Having narrowly survived this winter and this virus, I am fixing my gaze on spring. The 14 day forecast is not heartening, but I have it on good authority that it will be unseasonably (isn’t that the word, these days) warm. If that means hot, then I will pass, thanks. But there have been a few encouraging spring notes lately, however.
Last year the first clue that mourning doves were feeling amorous was the two-note wake-up call issued at full blast from the deep stone ledge outside our bedroom window. So when I heard it this morning, my winter-frozen heart melted a little. It is probably the female nagging the male to bring her nesting materials (at this stage, there are clear and separate gender responsibilities). She will build the nest if he will do the runaround back and forth to Home Depot. Even if a mourning dove’s nests is renowned for its flimsiness, it does the job so I must keep watch. Last year the prospect of a protected and sturdy nest-site overrode their caution around people. One can hardly blame them; it is estimated that 20 million mourning doves are killed annually in North America.
I fail to see the point of this slaughter, especially given the tiny amount of edible flesh. Not only are they harmless vegetarians whose diet is 99% seeds, but mourning doves are unspeakably beautiful. When I painted them last year, the soft grace notes of pale turquoise and pink caught my breath. I am still agonizing over the background, which would have logically been the garden reflecting on the window, but I am drawn to the soft pinks of the toned panel, which reinforce the parents’ own gentle palette.
This wee robin, on the other hand, has been given a background which will allow me a bit of wordplay in the title “Robin’s Egg.” It strikes me now that the colour of a robin egg contains more white. Easily amended.
If I were well it would be a good time to move forward on “The Recital,” but I am just emerging from my typical viral blur/cough/gasp/snort and the whole concept of the painting continues to be a challenge. In the meantime at least I can transfer the bones of the background - the huge stained window - onto the canvas and try to make sure that the lines of leading won’t argue with the rest of the composition.
Everything still feels like work these days and nothing gets accomplished, unless it’s sitting up in a chair and chewing my food. I’m not quite consumed with bitterness yet. Wait a week.