Here's a playful little watercolor I did today on scrap paper (the other side has a landscape I wasn't satisfied with). With the exception of the beak, the whole thing was painted using an old bamboo brush, a gift from a co-worker at the pottery studio where I worked. Every now and then I go back to painting in this style for two reasons. One: It's easy for me. Since I spent so many years painting that way I don't think about it and that feels good. Two: It's relaxing. I've found it's a great way for me to loosen up and simplify my approach to the subject. Traditionally the bamboo brush should be held very lightly and be used in a fluid motion. It is a meditation and helps me focus.
In August I took two weeks off to travel across the USA with my kids, and I am so glad we had that opportunity. We covered over 4,000 miles and some people were concerned about that much time in a car with teenagers. They were great! I however, had a minor meltdown towards the end of the trip because of a bike race. After unexpected road closures and extra time in traffic, we were ready to get out and stretch our legs on a trail at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Guess what! That was closed too! For the bike race. It was not a proud moment for me, but my kids adjusted, talked me through it, gave me chocolate, and we continued on to enjoy the nearby Cave of the Winds.
September arrived and found me working four days in the art room at at the Free To Be Unschooling conference. I had been planning a new series of hummingbirds, so when I finally had some peace and quiet to stay home and paint, this was the first one that I finished. I love this painting because its a hummingbird that visits my patio. It just tickles me to see them land and sit for awhile. I'm so happy to know that I've created a garden space that is relaxing enough for even the constantly moving hummingbirds to take a rest. I need to stop moving so much and do the same.