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In this typical southern wetlands scene, the Florida Woodstork, otherwise known as a Preacher Bird, awaits his flock. This is mostly an imaginary scene but I began it en plein air with the deep background consisting mostly of palm trees on Merritt Island. It even gets a little cold here and since I am a whimp, I continued the painting at my easel inside my home once it became uncomfortably cool. It is an attempt at creating a winter holiday scene in nature in Florida. Of course, we don't have snow here, so I hoped to give the feeling of a church with the canopy of the trees. Since the stork is sometimes called a preacher bird, I thought that I would pose it readying himself for a sermon. His flock, a variety of common water birds, include ibis...both glossy and white, herons and egrets. They are gathering beneath the boughs to hear the sermon.
I experimented with a variety of paints and methods in this painting. I used fibers in much of the spanish moss coated with modeling paste and sometimes dry brushed them. The trees are mostly painted with a knife. I used layers of iridescent and translucent paints to create the depth and shimmer in the water. The foreground leaves and grasses are mostly made using a painting knife. I used toothpicks and tweezers, too. Although, it is an imaginary scene, it is based on the real flora and fauna here in central Florida.
First Place in the 15th Annual Space Coast birding & wildlife Festival 2012, Titusville, Florida.
January 15th, 2012
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