Presumed Water Color – B.J. was Back!

My old brother did watercolor and Chinese brush painting when he was young. He got his first award in a regional art contest when he was only 15, but he only painted till he graduated from college.  And he has not picked up his paintbrush since. I wanted to paint, but I don’t have the talent.
My memory goes back to the drawing class in middle school. I could not draw and I was always dragging myself to the class. My old brother, on the contrary, he loved to paint and once time he even ‘edited’ my drawing homework. I got an A for that drawing project, but I was not happy due to the thought of cheating.  I was an Asian obedient and disciplined kid. My parents have super high ethical standard. I have never cheated on the tests while going to school nor had I done anything bad to grieve my parents, this one-time out-of-character act becomes a forever memory.
I cannot paint, so I take pictures.Thinking of my brother’s nice paintings, I had the urge to make my photos look more like paintings. Photoshop can literally transform a photo into a painting or other art form that we may be interested in. It is great fun to play with Photoshop and come up with various artsy effects for our pleasure.  In the best-case scenario, we take good pictures and we are also good at post-processing.

I am just using the tools I know to make a few paintings like images for fun.  We usually don’t give much attention to dandelions, but with morning sunlight shining from behind, I found these few tiny buds and flowers attractive. Verbena flowers are fairly small, smaller than the purple flowers below. I used an extension tube for the shoot for a bit more dramatic look. The red color is very pretty but overpowering for my taste, so I decided to fade it for a paint look.
A little girl and her grandma were walking down the trail. She saw me crawling down the ground to take close-up shots and suggested that I should take the picture of these colorful flowers, so I did and saw a big smile on her face. This flower is about the size of a penny but the colors are bright. I applied the Orton effect to tone it down.  So, these are my version of watercolor’ paintings’ 🙂
Orton Effect
My new goal in photography is to get better with my photoshop skills. I will not be interested in the dramatic make-over of original photos, but it is so fun to play with various effects.  Of course, it is still more important to take good pictures first.

Three nights ago, we were enjoying our dinner outside on the deck. A Stella Jay showed up quietly and perched on a tree limb where many birds like to stop. The limb is about our height as we stand up, and about 10-12 feet away from where we sat.   This bird was on a limb for quite a while. A sudden instinct came to our mind. My husband and I were both wondering, can this be B.J.? Its behavior is certainly very different from other Jays. It did not approach the feeder and did not make any single noise. But we said to ourselves. No. impossible, it has been too long since we last saw him… It was still standing there, out of curiosity, I came into the house and grabbed my camera. Then I stood up closer and took half dozen shots. He was not afraid, he just stared at me. I came even closer, then he eventually flew away.

I ran into the house and downloaded the pictures. OMG, we were both screaming, “It is B.J.!!!” He is three years old now and he looks like he has traveled long-distance (or is it just my imagination?).

Did he read my blog? Why did he suddenly show up?  We were all stirred up again. My husband murmured, “I wish I have a chance to save another bird.” I hope he will come back again, otherwise, I will really miss him.

Surely B.J. (not presumed)
July 14, 2011

Note: If it is another Jay, it would first come to the feeder, squeak harsh sound and surely it would immediately run for its life when we showed up, not mentioning that I had actually moved closer and closer to capture my shots.  Besides, we were very familiar with his departure style. He would usually fly lower first (kind of saying farewell) before he completely took off. The tree where B.J. was sheltered after his birth fell in the last snow storm, and the tree he perched last is just next to it.

2 thoughts on “Presumed Water Color – B.J. was Back!

  1. Nice. At our house in Eugene we had a squirrel that became almost pet-like. His name was Squirrel. He was there from being a baby, until we moved. Fun to watch the interaction.

  2. How interesting that we are building our relationship with creatures. Squirrels are not our favorite because they can be very destructive if they don't get what they want. I also don't have the kind of relationship you have with your Squirrel:-)

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