Sunday, May 15, 2022

OSPREY AT DAWN

 



During most of our stay near the harbor, I would wake early and go down to the nearby boat dock both to see what was about and also to greet the new day. One morning just as dawn arrived, an Osprey flew past with a medium-sized fish in its talons. The image stayed with me so recently I did this small painting and tried to capture that encounter.




When I had finished the Osprey watercolor, I did this drawing of another Osprey carrying nesting material remembering a bird I saw in southern Virginia. It had calmly swooped down and scooped up a talon-full of dried grass that had washed up on the shoreline totally ignoring the sunbathers and beach walkers that were all about! Both these works are sized about 12 x 9 inches.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

OLD PLOUGH

 



During my walks around the countryside and parks, I often come across all kinds of unusual things -  these two old ploughs being some of my more interesting finds. I did these two studies one after the other finding wonderful textures and trying to capture the different structures of each one.




I have no idea of the age of these but am thankful to whoever had kept them in their collection. Both paintings done in my sketchbook, each about 6 x 9 inches.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

COMMON TERN

 



Terns in their breeding plumage are looking spectacular at this time of the year in their grey and white tones with black caps and bright beaks. I have wanted to do this painting for some time and finally finished it a few days ago. Size is 12 x 9 inches, watercolor on Grumbacher paper.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

HEAVY SURF

 


I like to walk the beaches after a heavy storm. All kinds of things are washed up on the shore and the wind is usually still strong and blustery. I love these bracing conditions with the pounding surf  and atmospheric skies. The waves can be incredible and this is what I tried to capture in the small watercolor shown here. Size is 11 x 7.5 inches.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

LANNER FALCON

 



I have been working on this Lanner Falcon study from a bird I saw in South Africa. It has taken some time to get the painting to this stage and I'm hoping one more session will see it finished. Watercolor on Canson Matboard. Size is about 9 x 7 inches.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

HEERMANN'S GULL, FIRST RECORD FOR MARYLAND!

 


On March 31st, I was looking out of my studio window when I saw a dark bird in flight with about 15 or so Ring-billed Gulls. It was quite far away on the other side of the harbor - through my binoculars, I watched it for about a min until it disappeared. The next day, we crossed the harbor on the ferry and I again saw the bird hanging around Pier 5. After returning with all my gear a bit later, I re-found the bird nearby at around 2:00pm. I made sure I took plenty of notes then some field sketches were done and many photos taken. On returning home, I confirmed the bird was a young Heermann's Gull. This bird is usually found along the pacific coast. While there is some debate as to it's actual age, I initially thought it was a first winter/summer bird but it may be a 2nd winter as some adult inner secondaries are coming through. Anyway, I contacted the secretary of the Maryland Ornithological Society and the word was put out. Fortunately the bird was not hard to find and many observers saw it on the 31st and also over the weekend. This will be the first accepted record for the state of Maryland.

I did the head study shown above shortly after discovering the bird - watercolor on Grumbacher paper, size is about 5 x 7 inches.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

CANADA GEESE STUDIES

 


A short time ago, I came across a flock of Canada Geese feeding next to the path so settled down nearby. Soon some of them came so close I could actually reach out and touch them. I was able to get extraordinary views of these birds and spent some time sketching and drawing different individuals. Being in full sun, I was most interested in the effects of light and shadow, and how the highlights showed on their heads. Relying mostly on my sketches and studies, I completed this sheet when I got back home - I'll probably do more when I get the chance. Size is 12 x 9 inches, watercolor on Grumbacher paper.