Day 4. Paint What You Love


“Bird Watcher” 8×8, oil on canvas, $100 [button link=”″ type=”big”] Buy Now[/button]

“Mommy, you love birds?” Ezra asked me the other day. Together we’ve been seeing all kinds in the neighborhood lately. Several blue birds and quite a few cardinals (his favorite because they are red). And yet every time I paint one, something in me feels ever so slightly guilty– paint something else, expand your horizons, not another one!

Of course, eventually I remember that I’m painting every day because I love to paint. I became a (paid) artist a year ago because I wanted to paint what I wanted to paint. I wasn’t much interested in what was particularly popular or relevant. I love trying new things. I love the old things too.

I used a palette knife and a brush for this one, a similar technique to day 1 and day 2. I use Carol Marine’s mix– 2 parts linseed oil, 1 part stand oil, and 1 part mineral spirits. When the paint is mixed with a little of this concoction, the palette knife glides over the surface– more like icing a cake than painting. It’s a little harder on my smaller canvases but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

I am going to do a variety of subjects this challenge. But rest assured, there will be, of course, many more birds. Maybe on the next one, I’ll skip the part where I feel guilty about it all together.

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 4, 2015

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