Monday, 24 November 2014


Nature's Way - Black-capped Chickadee  Watercolour Painting

This little guy met his end when he flew into my studio window. I felt quite bad watching it lie there in the gravel, and kept hoping that it would wake up and fly away. It didn't. It's body lay untouched during the afternoon, but come the next morning it was gone. Recycled, no doubt, as food for  a raccoon. I decided to make a painting of the dead chickadee to make the point that life can be brief, and that it is precious and that we should live every day as if it were to be our last.

All life is precious.
Our awareness of living and dying becomes more acute with age. One comes to realize that life is very, very precious. Survival on this tiny planet we call earth is precarious at best, and involves the constant struggle with life over death.  All living organisms, humans included, support colonies of bacteria, and are constantly under threat from viral and bacterial infections. Every living creature is viewed by another as prey, food for survival. Most creatures fail to survive to a death from old age. 
So it is with the various species preyed upon by birds of prey, subject matter that I chose to portray when I began my quest to become an artist...........

Mounted Blue Jay Specimen - When ever possible I worked from mounted specimens producing many pencil sketches and drawings. It was important to have a good understanding of feathers, and wing structure in order to portray things correctly. 
Falcon& Blue Jay (cropped)   Etching withAquatint

Male kestrel specimen with pencil studies.

Mantling Kestrel (detail)  Watercolour Painting

Kestrels are small North American Falcons. Since a lot of effort and energy goes into locating and killing prey the kestrel will protect, or hide, the kill from other birds of prey and scavengers, such as crows and ravens by mantling (spreading its wings) over the dead prey.

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