The first 4 months of the year are always difficult for me in my painting habits. In January, I’m just trying to recover from the drain of the holidays and get the house back in order. In February, I’m seriously down due to the short days and cold weather here in the Northeast. March usually finds me trying to pick up where I left off on several paintings before the holidays but I’m usually bored with them at this point and begin yet another painting or two.
And then April rolls around. April is the deadline month for two of the biggest art exhibitions a wildlife artist could wish to be in…the Society of Animals Artists’ annual exhibition and Birds in Art, an exhibition of the best in bird art from all around the world. I’m usually frantically trying to finish my entries for these two shows and I really don’t paint well under pressure so my husband has learned to tiptoe around the house in early April. Then I begin second-guessing my entries and think, “I’ll never get this done in time, to my liking, etc.” This year thankfully I had two paintings set aside for my entries. Then after the deadlines are past, time is spent anxiously awaiting the jury results in early May.
I suspect a lot of artists go through these dry spells, I’m just not sure they are as seasonally aggravated as mine. So while I already have several paintings in progress, I needed something different to get me going and began a painting of two foxes that I’ve wanted to do for many years. I find that painting multiple layers of fur is calming and it’s a good way to ease myself back into the enjoyment of the process. And it is working! I’m looking forward to finishing this painting shortly and getting back to the Great Blue Heron painting I began in late January. Here are the first four stages of this new painting of two red foxes having a good tussle. Unofficial titles up for consideration are “Sibling Rivalry” or “Turf Wars.” Stay tuned for more updates!