Cormorants: afternoon light

So, after many weeks of famine, yesterday I feasted. Overwhelmed by a grant application that consumed every possible hour, I had not cycled or painted or drawn birds from life for many weeks. My one effort had been the random doodle posted about ten days ago: about an hour’s work but remarkably striking a chord with several people. Anyway, this weekend, in bright early spring sunshine, I spent hours cycling and watching and painting. I felt very rusty (as well as out of condition) from sitting long at the computer.

This was the last piece of the afternoon. Through the scope, I was caught by this composition: groups of birds on a stony bar in the flooded gravel pit, with the sun catching the reeds behind. Above this was a pile of large sawn trunks and in the distance a dense green grey shadow of tall trees streaked by the faint shapes of their bare branches. I made several attempts, irritated by my lack of skill, increasingly cold and stiff and working awkwardly with bars of sunlight alternating with shadow across the paper. Defeated, i set off for home, but finished this later in the warmth.

Despite all that, I think the original pleine air sketch had something that has perhaps been lost by the later reworking.





10 responses to “Cormorants: afternoon light

    • Thanks. And I think the idea of animating drawings of lapwings is a great idea. It’s an ongoing challenge, one I have not met, capturing the dynamic of their flight, those twists and loops. In the spring their display is accompanied by their strident calls that also need recording and including in your animation.

    • Thanks. Actually, I consciously borrowed the stretched vertical format of this piece from you. The first effort, the lowest in this series, was just the conventional rectangle, but as I thought it through, I had your paintings in mind as it occurred to me that the composition called for a longer shape to bring in the tree shadows all the way down to the reflected white plumage. I do admire your open air paintings thataccompany your translations.

    • Thanks. I think i find it difficult not to rework pieces. In retrospect, i like the texture of the bacground, that i covered in attempting to balance to tonal depths in the finished piece. Its all learning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s