Thursday, April 8, 2010

Great Egret: A Wildlife Painting

                    Great Egret on Kalamazoo River
10" x 8" (25.4cm x 20.3cm) acrylic on hand primed board $325
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Back on the Falling Water Trail biking again, I spotted a Great Egret on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Michigan is only the summer range for Egrets so I was surprised to see this one so early. Since it was about 200 yards away, my first thought was just another mute swan until I looked through my camera’s telephoto lens. I haven’t seen him again so maybe he was just passing through.

The morning light gave modeling to the body so I could really see the detail of the birds form. I hope I’ve captured that so you will be able to enjoy the unusual colors brought out by the early morning sunlight. Even the color of the beak was enhanced by the sun shining through to give it a transparency and a vivid orange/yellow color against cool tones of the water behind. This was one of those rare sightings that demanded some study of the light and form to get it right. Sighting this bird was almost a mystical experience that gave me the feeling of almost meeting a being out of history or another dimension.

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