Finally I can show you my latest bird painting. It was a special commission for special top secret birthday present. Now the cat is out of the bag ....er...the ducks have waddled forth?.... heres a picture of it:
PARADISE SHELDUCKS AT WANAKA
300 W x 150 H (12" x 6") Acrylic On Canvas
SOLD - Special Commission Piece
These gorgeous birds have so many different colours in their feathers that I lost count of the tints on my palette. Because my favourite colour is orange I just love the russet coloured feathers that are very dominant in the female bird.
Well winter certainly has arrived in the south of the South Island. The mercury drops pretty quickly mid-afternoon and my latest muse arrives in the garden. My current bird inspiration is the Fantail "Piwakawaka". Their high pitched little tweet is very endearing as they flit about on a crazy loopy flight path. According to Maori mythology this cheeky laughing tweeter woke Hine-nui-te-po (the goddess of death) who then caught Maui in the act of trying to eradicate death for humanity.
I bet he was really peeved when he got busted,
...but probably forgave the Fantail coz he was so cute....or not, he was up to some serious business.
The fantail has 20 or 30 different Māori names. As well as tīwaiwaka, it is commonly called pīwakawaka, tīwakawaka or tīrairaka. In one tradition, it was the fantail that caused Māui’s death, so it is a harbinger of death when seen inside in a house. A fidgety person is described as a fantail’s tail, because of the bird’s restless movements. (Text courtesy of: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/nga-manu-birds)
So the thing about making birdy artwork is that you have to learn to draw the birds. This is all new to me and some days I sit there with pencil and eraser drawing lines.... which get darker... and wider... and altered slightly...and then rubbed out completely...and the whole process begins again! For anyone else who is considering learning to draw birds its probably a good idea to familiarise yourself with the steps of the process (provided below...you're welcome!)
Statements Involved in the Bird Drawing Process:
1st Statement(professed aloud to my 2 cats who nod knowingly):
"This is going to be SO cool"
2nd Statement(muttered under breath 1 - 6 hours from starting):
"Sh*t I can't do this, this looks like crap"
3rd Statement (said aloud to inside of kitchen cupboards 6-8 hours from starting):
"Surely we have some chocolate in this bl**dy house!??"
4th Statement (spoken in baby-talk voice to pencil bird on piece of paper 8+ hours):
"Awwww aren't yooou bewwwdifuuuul little birdy!"
A few times I've been standing on the back lawn and a Fantail has danced around my head tweeting right in my face within reach. I've asked it to land on my arm but it just flies around and around tweeting at me very loudly. It's a really lovely exchange and I was wondering if it was some sort of earthly spiritual connection until a friend told me that when I walk I stir up midges and insects so it would be following me for food.
How deflating! ...
I have been demoted from "Earth Mother at peace with all creatures" to "Bird Food Rouser", Ha! Well I'll let you know how I get on with this fantail painting project :) Meantime, remember its winter and the birds in your garden really appreciate a few seeds and birdy treats to get them through.