Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Flight Path in progress
I'm about a third into this painting of a puffin coming in for landing. I was of two minds about showing it at this stage, as it really is the ugly duckling stage, with colours blocked in and nothing refined. However, people keep telling me that they like to see how a piece progresses and the stages that it passes through to reach the swan stage, so here it is, raw and uncensored on the easel.
It does make me a cringe a little to see it at this unfinished stage and I know this stage is often the undoing of less experienced artists who see the raw state and can't push it aside to see the finished piece in their head. Or who get bored once the initial blocks of colour are in and the detail work and colour choices become more important. However, we've all been there too and know the only way to the other side is through the dark tunnel.
Puffins, while so cute, are not graceful birds. They beat their little wings frantically trying to stay up in the air and landings are a lot less elegant. They're known locally as 'sea potatoes', their round little oblong bodies and stocky frame making it always a wonder they can fly at all. When I go on whale watching tours, the boats go to the breeding grounds of the puffins and you can see them in their hundreds on the sea and on the island that is littered with the burrows they nest in.
This little fellow is on the flight path, wheels down, ready to hit land or water. I like the awkwardness of the moment and the glow of colour in the feet against the sky. This is in oil on 24 x 30" gallery canvas.