Abstract oil painting Backyard birds (1)

Abstract oil painting “Backyard birds” part 1

Initial thoughts

I am exploring more about abstract forms. Birds are excellent models since they often have unique color pattern on their body. My goal is to paint something that contains all necessary elements for our brain to process without showing a realistic outline.

Usually, what we see is not what our eyes see. What we see is what our brain wants to see. And our brain is trying hard to correlate any new information with the knowledge that we have already known or used to. That is why we find human face figure everywhere, even on a blurry photo of Mars.

Based on that, I try to only give the distinctive color pattern and feature of each bird. Take hummingbird (Broad-tailed) for example, it is green, red and white combination with a long and thin beak. Cardinal (male) has red and gray with a unique black face. One interesting thing is when I use Google lens to search the snapshots of my paintings, it always gives back the bird artworks as results. This indicate that even without a realistic body shape, it can be identified as bird by search engine and hopefully by human brain too.

Digital sketch

In this series I include six birds. They are Downey woodpecker, house sparrow, hummingbird, gold finch, Cardinal red bird and blue jay. I started sketching on tablet with Procreate. Time lapse videos of these sketches can be found here.

Then I painted them on 20″ by 20″ square shape stretched canvas and finished with some gold paint touching up.

Move on to Part 2.

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.