Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Desert Cardinal


Desert Cardinal
6x8in  oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
A member of the Cardinal family
It took me forever to pronounce
Pyrrhuyloxia
and I can understand why the 
much more popular
Desert Cardinal is used
The bright red of the northern cardinal would
be like a neon light for predators
in the scrubby desert so nature
in all her wisdom
added the neutral colors on top on
this southwest dwelling wonder.

This guy is a regular at my feeders
I have two pairs visit, and 
although of the same genus,
one male has a lot more red than the 
other under his wings.

I was excited to find the nest of one of them
on my daily walk.

Their population has declined by 53% since 
1966 - most likely due to the southwest desert
being cleared to agriculture and urbanization.
Fortunately, some of their habitat is
safeguarded within national wildlife
refuges, parks and other protected areas.

37 comments:

  1. Don't get many of those in Wales!

    A stunning painting, really love it!

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    1. Thanks, John, and I must say your new painting is pretty stunning also.

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  2. How great that they visit your feeder and you can enjoy them. This looks so 3-D and textural. Hopefully those parks will stay protected.

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    1. I enjoyed you seeing you painting birds too - plus monkeys. What fun you have with the group!

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  3. Beautiful shading and texture, Julie! This painting is a little treasure, for sure! I know it is the beginning of Spring when I ear that clear cardinal chirp (song). We have the bright red ones (males) here. I love how industrious they are and what a tight, close family group they seem to be.

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    1. You live in such a beautiful area, Carol, and you and your husband obviously appreciate every bit of it...with camera and paint!
      Thanks for always being supportive, my friend.

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  4. Lovely painting. Wonderful that you can see him up close.

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    1. Yes - only a few feet away. The window has a coating on it so they can only see their reflection. it is great.
      I really like the charcoal drawing with the shading technique you used, Jean. All your work is wonderful and strong, but something about it made it extra special.

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  5. It is so frightening to think of all the plant and animal species that are on the brink of extinction. I guess God's great experiment of putting a "smarter" animal on earth has failed.

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    1. Great that you care. I would not say it is a failure - quite yet.
      Your workshop produced great results because your new roses are gorgeous.

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  6. Lovely Julie! I especially like the cooler red's you've placed on his belly. We've had several pair of his "cousins" at our feeders in Maine this winter. They are an amazing stand-out against all the darn snow we've had this year! Thanks again for sharing your work and techniques! :)

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    1. Hi Shelley - we both have birds on our posts! I love the elegance of yours in flight. Wonderful design.
      So excited to think you are coming to New Mexico and I will get to meet you.

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  7. the fracturing effect works really well for feathers :D

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    1. LOL I guess it does, but it also can just as easily make a wing look broken!! Loved your Roadrunner. I have a cheeky one come by every day
      and he is not scared of me at all when I run him off from waiting to catch a finch.

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    2. thank you :) people don't seem to realize they eat other tiny birds, along with almost anything else lol I've never see a Roadrunner except on tv, none of the zoos i've been to have had one. i think they need to attitude they have so they can catch anything to eat :p

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  8. I pulled a photo of this Cardinal from Morguefile's free photos and had no idea what its natural habitat was. A feast for the eyes and a tidbit for the brain! This is one of those paintings that will draw the viewer back again and again - specially us bird lovers!

    PS My tube of Cobalt Blue remains sticky, even after a massage and when mixed, so it's going to find a new home.


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    1. Hey - look at us...we both posted birds.! Thanks for the kind words.
      I think the African Gray you did is really very special. My top fav of all your paintings.
      The tube must have had extreme cold or heat to turn the oil into sticky stuff. Weird. Hope you let the manufacturer know. If I had a business I would want to be informed. have a great week.

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  9. Oh Julie what a lovely bird. So unlike our red cardinals. I wad happy to read that there are habitats established to protect wildlife. Mankind can be so tough on nature and all of God's creatures. The painting is so lovely. I think the subtle colors of your cardinals are much easier on the eye than ours. I am so glad you shared sweet friend. Hugs!

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    1. It makes me happy to know you like this one. I think of you as a real nature lover so Thank you, my friend.
      Your posts are always a treat and food for my soul.

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  10. How interesting. We have the neon red cardinals here in Kentucky. The females are more sedately a duller brownish red, but the males are crazy bright red. Against all this green here you can see them a mile away. Interesting.

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    1. When I lived back east we had the bright red cardinal. Their beak is the same on this one and it the sun it acts like a beacon...otherwise it is hard to see them unless at feeders.
      Hope your internet issues have been settled .

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  11. Majestic for sure. Love how the blue sky holds it all in place. Nice Julie.

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    1. Thanks, Helen. Blue sky is something we have a lot of here.
      But I don't have calla lilies growing like you do. Love your painting of them.

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  12. I love the bits of information that goes with many of your paintings. Always informative. Colors so different from those in the Northwest. Beautiful painting Julie.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Blanche. Give yourself a treat and click on LS above to see her painting of an African Gray.
      Hope you are painting. Missing seeing your paintings.

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  13. I have never seen one of these birds in person. Your painting is beautiful, he looks regal and quiet. It is great you offer a safe place for them as well!

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    1. It is as safe as I can make it but we live on the edge of a huge expanse of high desert where the hawks etc want a tasty meal.
      Your beautiful new painting - Trust - made me want to paint in watercolor it glows so perfectly.

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  14. What a beautiful, harmonious painting! I especially like all those warm greys with touches of cream. The background could easily overpower such a subtle-toned creature, but you made sure it didn't. I was also really captivated to learn of a bird I'd not known about. I looked up the desert cardinal and was astonished to discover such a spectacular cousin of the northern cardinals that visit us here! Like you, I really enjoy the birds in our yard and at our feeders. Should paint them more often than I do!

    (Thank you for noticing my little pepper painting. You're an awfully good painting pal.)

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    1. 'ello luv - thanks for this lovely comment. Nice you took the time to learn more about it.
      Your little pepper painting is a total delight with your ability to capture the essence of a subject.
      Most people get the highlights oo flashy...yours are just right.

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  15. A wonderful painting with a perfect combination of colours !!!

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  16. Thank you so much Stelios. I am looking forward to your next post. Your floral paintings are wonderful.

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  17. I love all the movement of the birds in my garden, but I am so envious of this one , I don't think I stand a chance to see it in my Milanese garden :-) Love your painting .

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  18. He is so beautiful. Cardinals are one of my favorite birds.

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  19. Sooooo beautiful! Thanks for the narrative. I know God has a sweet spot for those who love His creatures - great and small.

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  20. Love this painting and yes, I did see this bird while we were camping at Patagonia Lake. He fits right into his environment perfectly!

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  21. Your posts are always so interesting and informative Julie!!! This Cardinal is painted beautifully...I love the colors and awesome texture. Since I'm unable to paint I have been visiting all my friends here and enjoying the art...I think I've watched every art video out there in one month since my surgery!!! Lol. I look forward to seeing your next piece!!!

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I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at juliefordoliver@gmail.com
Cheers,
Julie