Sometimes a piece of art takes years to come together because the various elements of its construction do not reveal themselves at the same time. Such is the backstory of 'Snipe Hunt'.
I often observe birds in their natural habitat, counting myself very fortunate when I get to spend a few moments watching them while they go about their birdy lives. Back about a decade or so, this snipe was poking around in a wetland, feeding and frequently checking out the sky overhead for possible hawks. I was some distance away watching through a spotting scope, which is a small telescope allowing closer views than binoculars. I was able to do a quick sketch before it flew off. I felt like the sketch captured it's essence. I tucked it away with my other nature sketches.
Recently, in a break in this rainy wet spring weather, out digging around in the garden, I found some charcoal buried in the muddy soil.
It was really dense and satiny. My immediate thought was I would try to draw with it, so I collected some. It was from a wood stove clean out from years ago, all the unburnt wood and ashes long ago cleaned away by soil microbes.
I washed off the thick clay soil, revealing wonderful usable charcoal! It was jet black and sparkly.
I did some experimenting with it. I ground some of it up and mixed it with some acrylic medium. It made a grainy gritty paint of sorts. I really liked the results.
To my surprise, when mixed with the acrylic medium it turned blue! It dried perfectly clear though, revealing the sparkly charcoal.
This piece needed an integrated frame. I decided to make one. The wood is special. It was once part of a piece of huge furniture owned by a dear friend who passed on. For many years, it sat as a collector of stuff, being old and impractical for modern life, with sticky drawers and doors and space eating size. Eventually, I tried to find it a new home, but no takers. I reluctantly decided to take it apart. It was quite an undertaking! Things were built to last forever back then. I've used parts of it for various projects, including this frame for my little snipe. I'm sure my friend is getting a chuckle out of that!
Some careful measuring.
Glued and clamped and time to dry, then some layers of paint.
All framed up!
6 x 6 inches
Custom made frame