Flightless

Often the only time that I have for painting is on Fridays.  When it’s time to put the brush down, it can be hard to set it aside.  I have 4 or 5 hours for some good tunes from my headphones, some creative chit-chat with my studio mates, and a chance for the things in my head to come to life on canvas.

Today, I’m presenting you with my first  finished work of 2012.  It’s a bit of a self-portrait, inspired by a friend’s vacation photo of a flightless cormorant.  If you are not familiar with them, flightless cormorants live solely on the Galápagos Islands.  Their wings are too sparse, and their bodies too heavy, to fly away.

Here is my underpainting:

Heather Carr painting

This is the work in progress:

Heather Carr paintingAnd, finally, the finished piece. Flightless, by Heather Carr

Heather Carr painting

12 thoughts on “Flightless

  1. This is beautiful, Heather! In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I didn’t actually take the picture. We had Ecuadorian naturalists that were our guides on each island, and the picture was one of theirs. We wanted to have a picture of each animal we saw, but didn’t get close enough to take a good one of the cormorants without a zoom lens. They are one of the more rare animals in the Galapagos, and we only saw them on one island, Fernandina.

  2. I like this – really like the under painting stage! You don’t seem to be afraid to throw paint around. What size is this? Never heard of flightless cormorants before – evolution never ceases to amaze. Keep painting and posting!

    • Thanks! I love creating a really rich background, even if it ends up mostly covered in the end. The painting is 2 ft x 3ft. The flightless cormorants are really interesting birds with unusual behaviors. I just learned that the female cormorants leave their babies with their fathers, and go out in search of a new mate. The males then take up the job of raising the baby birds. It’s kind of hard to see in the photo, but In my painting there are two little birds crying up at the large bird. I’m thrilled that it ties in with the nature of the cormorant. A happy accident!

  3. Thank you for this. It was very interesting and inspiring to see how you built up the background – even though most of it isn’t clearly visible in the final painting. I love the hints of things that remain under the surface. I can’t wait to get home and let loose in my own studio.

    • You’re welcome! I love having layers and allowing paint to be bumpy and textured. I like that the layers allow me to be free in the beginning and not so afraid of that blank canvas. It gives me lots of possibilities and choices later in the process.

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