Solstice and Peppermint

It’s been a cold December, no fluffy white stuff but plenty of prickly frost on the ground (and the windshield).  The red-breasted nuthatches have been coming to the birdfeeder outside our dining room window, and it’s fascinating to watch them.  As opposed to the jays, they are very polite, taking one seed at a time, then flitting away to eat it elsewhere.

“Red Breasted Nuthatch Thanks”, mixed media by Kerry McFall

It made a fun thank you card for several occasions.  After I painted the first little guy in my sketchbook (at the birdfeeder), I decided it would be interesting to see what changing the background, and a few lines on the bird, would do to the overall effect.  But I really liked the composition just the way it was, so… I tried making a template, and doing four mini-paintings:

Nuthatch Template, WIP Kerry McFall

Same bird, different feelings.  The one with the red berries seemed to be the perfect setting for a Solstice contemplation…

Assorted watercolors in process

The process taught me a lot and there are now four watercolors wafting their way to various folks for Christmas gifts.  Meantime, here is the painting I made from flowers I took to my mother in her memory care home – peppermint is a vivid trigger of holiday memories!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

“Peppermint Carnations”, mixed media by Kerry McFall