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A Welcome Sunrise

by Erica Lyn Schmidt

The initial inspiration for this piece came from taking drives in mid-winter Wisconsin at golden hour. The white snow highlights the colors that play as the sun sinks and the sky becomes colorful. I began to notice how the yellow sunlight went straight into bright blue shadows, and I wanted to try my hand at painting it.

This painting was created for the BirdWhisperer Project in December 2016, with the Grey Jay as the prompt. I imagined this tiny bird braving the winter months, and what it must feel like to finally feel the warm sun after an especially long winter night. As I was painting, I discovered that adding a bit of red to the transition between yellow and blue gave the piece the warm feeling I was going for. I also added the slightest touch of white gold into the paint at the strongest highlights to add a subtle glow–this effect is unique to the original painting.

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I am a painter and sculptor who specializes in traditional mixed media. My artistic journey began in the field of scientific illustration, but it gradually made its way into the realm of imaginative realism (my true love at last). I love exploring the charm and whimsy of animals and characters who delight in their own little worlds, and aim to bring that joy to those who experience my work.

I share my love of art and birds as the Creative Director of the BirdWhisperer Project online art community, and my work can also be found in scientific museums, children’s books, and private collections.

In addition to creating fine art, I collaborate on many forms of illustration work with my husband Anthony J. Schmidt. We call Wisconsin our home, which we share with our mini-artist daughter Penny.