'The Sandhills'

11x14 original oil on hardbord

This is a actually a family group I photographed on UF's beef research pasture.  The non-migratory Sandhill Cranes we have here are usually in pairs or family groups, as these were.  I took the liberty to 'mature' the juvenile who still had a plain gray head, I'm not sure why.  Okay, it was just too much fun to paint those bright red crowns.

If I were one to expound on my painting method this might be a post for it.  I could go on and on about how one as a painter has to make a choice between doing photo realism and doing painterly, impressionistic sort of work.  I could say that if you want your painting to look like a photo then why not buy/frame a photo?  Why even paint it?  Just to get a bit of texture?

The postures I chose were taken from three different photos.  I chose them because I hoped to bring movement, and with luck, some of their grace, to the painting.  The background is meant to be lacking in detail and loose.  There is little mystery in the cranes themselves but there is purposely no feather by feather detail.  Maybe you are familiar with overgrown meadows with the mauve sort of color of the common weed dog-fennel in winter?

This painting is being shown at the Gainesville Fine Arts Association, Central Park Medical Center Show, 'Affairs of the Heart' through early May.

When at the Charleston Southeastern Wildlife Art Exposition (coming up this weekend) a few years ago I was astonished by the prevalence of photo realism.  The most revered wildlife painters painted this way, just very large.  I'm sorry to say that, in my opinion, almost anyone can indeed paint photo realism, it is just a matter of how quickly.  Since then I've seen that wildlife and animal art in general has a bad name among many fine art artist because of the prevalence of photo realism in the field.  Nevertheless, this is a lovely and enjoyable event to attend in charming Charleston.