Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Common Tern


This was the second of my commissioned paintings. The Terns perched on the old fishing boat appear in abundance in many parts of the world ranging from North America to Europe and Africa.

For me the major challenge with this painting was to bring out the worn and neglected look of the old fishing boat lying on the sand.

What was once someones pride and joy now lies abandoned on the beach with little more purpose than a perch for any bird that chooses to rest a while on the old relic.

The cracked and rotting wood, old paint, rusted chain and worn metal bits, make me wonder about the history of this old fishing boat.

I am sure that if it could talk, it would regale us with tales of wild seas huge waves and of the hardy characters who sailed on it and cared for it because their very lives depended on it.

Sadly those characters are now probably also old and maybe abandoned like many of our elderly folk who have outlived their usefulness and can no longer contribute to our modern fast paced technological lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Giant Kingfisher


This is the largest species of the African Kingfisher's measuring up to 43cm and similar to a crow in size. They inhabit wooded areas along rivers, lakes and coastal lagoons. They generally perch on overhanging branches or rocks them swoop down on fish, crabs, rodents and lizards to feed.

These fiercely territorial birds nest in burrows, dug up to two meters deep into the upper parts of river banks. The the juvenile males normally have a fawn coloured chest and the adults brick red. Their large powerful beaks make them look rather strange in flight, and with an added loud call they are hard to miss.

This is the first of two paintings I was commissioned to do. The picture supplied by the client looks like it could have once been part of a calendar. The client is an avid birder and if he is satisfied with these two then there could be more work for me in the pipe line. I love painting birds and it is even more gratifying to be paid to for doing something I love.

To those of you who have commented and not had a response, my humble apologies. Along with the deadline to finish these paintings I am busy packing up my home here to go to my daughter in NZ for a while. Thank you all for your kind and inspiring words.