By Niya Christine. Copyright

#107/365 Paintings

Sam was a pet store canary for many years. He was one of the few that didn’t want to be picked, purchased and taken away from the pet store. Sam was a bit of a closet journalist. He liked to listen to the facts and chirp out the stories at night when the store closed. Canaries are pretty, so people hung out around them and spilled some of the grittiest details about their lives.

But there was one conversation in particular that Sam couldn’t get out of his wonderfully feathered head. It went something like this:

Boy: “What do you really want, though?”

Girl: “To be a boy.”

Boy: “Yeah, but that’s in the works…”

Sam perked up. “In the works?” Sam wasn’t the least bit interested in becoming Samantha. But, he realized that if a girl could become a boy (a magic trick for sure) then he could become what he had always wanted to be: An owl. Suddenly, he wanted out of the pet store really bad. So, he preened for days in front of potential buyers. About 3 days later a very nice elderly couple bought him. He tried to escape to the woods to become an owl, but something luckier happened. The old man was an artist. Sam and the old man bonded. Sam would drag out newspapers and magazines with owls on them and take naps on top of the photos. The old man painted one of Sam’s owls. Of course Sam thought he had understood his complex psychology and loved the old man all the more. But the man simply wanted to paint an owl that day. Sam stared at the painting for days. And, just last week he chirped out a 1/2 “Who.” The old man laughed so hard. “You’re a Canara-Owl” he said. Sam was very pleased with himself.

The “Real” Birdsong

By Niya Christine. Copyright

#106/365 Paintings

Have you ever been woken up in the morning by layers and layers of birdsongs? Birds have secrets. If you look closely you’ll see how resourced they are. They’ve even inspired the chimney to belt out a tune — the birds and their songs fly from their lungs. Birds! They just aren’t happy with one tweet and then another in monosyllable fashion. At least until we fragile humans have had our coffee.

New to the World

Painting by Niya Christine. Copyright

#105/365 Painting

Baby cow gazing out at the big old world. Hungry, curious and mom focused. I love baby cows.

Project notes: This baby cow painting is sourced from a black and white photograph taken at Point Reyes Ca some years back. I took about 170 cow photos that day. Very satisfying to paint some of them now. And to return to the 20 minute watercolor painting approach that was alive and well in January.

Social Lives of Country Canaries

By Niya Christine. Copyright

#103/365 Paintings

Unlike the city canaries, the country canaries don’t need fancy escape strategies for sunset happy hour. These particular country folk only cage the animals that might eat them or be in danger of being eaten. The canaries… they come and go freely and their songs are heard in every direction. The thing is, if you look closely, compared to the city bunch… well, there are fewer of them. And, are some of them napping? They do seem a bit more laid back as canaries go. They also seem to raise the color frequency around them. Those canaries!

Social Lives of City Canaries

Painting by Niya Christine. Copyright

#102/365 Paintings

When it comes to the “party/happy hour/sunset” — where all things “chat” occur — canaries take this time very seriously. No matter how much they love their city people, their various sugar coated seeds, and wooden toys, they find a way OUT of the apartment to the high wires in the sky. And they chat like they’ve never heard the sounds before. Every single note… something to be admired and repeated again and again and again. Until the pigeons come over and lay down the law or they feel one too many electrical currents.

City canaries… they know the value of a good conversation.

Cow Courtship

Painting by Niya Christine. Copyright

#101/365 Paintings

When the sun sets, our cow at the top with the orange spots wonders if today the pink cow will love him. She already does. But she’s very shy. She hopes he will come over and shmoosh noses a bit—save her from her bashfulness. And on it goes like this every evening. Even the pink tree is embarrassed by how long it’s taking for this couple to come together. But it will happen. I have full faith in these cows.


Project notes: It was nice to return to my old friend, watercolor today. January, the coffee & tea theme was all watercolor. Recently, much experimentation and discovery with mixed media. Ah.. watercolor my first love.