Busy Wren – Basics & Background

In my January 1, 2013 post, I shared the 2012 stats for my blog and mentioned an upcoming return to watercolor. We’re entering the second quarter of the year. My 3rd DVD, Piñata Alcohol Inks On Ceramic Tile DVD is now available which includes six demonstrations along with all the basics to work on and seal glazed ceramic tiles. I have a sense of completion and the timing seems right to turn my energy and focus to explorations in watercolor and water media.

While I will continue to play in alcohol inks as they are quite relaxing, freeing and fun, and occasionally showcase some outstanding work by artists who have purchased my alcohol Ink Dreamscaping DVDs, it’s time for me to do a little dreamscaping in watercolor. Let’s begin with the basics and background of one of my newest and cathartic, (dreamscaping can be cathartic) watercolors, Busy About Her Business.


I used Daniel Smith’s Extra Fine Watercolors: Mostly, Hematite, Tiger’s Eye, Genuine, Sedona Genuine, Purpurite Genuine with accents of Turquoise Genuine, Amozoninte Genuine and Rhodoninte Genuine. Also used Maimeriblu Raw Sienna.

I worked on 140 lb. Fabriano CP using sable and sable blends flats and rounds. The background and gourd were painted loosely and quickly using Winsor Newton granulation medium and a lot of dreamscaping, dropping  and guiding. The next post will be a slideshow of the process steps. Below, you will see where I began by masking some of the details.

Now, The Background

Here is the reference photo for Busy About Her Business.

I took this reference photo while in Virginia visiting my mother Spring of 2011. I have fond memories of the two of us sitting around her kitchen table in front of her sunny picture window watching this busy, Carolina Wren build her home. I took about 50 photos while we laughed at her antics, flying in and out, in and out. Talk about a purpose driven life 😀

We didn’t know it then, but that turned out to be the last spring we would sit around my mother’s kitchen table. Nov. 2011 brought with it a move into longterm care. My mother’s house has recently sold. That chapter has ended.

Is there any wonder this painting set-up felt more like a healing station for me? As I worked, I heard my mother’s laughter and felt the sun and the joy and the urgency of this little wren, fully present, busy about her business. She was so intent on building her life as each of us are so intent on building ours.

I am thankful to have my mother’s kitchen table, to touch the smooth oak and feel the memories made around it. So thankful for the joy shared and rekindled in the painting of this unassuming, little Carolina Wren…the gateway for me hearing my Father once again sing, Precious Memories, How They Linger…


Anything calling to you to be painted?

Consider following where it wants to lead.


May Each Of You Have A Spring To Celebrate & Remember.

8 thoughts on “Busy Wren – Basics & Background

  1. How lovely to hear memories of time spent with your Mom! Precioius memories indeed…I look forward to following the progression of this “from the heart” painting.

  2. Thanks, Patricia. Busy About Her Business came together smoothly, which I believe happens when we are really connected. The creative process becomes an unfolding. Will be sharing more of the process in future posts. Thanks so much for commenting here.

  3. Dear June, What a beautiful story. I am having a difficult time typing right now through my tears. Thank you for sharing your story which brought back beautiful memories of my precious Mother. I love your beautiful and sweet wren painting and I’m excited to see many more of your beautiful watercolor paintings. Hugs, Charlotte

  4. June, it was wonderful to meet you at the Campbell Folk School with my cousin. I love the thoughts you shared there and the inspiration on your websites. Just ordered your first DVD’s to share with my daughter with special needs to help her create. Your story above and faith journeys is special with my own mom dying a year ago the week before mother’s day. Creating and art has helped me to heal….a few months before she died she told me I was always happiest when I was creating! Blessings, Holly

  5. Dear Holly, thank you so much for the heartfelt comments you have shared here. So appreciate connecting with you at JCC and on this deeper level. Blessings, June

  6. June, I saw you painting yesterday at the opening of the WSNC show. Totally different than most of the others. Really sweet. Was hoping to get to meet you over the weekend. Did meet Cathy Taylor when I dropped off my painting earlier in the week. Really a super gal, and such ENERGY!
    I’m loving playing with AI and really appreciate all the work you and Karen have put into promoting the medium.
    Thank you, Ginnie

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