Inspired by a casual suggestion from my son, I began this series of paintings in the summer of 2021 for the McKellar Market near my home in Ontario.
Jake (#1 son) challenged me to do the paintings within an hour, which I did for the first 20 and discovered that to be oddly exhausting; I now allow myself more time. I do love rapid sketch style of the early beta birds, I also love the detailed emotions and colors of current avians.
I have painted 54 birds since August, 2021, all in acrylic on small wood gallery panels, 8″ x 8″ x 1.5″.
The next commissioning cycle starts in August 2023. The paintings will be 12″ x 12″ on custom birch wrap panels, $480 plus shipping and HST/GST (in Canada). The commissioner pays when painting is completed.
This composer is full of ferocious joy and energy, and this relatively short (13′) concerto has enthusiastically kicked my butt for the last few months. I’m truly looking forward to the event of playing it live with the committed and strong students at SUNY Fredonia with their leader, Dr Paula Holcomb.
I have made mixed media art as an almost unconscious part of the reflection and integration of this challenging and dynamic and very new piece of music.
And here is a quote from the composer:
“Music for me is an embrace of the world – a way to open myself up to being alive in the world in my body, in my sounds, and in my mind.”— Augusta Read Thomas
A supremely gifted young fighting dragon struggles to convince his family and community that playing the bassoon is his heart’s desire and life’s purpose.
On the eve of his final burning, looting and terrorizing exams (BLT), Darwood takes a big chance and flies back in time to discover all the elements that lead to a surprise ending and general rejoicing.
Fun for the whole family, this compelling 40′ story is performed by acclaimed solo bassoonist, Nadina Mackie with guest narrator and accompanied by great orchestral and solo music for bassoon with string orchestra and percussion, enhanced with digital projections of 25 of Nadina’s gigantic paintings.
When the physical paintings are also exhibited in connection to the show, audiences see the hands-on, real-life art that went into the show and we offer guided art workshops for all ages as part of the experience.
Contact me if you or your orchestra is interested in presenting this extraordinary celebration of imagination, diversity and classical music in Darwood’s Wild Bassoon.
Today we released another of the color versions of the artwork that Tobias Sid John has created for my book, Solitary Refinement.
The featured work was created for my Thank You page and is called Dedication. I love how Tobias captured the earnest, happy gratitude of the musician while keeping our eyes and imaginations focused on the transcendent bassoon.
There are about 50 new products with this lovely unicorn-coloured floating bassoon and the elfin, purple-booted bassoonist. Everything from stickers, notebooks, cards to T shirts, hoodies, cups, masks, comforters and even furniture.
I will be attending the last market of the summer, but only as a visitor since I have sold all the paintings already… I think it would be weird to set up my table and have nothing for sale! (I did that last week).
This summer was my first experience of showing up to an outdoor market every Saturday except one when I had heat stroke and showing my art. And playing my bassoon on the 4 Saturdays that didn’t feature rain. For the last three weeks, I stopped bringing my lavish huge canvases and started painting small panels (8″ x 8″ x 1.5″ gallery wood) with local birds. And I showed the art each week online before going to market, with the result that absolutely everything sold before market day and I had a waiting list for 14 birds. Very interesting and enjoyable.
If you’re in the near north of Ontario, come visit The McKellar Market on October 9 for Thanksgiving.
Here are the 24 birds that are finished. Write to me if you want to be on the Waiting is for the Birds List. The way it works is you get a number in the order that you sign on, you pay for the bird up front ($45Can + HST/shipping) and then get offered the bird that emerges when your number comes up. You can say yes or no until we find the bird you like. One collector ordered 8! That was fun for both of us.
And thank you to the musicians and artists and other good people who jumped at this chance to own some of my art. You know that your support makes a huge difference for good in my life