Secret Garden Series – #7 FOX AND DUCK

Fox and Duck Watercolor 18″ x 24″

I did it! I finished another large painting in my Secret Garden Series!

I don’t know why, maybe it’s the pandemic, but this series feels like climbing a mountain who’s peak I may never see! I don’t know why I challenge myself to series or projects, because the feeling that comes over me is that I can’t really enjoy finishing a painting because I know there’s another one waiting for me. Let’s face it, I probably would have quit 3 paintings in because I have different ideas now of where I want to go. I have one painting left in this series and my mind doesn’t want to bother with it because I have already tackled it mentally. My mind’s thinking what’s the point? I guess I can answer this. The point is a lot of us artists can live in our heads. At night, when I can’t sleep, I can imagine up an entire masterpiece and be done with it before morning. Of course when I wake, nothing has been manifested. And that is why it is important for me to try and slow my mind down and tell it that it doesn’t really matter what’s rolling around in there if nothing comes to be. It’s the old fashioned answer of DOING THE WORK. I listened to an interview by one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho. He explained the same phenomenon. He said for years when people asked him what he did for a living, he told them he was a writer. However, for years, he hadn’t written a single word. He laughed, telling the interviewer that he whole-heartedly knew he was a writer in every molecule of his body. His mind had written plenty of books over those years. He just hadn’t manifested anything yet. I felt this phenomenon between the ages of 20-35. I knew I was an artist. Daily my mind was creating amazing things in my head. Sometimes I’d pick up a pencil or paintbrush and get so angry. My hand would not create the vision in my head. Quickly, I’d put the pencil down and busied myself with other things. But around age 35, truly terrified, I took that leap. The leap from my mind into the physical world. That’s the call for DOING THE WORK. I had to allow the frustration of my mind and hand not matching up and work through it. I had to practice, fail, practice and fail some more. And now, I am getting to that point in life that my mind and hand are finally working together. My hand is a little slower than my mind, but they are playing along nicely. Long story short, I truly would like to have a body of artwork physically manifested to look back on. It’s like my spiritual diary marking where I’ve been and which paths I’ve chosen.

I have one painting left and I commit to seeing it through.

Now let me talk about this Fox and Duck painting, because it was a true joy to work on. Here is the progression from start to finish and some of my favorite areas of the painting:

Ok. I’m going to attach the painting again with a list of things hidden to look for:

There is: a Zuni bear, a Gemini symbol, an acorn, , a sea shell, violets, a dream catcher, dandelions, a Common Buck-eye butterly, a cricket, Barrel of Monkeys and a Chinese fortune cookie.

Also, there is the Latin phrase “Audeat est Facere” whose translation is “To dare is to do”. Living definitely takes guts. One of my favorite mantras comes from the baseball film Field of Dreams. There is a constant whisper of “if you build it, they will come” throughout the film. No one in the film knows what the whisper means, but if the guy listens to his soul and does the work, something manifests. For them, it’s a bunch of dead baseball players, but for the rest of us, it can be our dreams. You just have to be bold enough to dare to chase them. To dare, is to do.

With the other paintings, I have taken photos of me holding the painting to show you scale, but, I’m home alone, so the most I could do is give you context between the 5×7″ studies and the larger 18 x 24″. I love seeing the correlation between the small idea and the finished product.

So, I think that’s it. It feels good to get a little closer to my goal. I have one more left featuring a rooster and a squirrel. I love painting roosters, so I am looking forward to it. After that, I have a great idea of where I want to go next -painting wise, but I won’t let my mind get to carried away just yet. I will take todays success and sleep on it ;)



  1. These are absolutely gorgeous. I can’t believe they are watercolor. Looks more like acrylic or oils. Stunning!

    1. Thank you! You know, I used the Arches “best of the line” h20 paper. It absorbs like nobody’s business, however, I just can’t seem to lighten or remove any of the paint from it, like it’s stained. When I’m done with this series, I think I’m going back to middle-of-the-road Canson paper. It doesn’t absorb as much which allows you to lift more paint off which makes my work look more “watercolor-esk” I also work large, so in person, the painting has a lot of painterly aspects, but when reduced it does look tight like an acrylic/oil. There’s just not enough time in the day to experiment! But one of the days I will nail down exactly what’s right for me…. One of these days… I will nail it ;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.