elegant terns… oil paintings in progress

elegant terns dancing
elegant terns dancing
elegant terns in repose
elegant terns in repose

I have recently started what will likely be a series of paintings of birds – especially shore birds. I love the way they tie sky and water together – and I want to spend some time experimenting with painting water. It is a challenge so far but will improve I trust.

Why the yellow sky? I was inspired by some traditional Japanese screen paintings which use a lot of gold leaf and also the interesting use of colour by more recent artists such as the Fauvists. It is a way of giving myself freedom to play by not being too realistic from the start.

Elegant terns make a great subject because they appear to have so much personality and are particularly dynamic in their movements.

The two above paintings are in different states of completion. The top one has been worked on for three sessions and should be finished the next time I can work on it. The lower one has just been worked on for one session so far. I quite like the soft feeling but at the same time, want to increase the contrast by strengthening the black and white. I will post them again when they are finished if I like how they turn out.

My four year blogiversary was two days ago – it’s been  an interesting process to track my own progress  – and I am still enjoying it!

oil paintings 12″x 12″ (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer


4 thoughts on “elegant terns… oil paintings in progress

  1. Happy Blogiversary!!! It’s very interesting to re-read your blog starting from the earliest posts. So many different styles and ideas have been explored. Remember the cat’s haikus? and Chang’e? And the random faces? There is quite a lot in there!

  2. I’m torn between seeing the yellow as a sandy beach vs a typical southern California sky!

    Good job on the blogiversary! I remember when you said that getting past 30 posts was the critical point for most blogs… you’ve left that landmark a long way behind!

    1. I somehow don’t see the yellow as a literal reality… more an alternate one perhaps.
      Yes, quite a few more than thirty… I have made 262 posts! (I’ve slowed down lately.)

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