Oil Critique: "Bird Nest"


Bird Nest
by Jenny Powell Miller,
2008, oil, 9 x 12.

This is beautiful. The subject is dynamic and inventive. You contrast the smooth marbles with the coarse nest extremely well. The fragmentary strands and the way they catch small ridges of light are superb elements. Keep going; make more. I also like the texture of the surface this is painted on.

I don’t have recommendations for improving this painting except concerning the blue of the shadow. The blue is somewhat intense, which might match a digital image color; reproduction colors are hard to match. If that blue is the true color, however, then the other blue darkness—above the white marble—should be toned down.

About the Critic
Colin J. Callahan
teaches painting and art history at St. Paul's School, in Concord, New Hampshire, where he also runs the school's gallery. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, and he studied painting at Centro Barbieri, in Rome. Callahan is represented by Anderson-Soule Gallery, in Concord, New Hampshire. To view the artist's work, visit www.colincallahan.com.

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About BrianRiley

Brian Riley is the managing editor for the American Artist family of titles (American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop) and has been part of the AA team since 2003. He first became interested in art as a child, specifically drawing, but drifted away from the visual arts as he grew older, gravitating towards writing while in college. His position at AA has offered him the opportunity to reinvigorate his early passion and continue his education.  

One thought on “Oil Critique: "Bird Nest"

  1. Beautiful, beautiful painting. I really like it. The shadow blue on the left does seem a bit too strong but i know reproduction does not always shoe true.

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