Flamingo Painting – 120x120cms – A Study in Acrylics
Sometimes you see something so magical… an image, a vision, a moment before you that leaves you so moved and inspired as an artist that you simply must capture it. This is one of those times. A beautiful photography friend of mine Peter Caddy took a series of remarkable flamingo photos on his travels recently, and my heart just stood still at the beauty he captured in the images. All my deep childhood fascinations of flamingos can racing to the forefront of my mind in an instant, and I was mesmerised. He knew I was in utter lust and so kindly offered them to me to reference for this work then and there. Honestly, this incredible beauty needs to be expressed and shared with the world and I am so grateful and thrilled to have a chance to do just that in some way. Certainly I am excited to share the process of this new flamingo painting with you here again.
Spending working so intensely on my new Watercolour Lotus tutorial for you all over the past few months, I have been really looking forward to starting a new project. When I saw these flamingos images I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and so Im trying something completely different, making and a wonderful change of momentum and focus for my hand and mind to rest in between all things. Measuring 120x120cms in size, this large, striking bird painting is a flamingo study rendered in acrylics and it feels like just the remedy for me right now!
Getting the board and materials home in my tiny car to my tiny house to my tiny studio was not a path so clear… I had to be rescued several times in the course of getting prepared for the flamingos project, but I was so determined stick with it. Now I have rearranged my studio for the work ahead and the final coat of gesso is drying in readiness. My home and studio slips into creative space chaos once more, my garden maintenance can wait again, groceries… huh?? and I am finally ready to start my flamingo painting. Thank you to those who rescued me and my enormous canvas along the way!
Ahead I have a busy time, travel and research away from home, teaching, my amazing NZ masterclass event, and other projects going on around me too, but for the change of pace and for the love of flamingos, I will be working away at this one between everything else on my plate over time until it is complete. I hope that you will join me through its progress. Really you must… it’ll be fun, and I need you to come up with a name for this very special piece!
It doesnt look like much yet, but I have begun the roughing into clarify my drawing and layout into the painting process and developed the background into my beautiful blacks which i love so much. Much like my White Waratah, the drama, contrast and impact it will ultimately bring the finished work will be beautiful. There is much to be done but I am feeling really connected to it already. Ill post more on its progress soon.
Well once again, my week has been one that has barely seen me leave my studio… nothing unusual there hey! ‘Its 10pm’ i thought, glancing at the clock once again, double taking at the numbers reading just past 2am. I hadnt paused, lost in my little world as usual, wide awake and set to keep at it for hours yet. The shock turned to such disappointment having to draw another close to a painting day all too soon and indeed another precious day well before I was ready for its end. Time. It kills me! Dreams, it keeps me alive. The reward, progress… and perhaps, debatably, the balance is sleep.
The past weeks have been spent slowing the process, and progress, right down on my flamingo painting to pay closer attention to the feathering, delicate textures and detailing of each bird, and slowly it has started to really come to life. There is still a lot to do yet of course, finishing the remaining feathery backs and defining the heads and faces of each bird to give each of them their individual character and the painting a story overall too, but its completion is not so far off now… Certainly its a striking piece and in the flesh, even more memorable of course! Enjoy the update, its back to the studio i go.
Todays update shows work continuing more intensively along the bottom edge of this painting, detailing the flamingo feathers more and more closely to complete each bird one by one. Great fluffy outcrops of gorgeous salmon feathers ruffle the back of the flamingo resting front and centre of this piece in contrast to the pearly white details of the flamingo beside it. The first foot now finds its place too. I have returned to working flat for the finest details which Im finding sooo much easier. Ill be shifting my attention to the beautiful bright orange flamingo on the right edge as a next stop, seeing the last of the feathering for this painting. I will return to render the legs, heads and beaks once the feathers are done to bring it all together… I am looking forward mostly to working on the eyes, which always brings so much personality and life to a piece.