, right? Also, interesting facts about you, I'll try the tag also, thanks for thinking of me.

Joanne said...

Hi Jean!

I, too, love many of the birds we have in this area of the country. It is difficult to get really good pictures of them most of the time as they are very fast, and our bird feeder is in the backyard where the shadows tend to make the pictures dark. I will send you one of a male that is not too bad... Take care, Jean!

Carol Carter said...

hi joanne... thank you for visiting my blog.. and commenting too. i will try to link to you in my blog.. but if i am not successful... it's not intentional! i love your work !! it's crisp and bright and fresh.
please feel free to come back all the time. i will add you to my links. happy painting! carol

Alvin Richard said...

Great composition Joanne, and beautifully rendered. Love the out of focus background. Interesting bit of background history behind a piece. Always a pleasure to stop by. The bird is superbly well done.

Joanne said...

Thank you Carol - for your visit and for your encouragement... your work is just amazing and so uniquely you! It is such a pleasure to visit your blog each time... I will certainly be back, and comment from now on. :-) ttyl

Joanne said...

Hi Alvin,
Thank you so much for the "critique" (since I count you as one of my "master teachers")! I value your comments and help more than you know. Your consistency in painting accurately and beautifully the most challenging of subjects always stuns me - and inspires me, Alvin. I am happy to hear that you will get much more painting time in while on your leave. Thanks again... looking forward to hearing about your future travels!

Michelle said...

Hi Joanne,

Wow, you have a lot of complex pieces going on in this painting - each on its own would be a challenge!

Great job on your bird - I had never heard of a Redpoll till today!

I also think you are really coming along with your metal - I remember how tough you had found it when you worked on the piece with the violins. Good for you to revisit - every time will make for a more relaxed feel and greater realism.

Keep it up! :)

Joanne said...

Thanks, Michelle.
I had fun with this piece. You know how you just KNOW it is all going to come together from the first few passes of the brush? Well that's how this one felt. I t would be great if MOST of my paintings were that way from the beginning - but alas! they don't! So therefore, I will enjoy each on e that does that much more!
I can hardly wait to see your prairie sky finished...ttyl

Mark Adams said...

Joanne, I like what you've done with this Redpoll. We, too, are birders and although we don't get redpolls in Maryland, we do get house finches which are reminiscent of them. It is tagging season as well and I see you have been twice tagged. Consider this your third.

Lori Andrews said...

Joanne, How delighted I was to see your comment and tag. :) I'm in the middle of both boys birthdays and the turkey disaster I'm about to prepare, and with my new teaching job, but I promise to get on your tag, and the responsibilities as soon as I can. Glad to have found you, and thanks again. I LOVE all the wonderful and some sooooo, surprising facts about you! Your watercolors are just beautiful!
Warm hugs, and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Joanne said...

Hey Mark,
Thanks for the visit and for the nice words. Maybe you would consider doing a painting with a finch or two sometime in the future? But don't stop those beautiful cats and dogs! They are just amazing.

Another tag! Oh boy... guess I will have to respond to that on the weekend. Take care.

Joanne said...

Hi Lori!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am sure your turkey dinner was NOT a disaster - and besides, when family is together, it doesn't matter if something goes wrong 'cause it just builds memories! :-)
I appreciate your comments, Lori. I really admire your watercolors. Wish I lived close by and could sit at your side and learn from you! A blog is not quite the same as being there in person!
Take care, and happy holidays to you, too!