During the winter I was on the hunt for antique John Deere tractors to use as references in a painting, and I found some just a few miles from home. I decided that now is as good a time as any to start that John Deere winter scene. Seems like I frequently mix up my seasons when painting – I paint summer florals all winter and snow in the summer. Is this a symptom of chronic dissatisfaction?While my big painting is in the sketching stages, I’m going to take mini breaks from that large painting project (I’m painting it on a full 22″ x 30″ sheet) and do something of a creative warm-up using a surface common to my environs…birch bark! My yard is full of birch trees, and, while historically, the First Nations people may have used birch bark to make canoes, the abundance of woodpeckers here would make my canoe rather leaky! But I have been able to peel off smaller sheets, and I’m trying to paint on it. So far, I’m not sure if watercolor is the right medium for the job. The bark isn’t absorbent and so the paint behaves a little like it would on Yupo, not a surface I am familiar with.I also wasn’t sure if I should paint on the outer bark, which is whiter, but covered with a flaky tissue of silvery residue; or the inner side of the bark which is tan coloured. Both sides have wonderful texture and I want to use watercolor so that I don’t lose that texture under the paint. I’m just going to have fun with it. Any successes I have, I’ll post online for sale at a super low price. Because bark is acidic, I’m not sure what kind of longevity we’re looking at…and I’m also not sure how these would be best mounted and framed – they don’t really want to lie flat.

This is my 150th post – I do enjoy blogging! I’ve wondered if I should start a separate “mommy blog” for all my wifely wisdom…but I should finish my other projects first! I complain about having no time to do all my stuff and then I go and start on a new venture.