Birds and raccoons......

If you follow my "sporadic at best” blog, you may remember that my paintings were juried into the Toe River Arts Council’s (TRAC) gift shops earlier this year.  I’ve been busy painting for the gift shops (in between amazing road trips!).  I’m really enjoying painting on these basswood rounds.  The bark left along edges creates a “frame” and adds a bit more of a “mountain” feel to it, I think.

One of the birds that I see frequently around our house is the Eastern Towhee.  They tend to hang out in the bushes and love to dig around in the dirt.  I love their colors - black on top and white on the bottom with beautiful reddish brown sides.   And I think this one is particularly pretty on the basswood round.  You can see him in “real life”  and make him yours at the TRAC gallery in Spruce Pine, NC.  

Eastern Towhee - oil on basswood round
(about 7" wide)

TRAC has an auction each year to raise funds and they have come up with a new plan (in addition to the auction) that seems to be working well.  Last year, artists were asked to donated “boxes”.  Think outside the box.  Create a box.  Decorate the box.  Paint a box.  It was really fun.  This year, artists have been given an 8” x 8” board and asked to create on the board.  Students in the local schools were also given boards to create on.  And each 8x8 board will be for sale (not auctioned off). All proceeds from the sale of these pieces will go support TRAC's programs and operating expenses throughout the year. The 8x8 exhibition will begin on June 18th and run through July 9th.  You can read more about it on TRAC's website -

After several ideas about what to create on my 8x8 board, I was inspired by photos of raccoons taken by my wildlife camera.  They’ve been coming around every night, scrounging for tidbits under the suet feeder.   I got to work on my board with my oil paints and created this little rascal looking out of a “hole” in the board.  And I must admit, I’ve fallen in love with this one and had a hard time letting it go.  Maybe I’ll just have to go to the sale and buy him back!!

"Peaking Out"
oil on board - 8" x 8"

Thanks so much for stopping by….