Just for fun I cropped the photograph of the painting.
I think this demonstrates a problem with the larger work, in that the focus was a bit fractured by the conflicting elements.
This more limited composition seems to work better.
I mentioned the limited palette in the first posting. The purple hues are made with an iron oxide and ultramarine blue mix. They would be brighter with a cadmium red, but I like this shade.
The idea for this painting began while looking at the back mural in the first endowment room in the Sacramento Temple. That panoramic mural covers three walls and depicts nature scenes in the Sierra foothills and mountains.
The summer section in this 8 or ten foot high work is primarily rolling foothills.
But from there various elements, such as the American Goldfinch pair, the purple coneflowers, the large oak and the skyline were artist choices. The goldfinches would feel right at home in the temple mural as many birds and animals are present.
Another reason to paint this was that it offered many opportunities to work with a limited palette of oil colors
The temple mural center section is very yellow hued and I struggled to dial that down a bit in this scene. [still yellow right?] Now if I just had my camera in there to take some high resolution pix.....
Lawrence's Goldfinches are the least common of the three North American Goldfinches. And of the 7 species in the Carduelis genus only the Hoary Redpoll is more difficult for the birder to tick on his life list.
I saw my first Lawrence's in the California foothills near Beale Air Force base.
They are mostly restricted to California or Baja California and migrate only relatively short distances.
They generally prefer the drier weedy areas in the foothills, valley and along the edge of the desert. These three are shown in variations of their breeding plumage, winter would find them duller and more brownish.
The plants on the right are mostly fiddleneck, a Lawrence favorite food along with other small seeds.