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Monday, May 8, 2017

Seeing is Believing

Would I Be a Reliable Eye Witness?

And the answer is NO!

Rose-breasted Grosbeak by jaynegulbrand/Shutterstock
Last week a rose-breasted grosbeak showed up at my feeder.
I had never seen one before and didn't know what it was.
My bird loving uncle taught me to make mental notes of size of bird, color of beak, color of legs, and markings.
I was talking to myself describing this bird.
But, while I got the yellow beak, and the color of the legs right,
I was totally off on the color of the head.
I saw much more white on the head and back
 than was actually there.
This bird has white bars on its wings
 and maybe that's what threw me off. 
But I was sure it had a white head also.
About an hour later, it came back and I was shocked
at what I got right but more so about what I got wrong.
Which tells me, even though I was concentrating on what this bird looked like, I still didn't see it or remember it correctly.
I also learned that maybe what I think I see,
is not exactly what I see.
So, how does that pertain to painting?
As I try to remember what something looked like to paint it,
I may not always be able to trust my memory.
It's important if I see something I want to paint,
to take notes and pictures and more notes
if I can't paint it immediately. 
Learning to see is critical when painting,
particularly when painting plein air, or on location.
But remembering is also pretty important.
I definitely need to work on both those skills.
Facts about this bird - 
According to the American Bird Conservancy, 
the rose-breasted grosbeak has a sweet song similar to a robin,
and it's call note is like a gym shoe squeaking on a gym floor.
Unlike other birds, these grosbeaks, male and female, share, incubation, brooding, and feeding duties at the nest.
It Breeds in North American forests and second-growth habitats; winters in forests in the Caribbean and Latin America.
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About Me

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.