A Growing Flock

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

-Maya Angelou

It has been such a busy time here. Mother nature has been busy with the task of replenishing the sleeping world around us and filling it with the wonder of ‘new’. Everywhere we look there is evidence of this. The trees are coming to life with small buds emerging from their branches. The bulbs in the flower beds have not only emerged but have already produced hundreds of pretty yellow daffodils for us to enjoy. Even the grass is a lovely shade of green. Just a few weeks ago everything was brown and lifeless. Now when I look out the windows at the back of our home toward the valley below, I can barely see the path that climbs through the woods on the other side. Soon the trees and bushes will fill in completely and it will once again be hidden until late autumn when everything is once again in hibernation. While I love the autumn and winter months, it is nice to see everything so vibrant and full of life. I love living in a place where we experience all four seasons.

I have been busy as well. At the end of March when I decided to change the ‘all-season tree’ that I keep in my kitchen year-round for decoration, I was hanging some pretty scroll sawn songbird ornaments on it to decorate it for the spring and I had the idea of creating a series of painted bird ornaments for my painting followers. I created the scrolled version of them probably about ten years ago, and they have remained very popular. (You can see them on our woodworking pattern website here: https://sheilalandrydesigns.com/scroll-saw-patterns/8-songbird-ornaments-set-1/) Every year when I found my samples among my spring and summer decorations, I told myself that I wanted to make them into a painting project. I just knew they would look so pretty in bright and vibrant colors, and I thought they would have lots of uses for those who like to decorate their homes throughout the year. They could be used in wreaths, garlands, as sun-catchers hung in a window, or used as I did, on an all-season tree. It was time to stop thinking about doing it and actually get things done. After all, one of my goals this year was to design more patterns. I have been so busy cutting wood pieces that I have had little time to follow through with my own designs these past several years. I wanted to be certain to make that a priority.

So I went to the drawing board and just picked a bird and began drawing and painting. I decided to begin with the Eastern Bluebird:

I had him sitting on a branch of cherry blossoms because it reminded me of spring. I decided to make each bird an individual pattern because it would be easier for me to tackle and I would be more likely to get one done at a time, as time permits. After all, I am still juggling my design time with cutting wood for my customers, working on other designs such as my North Star Village Christmas Shop series, and doing my own personal artwork. It would be fun and easy to add in a new design every few weeks or so. And it would be a nice change of pace for me to do something that is relatively simple.

Each pattern includes full, step-by-step instructions to paint the birds using DecoArt Americana acrylic paint. But knowing that there are still some supply-chain issues, I also included a color swatch chart with each pattern, as I now do with all of my patterns, so that if you have a color that is “close” to what I call for in my instructions, you can use that instead. In most cases having a close color doesn’t affect the outcome of the project at all, and it makes it easier for everyone in the long run.

I have many color step-by-step photos included in the pattern, as you all have come to expect from me, and I break things down into small, baby steps so that even newer painters can successfully complete the design. I also include four sizes of linework so that you can use these pretty little designs for many applications in addition to ornaments. They would look beautiful painted on plaques, boxes, or as greeting cards. They would also look great in other mediums such as colored pencils or watercolors.

I only offer the ornament-sized wood kits on my website (https://tolepaintingdesigns.com/decorative-painting-supplies/songbird-ornaments-wood-kit/ ) but as always, if anyone wants a special size I am happy to cut it for them. All that they need to do is contact me to work something out. The bottom line is I want these to be fun, fast, and above all – beautiful. So far, I think I am pretty happy with them.

The second ornament in the series was the American Robin. (https://tolepaintingdesigns.com/decorative-painting-supplies/american-robin-ornament-painting-pattern/ ) This time I added some cherry blossoms around him.

The third ornament (which is the newest one to date) is the Goldfinch. (https://tolepaintingdesigns.com/decorative-painting-supplies/goldfinch-ornament-painting-pattern/)

He is sitting on a pussy willow branch. (I love pussy willows!)

Like the other patterns, there are lots of step-by-step photos to help even a newer painter through the project:

His linework comes in four sizes, too:

And there are pre-cut ornament pieces available:

And I wanted to mention that like ALL my patterns, they are available as either PAPER or PDF patterns that can be emailed to you immediately. I think that is really important to note, as I found out that some didn’t realize that was an option. There is a dropdown menu on each pattern product page and you choose which way you want your patterns sent to you. If you choose paper, there is a shipping charge applied to your order. If you choose PDF patterns, there is not. Plus – I can always send you a PDF copy of your pattern even if you purchased a paper copy. Just email me and I will send it right off. That way you can have it on your devices for storage and convenience. I paint from my computer screen most of the time and I don’t like to have to scan in the older patterns. This way you can have it both ways.

I hope you enjoy seeing my little flock of birds grow. I am still thinking about the next addition to the group, and I plan to have many more to come. I think the three together make a lovely little vignette.

In addition to my birds, I have also been working on the next storefront pattern for my North Star Village Christmas pattern series. (https://tolepaintingdesigns.com/north-star-village-series/) The fifth building is called “The Golden Palette” Art Shoppe and is nearly done. Here is a sneak peek of it for you:

The building pictured is a work-in-progress, but only needs its lights, snow, and stand to be completed. I will be re-painting it as a larger version (the village pieces come in two sizes) and taking the step-by-step photos I will be using to write out the painting instructions. This project also uses Decoart Americana paint. I hope to have it up on the site within the next week or two, as the process for finishing it up is rather lengthy. But it is off to a good start, anyway.

So that is about all I am working on at this point professionally. In the evenings, I have been doing some online painting classes, some drawing, and painting some projects of my own. I started a new soft pastel drawing the other evening and I am excited to see if I can make it look how I want it to. It is one of those ‘self-challenges’ that I like to do to myself to help me learn and grow as an artist. I will be featuring it here when I have it completed.

In the meantime, I hope you are all having warmer days ahead, too. Be sure to take some time to enjoy the world around you. We have been going for walks and spending more time outdoors as weather permits. It is amazing how refreshing a lunch by the ocean can be – even if it is only for an hour or so.

Sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference.

I wish you all a great week ahead. I hope you enjoy seeing my little flock of songbirds grow. Happy May to you and happy spring.

Until Next time . . .

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Vera says:

    I love,love love the birds! I am so excited to paint these! I also love the art store. But I birds have always been a favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do enjoy painting these little guys. 🙂 Still thinking of the next fella to do. 🙂
      (Thank you!)


  2. I love the birds! The paint versions look great.


  3. I love photographing birds and have painted some over the years. I love your trio of birds!


  4. Cherryl says:

    Your wood kits are so pretty 🐦✨


    1. Thank you so much, Cherryl! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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