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Old 12-30-2012, 10:26 PM
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Cyntada Cyntada is offline
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Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

I hope this is SouthWestly-sufficient for this forum, these birds are yearlong residents in Idaho/Montana and winter here in the Southwest.

Just met an old friend for lunch today. She was like a mom to me in college and has a favorite memory of Cedar Waxwings eating pyracantha berries in the snow in Sedona, so with some help from a ref picture I painted this for her. Watercolor, 11" x 15" :



Here's a close-up. Yes, the bird is smiling just a bit:



Reference was this photo by ~rctfan2 on DeviantArt. It's also posted in the Watercolor Gallery, if you are interested in details about pigment numbers and such.

She said, "Oh, a Cedar Waxwing!" Considering that she and her husband taught me the finer points of birdwatching, I took it as a good sign that both of them got it in one There's a few details I wish were better, but will take it as a message that I need to practice more birds.

When I lived with them during/after college, I was too busy getting a graphic design career off the ground to do much painting, nor did I pay too much attention to the fine collection of Southwestern art that graces their home. After finding this forum I remembered the beautiful print over their fireplace and asked about it today. It's not Remington, it's McCarthy Today there was just one that I can't find the name of, in the past that one was hanging alongside a print of Heading North.

I apologize for the wacky color correction, just took a quick snap (and ran out the door with the damp painting!) so didn't have the original here when I touched up the image.
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Last edited by Cyntada : 12-30-2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: Added a link
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:52 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Love it CK! We get them here all the time....had a tree FULL of them once, it was really neat I love your background too....very cool
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:16 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Thanks! I don't see them often here in suburban So Cal, but they show up a few times per year. One time I watched a whole flock descend at once onto a tree (kind of reminded me of a helicoper landing on a rooftop) – they sat flicking wings and looking at each other for a few seconds, then as if on cue they all commenced to eat at the same moment. They are pretty birds, and apparently well organized too!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:20 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

What a wondrful painting. CK! I love the crisp, clean lines of the painting, as well as the gentle colors. The icing on the cake is that little smile. Great work, and it sounds like your friend was thrilled with it!
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:53 AM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Ck.. Its Lovely.. And the little smile really makes the bird personable. Well done!
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:52 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Nice
Trudi
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:33 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Thanks, everyone!
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyntada
Today there was just one that I can't find the name of, in the past that one was hanging alongside a print of Heading North.

The one you can't find the name of is called "in the Pass" it is also a McCarthy
You've done a Beautiful painting of the Waxwing! I've never seen one of those here but I've always admired them
Love the fact that you made him smile just a little bit! Adds personality to the portrait
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Last edited by ArtbyPeggy : 12-31-2012 at 11:29 PM. Reason: removing a lot of the quote to make it a smaller post
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:51 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Beautiful and nice story. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:45 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Very nice, CK! It makes me happy.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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Re: Sedona Waxwing (x-post Watercolor)

Somehow I missed this one when you posted it. Very nicely done, and one of my favorite species! I do a ton of bird art - mostly fairly quick sketches - and have a long-running sketchbook/journal thread over the in the Art Journal forum if you're interested in checking it out.

As you probably know, there are actually two species of waxwings in North America - Cedar and Bohemian. Almost everywhere, Cedars are the primary species. Bohemians are a more northern species, and in Montana you should definitely have Bohemians in the winter. Bohemians are quite similar, with the main differences being in structure (Bohemians are stockier) and overall color (Cedars have an overall more 'brownish' color and Bohemians are more 'grayish' overall). There are a couple other field marks if you're into serious birding that most folks wouldn't notice.

One behavioral thing with this species that I've never understood is their winter range. Here is western WA state, which has quite mild winters, the Cedars basically never winter over - they head south and show up in the spring. Yet in the colder areas like yours, and like the eastern part of our state, Cedars do winter over (and are joined by Bohemians). It's a mystery to me why the Cedars would stay north in colder climates and not in more mild ones, but that's what happens.
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Last edited by JTMB : 01-03-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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