Vinaceous Amazon Parrots and Ceiba

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 | 9:14 am | Media

Vinaceous Amazon Parrots and Ceiba – 33 x 45 cms – Watercolour – Original artwork is currently available

Vinaceous Amazon Parrots and Ceiba is the next painting in the minor series of works from the White Room Collection. Stemming from my recent Brazil travels once more, this artwork measures 33×45 cms in size, is rendered in watercolour and captures two gorgeous new subjects from this remarkable part of the world, the Vinaceous Amazon Parrot and the Ceiba tree.

Also known as Floss Silk, Kapok, Chorisia Speciosa, and a range of other names, the Ceiba is one of the most beautiful flowering trees youll ever see. Cascades of pink flower trusses adorn this compact tree, certain to take your breath away upon sight. I first painted this tree back in my early 20’s when I was just starting out as a botanical artist. Id heard about this tree along the way and was stunned to see one in flower not far from my house. Of course it had to be illustrated. The botanical study I created (below) is far more simple than my more recent work, but the painting was ultimately purchased by The Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation for their permanent collection in the USA, marking one of the first really significant achievements I made in my career as a botanical and natural history artist.

heidi willis_botanical art_floss silk_ceiba

With my decades of fascination for this species, it really had to be included in my Brazil series. Id like to have painted this as a major work, but for this piece Ive chosen to work smaller, to capture the smaller and very rare Vinaceous Amazon Parrots amongst its beauty. As for the major work… lets see how I feel after tackling this very complex piece first… but you know I never say no to such things! So to get started, I have transposed all my working reference, field work, observations and exposure to these beautiful subjects into a simple composition. The pencil drawing has been completed and I am set to start working with the brushes once again.

bird painting_vinaceous Amazon_parrots

With colour on my brushes, I am well into the painting process of the Vinaceous Amazon Parrots and Ceiba painting now, enjoying this new challenge very much. The flowers of the Ceiba are so stunning, large, frilly and pink, drooping to delicate umbrellas of delicate folds as they fade. The long white stamens remain from spent flowers give the subject such intrigue and romance, illustrating the entire life cycle of the flower from bud to the birth of the seed capsules yet to come. Hints of sky blue and fresh green cut between the flowers to tell the abundant story of the Ceiba Tree. Justice needs to be done to capture the beauty and nature of this plant, and I will do my very best to share my love of it with you through my work… and so we begin.

heidi willis_vinaceous amazon_ceiba_bird painting_watercolour

Todays update shows the progress on the background, flushing through with the gorgeous pinks of the Ceiba flowers. Im working my way across the top of the painting now, falling into each detail as they come before me. Its wonderful to be working with this subject again after so long.

heidi willis_bird painting_ceiba_watercolour

Work has continued on the background this week, completing the intricate Ceiba flowers and bokeh effects of the sky, tree and flowers drifting together in a beautiful softness. We are left with just the Vinaceous Parrots waiting to emerge, but its time for me to jump on a flight north to teach a new group of students for a week before the start of a new adventure for me, clambering around Mt Everest for a few weeks. Challenge and wonder is found in so many things! I do plan on returning, hence leaving a partially completed painting behind… To leave it undone simply will not do 🙂

My friends say they will come and recover my body in the event of otherwise, and cheers a good red wine to my memory. Dad says hes keeping my paintings. Mum says Im returning and thats simply that. My solicitor says I have papers to sign so get home. My gallery says I have an important exhibition to present, and my kids say ‘but i like your cooking and cuddles!’ so I will be back to settle into my studio and all these demands before you know it I promise.

heidi willis_bird painting_watercolour_ceiba_natural history

Thank you as always, for following along with me on this new painting


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