Thursday, September 6, 2012

Out of the Blue - Red-tailed Hawk

Out of the Blue - Redtailed Hawk (Acrylic)

Wow, I can't believe how fast the summer has gone by! It seems I was just watching the pair of doves raise their family and making sketches of their progress and now birds are already heading south for the winter. Guess I must have been busy and didn't notice the time slipping by.

 It has been a rather jam packed summer that I have spent mostly in my garden picking vegetables and putting them up for later enjoyment. When I had a spare moment and some quiet time I enjoyed the many birds that visited my garden. Hummingbirds, doves, goldfinch and sparrows visited mostly, but lately red winged blackbirds have stopped by to feast on the sunflowers and try to balance on the bird feeders. In between all my canning and freezing I would try to take a few photos or make sketches for future reference. 

Time to paint larger pieces has been at a premium, but I did manage to finish this painting of a Red-tailed hawk which I had started earlier this year. I had taken several photos of this bird last winter catching it just as it was launching itself from it's perch. I loved the action in the photo and wanted to highlight the power and intensity these raptors have when they are focused on capturing their prey. Not wanting to distract from the detail of the hawks gaze or it's sharp claws I tried for a more abstract, fluid background hoping it would amplify the feeling of pursuit. I did this by pouring fluid acrylic paint onto a wet background and tilting it so that the paint would run. Then I completed the hawk, but let parts of it run off the page hoping it would appear to be suddenly flying "out of the blue" in hot pursuit of some unseen prey.

This was a fun piece to do with the paint running everywhere and not knowing exactly how it would finally look, but I'm happy with the final piece. I will be entering it and two other pieces in the Snake River Showcase show at the Valley Art Center in Clarkston, WA. this November. The shows opening reception is Nov. 2nd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will run through the end of November.