* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Morgue File Challenge: Red Bellied Woodpecker

Now and then the Pieces of 8 have a challenge day. Whoever is the "planner" for the day comes up with something for those who are in attendance to try if they want. April 16th was my day and when I knew it was coming up I spent time trying to think of something that might appeal to everyone.  Here was the challenge I came up with followed closely by the results.

I downloaded six beautiful bird images from one of my favorite resources for photos that artists can use for free: www.morguefile.com! (Check it out anytime, it's well worth a visit.)

I loaded all six images and their correlating release of copyright information onto a thumb drive and took it to my friendly local Staples (the one at the corner of Palm Bay Road and Babcock - super quality prints and really friendly knowledgeable staff in the print department). I printed all six, eliminated one that I thought printed a little too artificially blue (upper right), and then asked the friendly staff person to choose one of the remaining five without my knowledge, print seven more of just it, and seal them in the large envelope I provided. She was very pleased to be given the choice. I paid for my prints and went off to Ralph's Art Supply to start our challenge.

When we opened the envelope I was excited to see our faithful Staples staff member had given us seven prints of the red bellied woodpecker! Great choice!

This is a really beautiful bird photographed by an artist and photographer named Rodney Campbell of Michigan who goes by the name of AcrylicArtist on morgueFile. (You can search for just AcrylicArtist's work and find many more really spectacular photos that he allows artists to use for creative projects.)

There were seven of us present (Carol was traveling) and I handed out the photos. Within a short amount of time (about 15 minutes) I started making my rounds to photograph everyone's beginning efforts.
Cindy making initial sketches

Donna starting a sketch on watercolor paper

Mary starting a watercolor

Fay sketching

Kathy starting an acrylic

Denette evaluating colors before starting an oil painting

Carmen starting an oil painting.
We only have about two and half hours at Ralph's, but by the time we left, this is what we had to show. Only Mary was calling hers finished.

Mary's watercolor

Kathy's acrylic

Denette's oil

Carmen's oil

Cindy's watercolor and ink

Donna's watercolor

Fay's collage
We all admit that we are like hearding cats!  Just to get seven together anymore was an accomplishment! Getting finals will be a bigger challenge than getting together. But, painting in the beautiful light at Ralph's with music and friends - what could be better! We had fun and there was a little dancing in the aisles at cleanup time!

I requested final images get sent to me for this blog. Now, just about exactly two weeks later I have finally called mine finished. (I almost never call a painting finished.)

I have also received a finished image from Carmen.

And Fay has finished her collage and mocked it up in a frame.
We would like to thank Rodney Campbell and all of the photographers that contribute to www.morguefile.com for their inspirational images. I'm sure we will be doing more with their many resources in the future!

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