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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Gannet Colony

They are up with the first light in the morning and the daily choir of thousands of decibels hit the morning air above Bird Island. I suppose each shouts out his own hunger and intentions for fishing, and with such a crowd, there may also be a lot of admonitions to little ones not to get lost! Speaking of that: it is amazing how the parent gannets land back in their own space after flight and always know their own little black blobs from the surrounding chicks!

With creatures living so close to each other, there is apt to be some tension. Gannets relieve the tension by doing the neck-rubbing ceremony with the birds working on their nerves. It is not a mating ceremony. In this large painting, I have painted this beautiful and graceful movement. Well, here we have a lesson from the gannets: if a guy or lady grabs the parking spot we were already entering (!!!!), maybe we should shake hands or give them a little hug! See? The tension will be gone!

Further in this panorama, you will see the largish chicks, the hesitant flyers and the airborne ones. In the final and 5th post on this theme (which may only appear in ten day's time unless I get an internet connection where I am going), I will post the last of this series on the gannets of Lambert's Bay! The theme will be MAN and his relationship with the threatened birds.


  1. Gentle feeling in this painting...and the color is so beautiful it kind of hurts the heart!!

  2. What lovely stories, Marie. I love the complex thoughts you have conjured up and put in their pretty little yellow heads!

  3. It is wonderful to watch them and you dont how your time passed at the end of the watching session! And what a lesson to learn!
    Beautifully captured.. I think I am hearing their decibels from your painting:-)

  4. This is my favourite Marie! Love those 'necking' gannets! Gosh, you've got them down to a T!

  5. Thank you, Charlene. Did I do that? Ha-ha, we do want to give them human attributes, don't we?

    You are right, Padmaja, I did not feel the time, and thank you very much for being so tuned into the painting!

    Thank you, Liz. I find that "cathedral pattern" of such pairs very pleasant to paint!

    Linda, again and again, you leave these comments that really move me, thank you! I have limited time on the internet, so please forgive me for neglecting my visits to your blog!

    Thank you for the visit and comment, Ken!

  6. Hello Marie. I've been here so long that I almost forgot how amazing affects me, your paintings. It's great again absorb the atmosphere of the place where you live, on your beautiful work and photographs. Thank you for that. Good luck. Sincerely, Jana

  7. I've been out of the studio and out of touch for a bit, and have missed some of these lovely Gannet paintings. I especially like how you have portrayed the activity in this much activity, but it all comes together with the hints of blue everywhere and just the right amount of touches of black.
    You are right, when frustration mounts, we should all behave like Gannets, and the world would be a friendlier place :-)

  8. Thank you for the lovely words, Jana. Forgive my absence from your blog too, as I am travelling and has limited access to the Internet. As I sit here in the lovely city of Pretoria, I am still thinking about the gannets constantly.

    Catherine, thank you for analyzing the composition. I love unity in a painting with all the parts related. Therefore I believe in a very controlled palette of colours. Yes, lessons from Nature - how well they cope with limited living space!

  9. Amazing work Marie! I appreciate the additional details you have provided as well!

  10. Love your gannet painting, Marie! Your commentary on these birds is absolutely fascinating!
    Wish I were there.

  11. thank you, Ken! It is nice to be working side by side on RedBubble too!

    Thanks Dean, I know you love Nature and if you ever visit the West Coast of South Africa, we will surely take you to Bird Island!

  12. Hi Marie, I've been busy and missed some of these gannets! What a great series, am really enjoying your photos, stories and paintings of these amazing birds. Bird island sounds like a fantastic place to visit.

  13. i like this one in the bird series.


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