The parrot's name is Chica which Samanda tells me means "To Tell a Story" in Filipino. Who is telling this story? Chica or Samanda? Or both? Holding her close is Samanda whispering to Chica about the story? Chica can talk but she is reticent in front of strangers. This might be a very appropriate name for the painting so that is the working title for now. I am making the decisions about placement and composition and wondering about how strong to make the background colours. Little by little it comes together. The canvas is selected and underpainted with a strong Cadmium Red Dark. Tomorrow it should be dry and ready for the preliminary drawing to be transferred to it. I enlarge my drawing on a copier and transfer it with Saral red transfer paper usually. It is a lot faster than gridding and fussing. I generally have to make corrections on the drawing after it is initially transferred to the canvas. I don't do any of this if I get to work from life. I just eye ball it and start working on the canvas directly. Vicky and Brian and I are thinking of hiring a model to pose for a few days, one pose, so that we can have this opportunity to paint from life beginning to end. Maybe in the spring when weather is better and getting together isn't such a problem...I don't live too close to anyone. I could set up carefully lit still life subjects, and I might do that again soon, but always I am taken by the human face and form and want to explore that subject more thoroughly. We are mysteries to ourselves no less than everything on the planet is a mystery. Somehow coming to some sort of understanding about the stories we tell each other may help to bring about the harmonious world we all wish for, but I am not naive enough to think this painting will have anything to do with it.