Monday, October 19, 2009

New WIP - Osprey Oil Painting

Well, here is finally an image of what I've been working on these days, an osprey with his catch in oil. This is the largest painting I've ever worked on at 16 x 36. I observed this osprey back in the spring at the Blackwater NWR in Maryland. This male was part of a pair that was nesting on the refuge. I watched him diligently bring fish to his mate. This time, he was saving this one for himself. I photographed him after tearing the head off the fish and flying in to land on the old stump sticking out of the water; a nice spot to eat his fish.

Don't be alarmed by the red...it is just primer. I've experimented from time to time with red primer after a workshop I took many years ago with then local artist Caroline Jasper. I believe she has since moved to Florida. She always starts her paintings with bright red canvas. The red underneath makes the colors seem more vibrant and creates neat visual effects when some of the red is left to peek through. I thought the red underpainting may work well for this piece, since I want this piece to be warm and vibrant.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October visit to Blackwater NWR & Chincoteague NWR (cont.)

From Blackwater, we traveled an hour and a half to Chincoteague NWR. The weather turned much cooler with the rain on the way, but we warmed up riding our bikes around. We saw many birds here as well. The snow geese were just starting to arrive. Here's just a few images from my 2 days spent at Chincoteague:

A juvenile black-crowned night heron.

The endangered Delmarva fox squirrel.

The tiny Sika deer.

Great Egret hunting.

The famous Chincoteague ponies that run wild on the island.

Evening on the refuge; the Assateague Lighthouse is in the distance.

October visit to Blackwater NWR & Chincoteague NWR

Earlier this week, I visited a couple of my favorite local birding spots - Blackwater NWR in Cambridge, MD and Chincoteague NWR in VA. Depending on what season you visit, one can see many different species of birds nesting, migrating through, or wintering over. My husband and I had planned on taking our kayaks with us to paddle Blackwater's trails, but with rain looming in the forecast, we just opted to take our bikes instead which proved to be a great way of touring the refuges and observing the wildlife. At Blackwater, the marsh was in bloom, painted and red-bellied turtles were basking, and bald eagles were abundant everywhere on the marsh. Here's just a few photos (of many) I took of the eagles:

A favorite snag overlooking the marsh.


A bald eagle flying off with his catch.

A beautiful banded garden spider on one of the bird boxes.

Biking around Blackwater.