Elk and Magpie – 700th Blog Post

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
– Annie Dillard

Elk and Magpie – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

Don’t you just love this?  I’m talking about the image of the magpie on the elk’s head.  It is painted from a photo reference by Crias at WetCanvas.   I took a few elk and moose photos with me, since I knew I was going to be painting things that are a real part of the Idaho scenery.  I also knew there are more critters traveling about, when the weather is colder.   Me…. I don’t want to be traveling around Idaho when it’s snowing… thanks very much.  Been there, done that.  😉

When I was in Driggs, I saw magpies often.  They look so cool, because they are stark black and white, with no in-between colors.  Magpies  just look amazing against the green and golden rolling hills of the area.

I did have a great time painting this.  The snow was really fun!   🙂

About Annie Dillard

American author Annie Dillard rose to fame with her first book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which weaves theology and meditations on nature into an account of a year spent in the country recovering from pneumonia. Writing the book so fully absorbed her that she forgot everything else; she lost 30 pounds and all her plants died. She was born in Pittsburgh in 1945. She married her college writing teacher but later divorced him. She remarried and lives in Connecticut.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lesliepaints
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 11:08:31

    I like the composition and the expression on the elk’s face, Beth. Wouldn’t this make a unique Christmas card? I like this one very much. …and, yes, the magpie punctuates this piece nicely. 🙂


  2. Androgoth
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 17:58:12

    This watercolour of yours really stands out and in a very nice way too, I especially like how the eyes on the Elk look so alive, its ears look brilliant too and the Magpie that is so cheekily sat upon its head is so crisp looking, here there are lots of these birds in my garden, you know they are extremely clever birds too…

    I once saw one break off a small branch and use it as a tool to preen its feathers at the very tips of its wings where the beak could not reach; now how inventive is that my good friend? 🙂 And peeps are always very quick to say that these birds have no brains, well I know that these Magpies are very smart birds, in fact very smart indeed…

    I am sorry about going off on a tangent there when I was talking about your painting… You know, you have a wonderful talent Beth and I really like this Elk and Magpie offering as it is so decisively fresh…

    Have a lovely rest of day and a wicked evening also 🙂

    Androgoth Xx


    • Beth Parker
      Sep 06, 2011 @ 18:32:57

      Thank you so much, Androgoth! I fell in love with the reference photo as soon as I saw it. It was begging to be painted. I don’t know anything about magpies, but I like your story so I’m going to go with that. Smart and resourceful birds they are! They sure are wonderful to look at! 🙂 You have a great evening, too!


  3. Joan T
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 09:48:11

    I am finally home after 2 months in Venice and am slowly checking what was posted in my absence. You have a style all your own, Beth!!! Your vacation paintings are super, and I really love the pieces on masa that you did. I played a bit with it in Venice. It is good to be home and be able to spend time on the internet again.


    • Beth Parker
      Sep 06, 2011 @ 11:17:09

      Thanks so much, Joan! You also have a wonderful style, all your own. I love seeing your plein air work! Have fun catching up on the internet. Next time you go to Venice, I’ll hide in your luggage, okay. 🙂


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