Monday, August 20, 2007

Paintings sold during residency at Nature In Art

'The Two Hunters' - Oil on canvas
This piece is so called because it not only has a male leopard as the subject matter, there is also a praying mantis hiding amongst the twigs and branches. I used my own 'pet' mantis, called Isis, as the model. I had her sat on my hand at one point to paint her!

'Male magnificent frigatebirds' - Gouache on board
On one of the cruise trips I did in 2002, we saw these birds frequently in the Caribbean and Panama Canal. These are great birds to watch as they hang on the air currents with hardly a wingbeat and I love the 'pointiness' and prehistoric look to them. Interestingly, I found out that males rarely fly with the females and juveniles. These two we were able to watch, photograph and video for a very long time whilst ashore in CuraƧao. They flew in and around the seaquarium we were visiting, sometimes just a metre or two above our heads!

'Little egrets' - Batik on cotton
Of course they're not really blue... this was just a play in tonal colours on a white birds. We have had this species at the zoo for many years, although ours have pink feet rather than the normal yellow. A little research shows that these may possibly be a Philippine region sub-species although no record of their lineage exists, as the original birds came to the zoo many years ago and the birds we have now are their descendants. Intriguing!

'Jaguar' - Batik on cotton
No, sadly I have not seen this species in the wild - hence the non-descript background. I actually saw these animals in a zoo on a very cloudy and wet day. A crowd was gathered round their enclosure as three of these beautiful animals dozed - saving their energy for the 'main sleep' (as was once said on the TV comedy 'Red Dwarf'). When the clouds opened up and rain fell heavy and hard, the gathered crowd scattered to find shelter. I stayed and was rewarded by all three jags getting up to 'dance and play' in the rain. It was a joyful sight indeed, to watch how lithe and graceful these powerful heavy cats moved.

'Flamingos' - Batik on cotton
These are based on the greater flamingos at Slimbridge Wetlands Centre in Gloucestershire. The original idea was to concentrate on the reflections in the dark water but on completion I preferred the story that was happening in amongst the group - something which I had composed very carefully in the planning stages but had not intended to be the main focus. As the batik took shape it became obvious that this was the more interesting aspect of the piece.

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