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Animals Artwork in Watercolor Painting Process Stories and Reflections

Painting Wind-up Birds in Watercolor post image

Have you ever had a singular experience that offered sudden and valuable insight?

Wind-up toys recall for me the memory of just such a day, when, as a new art student in New York City, I struggled to find my place in that metropolis of such intimidating size and energy. My weekly budget was low and I was taking odd jobs to make ends meet.

Browsing about in a vintage toy store filled with all manner of retro toys, I found myself playing with a little wind-up tin hen. The pecking motion of the hen amused me and provided welcome relief from the day-today challenges of the moment.

On impulse I decided to tighten my belt just a little bit more for dinner that day, and dont-postpone-joyindulged my desire to have this toy. As I was about to pay at the register I spotted a small button, in a box of many, with white words printed on a blue background: Don’t postpone joy!

I bought the button, too. These few words on a simple button made me feel I had made the right choice in buying that little tin windup bird. Joy is always within reach no matter our circumstance. It’s a decision, a choice that can be made in the present. Joy never needs to be postponed, or waited for. Our joy is a choice.

The wind-up hen has stayed with me as a reminder of the value of play and has helped me remain calm and relaxed in the face of life’s many unanticipated challenges.

With this memory in mind I’ve painted a series of wind-up birds, and share below a short video showing the different STEPS in the process of making a wind-up hen, in watercolor.

I invite you to play, paint, experiment, and bring up your joyful spirit right now.

Don’t postpone joy!

Prints of these toy birds are available in my Webshop, click here.

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