Home Again


This painting has been out on the road for at least a year, and I’m happy to have it back.  The co-op gallery I’m a member of has a wonderful policy of placing paintings in businesses and offices all over Kenosha and even the Capitol Building in Madison.  They rotate through the different locations, and eventually they are returned to the artist.  This one was recently hanging in my favorite coffeeshop overlooking the harbor in Kenosha.  It is a beautiful spot to sip a cup of coffee.  It was nice to see my painting there, but then it began to bug me.  Too loud!  Too…something.  So when I was able to bring it home I got out the surgical paint brushes and got to work, softening the background foliage with a wash of blue, and modifying the bird a little bit.  I like it a whole lot better.


Sparkling Stream, original painting

Light is dancing off the surface of this lively stream. A great blue heron has just lifted off and is flapping further upstream. 20×20″ canvas with wide gallery-wrap edges that are painted black, ready to hang and enjoy in your home or office. Shipping is free in the continental US.



  1. I had to smile at the branch crossing the heron’s left wing. Many bird photographers will fuss and fuss if any part of their bird is obscured by branches, leaves, or twigs. Here, you’ve chosen to arrange the branch across the wing. Different (brush)strokes for different folks, I’d say.

    I like the colors, especially the blush of pink suggesting blooms on the bank.


    1. Guilty as charged. It’s funny that we’ll walk around and try every angle to eliminate what many fee i a distraction and a painter adds it in. I like that you include it as that is more often the reality of what is seen.


  2. You’ve hit a nerve with that observation. In traditional paintings of birds or flowers, etc, the subject is in stark isolation. I’ve always found this to be an unsatisfactory way of portraying them, and far prefer to place them in their proper setting. I suppose that is why I am forever being passed over for awards, and have been harshly critiqued by judges.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is just excellent!! Charming and saturated with pure delight in nature. I know this is probably a scene from Ill. or Wisconsin, but it would make a fantastic promo poster for the Finger Lakes, it absolutely takes me to the creeks and streams where I grew up. And that’s quite an honor to have it displayed in the capital.


    1. Yay! Thank you Robert! 🙂 Would it really? I have been seeing pictures of the Finger Lake region lately, and yesterday I saw a car with the license plate: FNGR LKS (or something like that). I think it is a sign for me to go up there to see it for myself. It sounds gorgeous. Do you think it will enjoy a renaissance? It might be good, or it might be better if it remains emptied of humans, as it seems it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, this blog is usually showing the quiet, rural areas, which continue to slowly lose population, but that’s not the full picture. The larger county to the east of mine, Ontario (Canandaigua Lake and part of Seneca Lake) became an exurb of Rochester, and quickly grew, now over 100,000 people. It continues to grow as a tourist destination. On any of the lakes, the rents for waterfront cottages go up every year. There’s more live theater in the area, more music. Part of the draw is the wineries, there’s literally 100 in the area now, plus distilleries, microbreweries, cideries. And the Amish are doing their level best to repopulate the area, the old-style farmers have seven kids on average.


      2. Oh, my. That is a lot of kids in today’s world. It is sad to hear of prices going up. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a beautiful area could remain as we remember it, untouched by greedy rich people?


      3. Yes, i’m glad a local land trust is creating preserves, or arranging Conservancy agreements, with landowners in the area. but I guess the local people who’re lucky enough to rent out cottages are pretty happy.


  4. My first thought on seeing this painting was “I want to be there”. My sense of the place, the water, and the light is immediate and vivid.

    In photography, I try to avoid branches merging with a subject, but here it works.


    1. To be honest, I think it would work in photography as well. It is just that it has hardened into a rule. At any rate, I am thrilled that you like the painting, and that it makes you want to enter it. How cool is that?! Thank you so much, Tom.


  5. An interesting debate. I also get a bit annoying when people nitpick about branches or twigs. A clean portrait is fine but sometimes the habitat doesn’t work like that. One of my favourite recent photos shows a Shrike with its prey. It’s a mass of twigs but it is what it is/was. It just goes to show judges can be too formulaic. We vote for the true artist.


  6. The colors are beautiful as is the composition you created. I didn’t mind the first one at all but do like the toned down version a bit better. I’d be happy to see either one hanging in a favorite bistro. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Steve. I painted it at a street fair, on a blazing sunny day, so it isn’t surprising the original version was a bit, um, vibrant. Of course, after I’ve had a chance to stare at a painting for awhile I’m often smacked between the eyes with the obvious and MUST change it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve posted or printed more than my share of images that I realize down the road need some more attention. Whether for the circumstance you mention or some other thing like a maturing eye we often see things others don’t and want a redo. 🙂


  7. I think it’s lovely that you came across your painting in a public place, Melissa. That would be akin to seeing one’s published book in a local book shop. I like the heron and setting very much. Are the photos the same, or are they the before and after? I can’t see any differences. If there are any, I apologize for my unschooled eye.


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