Thursday, February 21, 2013
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
The last painting I "completed" was given as a Christmas gift. My daughter's private flute instructor of the past nine years is also the head of the York County Wild Bird Refuge She has made it her mission to protect the Yellow Crowned Night Herons who have made an artificial lake in the middle of York City their home.
It is quite an experience to attend the annual Spring Garden Recital surrounded by fledgling herons and other birds who are being nursed to health by Mrs. Deckard. Her wonderful backyard garden in transformed into a hospital for injured and rescued birds. While the young ladies are playing their flutes in the gazebo, wrens and robins and finches fly about, oblivious to the commotion taking place in the garden.
I had to research the heron that she loves, borrowing reference photos from birdwatchers along the mid-Atlantic seaboard. The swamp flora was partially my own garden and partially borrowed from another photo, but largely invented as Vincent Van Vogh seemed to visit me while painting this. I was inspired by my visit to the Van Gogh: Up Close exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I painted this over a discarded painting of my own garden which I attempted to paint en plein air. The painting was abandoned after I was attacked by hordes of Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs who kept flying into me and my canvas. I could not find any sandpaper so the ridges and textures remain from the abandoned painting. (I like doing this, but I've often received criticism for it). Please click on the picture for a better view!
This is quite a contrast to the style I have been studying. I am taking a class using Old Masters techniques. It is a lot of blending and smoothing and sanding, small brushes and discipline which I am not used to. Not my typical style, but I am learning a lot. I think it is always good to challenge oneself as an artist by exploring as many genres as we can.