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     My process begins with the bird.  I will find them out in the wild, in my own backyard, or sometimes somewhere in between.  Inspiration can find me anywhere.  I photograph the birds - sometimes photos come in the thousands.  I then sift through the photos to find the one or two that really speak to me.  

     The next step is sketching: filling up my sketchbook with ideas for paintings.  The ideas don't always come from the bird, occasionally ideas are inspired by process or material.  I then build a box frame out of pine and hardboard masonite and anywhere from 5 to 10 layers of gesso.  the gesso is sanded down for a smooth finish.  I do this so that the texture is from my painting.  The texture of canvas is distracting and too repetitive.  I use watercolor ground on the board for watercolors.  There are times I change the shape of the board, doing so creates a painting that also incorporates sculptural thoughts.

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     I then paint my painting with either oil paint or watercolor.  Sometimes I throw in a medium like chalk pastel or encaustic.  I work mostly in layers of 4 or 5 with complete drying of each layer.  Oil paint can take up to a week to dry enough for the next layer - watercolor wait times are more like 10 mins.  After the painting is completed I then varnish it with satin finish if it is oil paint - art resin if it is watercolor. 

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