Google+ Followers

Pages

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Looks count!!!



For the next two posts I have painted a set of bright decorative canvasses, of 8x10 of which this painting is the first. With so many shows coming up, I am going to need smaller paintings. But I am also working on a large painting of a gannet colony, so it will be back to normal soon.

Almost everything in the physical appearance of the beautiful gannets have a function! Strange that such lovely birds have these really large chicks with absolutely no facial features besides their loud-loud mouths! Imagine a dark charcoal grey Pacman!

The gannet is brilliant white for the purpose of attracting lots of others when they dive for the fish. From the depths of the ocean, looking up towards the sky, the colour white is not easy to see. So when a lot of these birds hit the ocean, there is great confusion among the fish and they don't have much of a chance!

I could not find a function for the soft yellow heads, maybe it's only for decoration. Now the eyes! A gannet has binocular eyesight. The pale blue eyes are most impressive, and have strong black lines all around, which is naked featherless skin with a cooling function. I have painted so many of these gannets that I see another little bird on each side of the face. Can you see it too? Or is it supposed to mimic the shape of a fish when the gannet dives?

The beak is something to be reckoned with. Liz wrote to me regarding the beaks: "Gannets! I remember washing them during an oil spill! Vicious beaks! " Well done, kind and brave, Liz! Today I also post the photo of the friendly-looking gannet behind the glass of the bird hide, so that you can see the nicks made by these beaks! I love this almost magical photo with the markings and feather-dust and the light filtering through. I took it a few years ago and has been entering it in countless photo competitions but I seem to be the only person liking it!

Down the neck is a gracious black line, and again it is naked skin with a cooling function. The wings of the gannet does not lie flat like in garden birds, but they have thick folds. When the gannet unfolds its wings, the very wide wingspan is a wonder to behold, the width is unexpected. There is a black spot on each wing and the end feathers are black.

Last to inspect is the amazing grey fully webbed feet. Great for standing in the colony, for landing flatly, and can be folded out of the way when flying and diving. In the next post I will discuss their flying in greater detail!

20 comments:

  1. What wonderful detail you've captured in your photos and paintings and described in your stories in your last two posts! Looking forward to more from you about these fascinating birds...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Using non local colors for the background works so well in this painting. It has the effect of focusing on the gannets. Always love your descriptions of life on the west coast. Very interesting.
    Jean

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another lovely painting, Marie. I think the photo is exquisitely beautiful! I thought I was looking at snow flakes so I was glad to know that it was pocked safety glass. Yes, had I thought about it, I'd have realized that snow is unlikely in your neck of the woods...isn't it? Anyway, that is one absolutely gorgeous face! I noticed the blue eye immediately and love that light blue color in the feathers that make up the second bird head you mentioned in the markings. So cool to read of this interesting bird!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Charlene I could not read your graphic novel, need more downloads. Al the best with it as it nears completion!

    Jean, I never worked out the reason I was doing that, but you are right, it does focus the strong features of the gannets.

    Sherry, you have left Facebook. I am sorry to hear of your problems. Did you come upon comments I left for you to request your postal address again? I am glad that you like the photo!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such an amazing painting, you're so talented! This was such an interesting post to read, I learned something new today!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marie, your recent posts contain fascinating information (especially for us who are far away and unfamiliar with your region) as well as lovely paintings. The gannets are amazing--love your representation of them. You are also very talented at painting humble docks and small boats--charming subjects, beautifully done.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LOVE the info on these wondrous birds Marie! As favourites, can't choose between them and the Albatross! Beautiful painting and looking forward to the series!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh wow Marie, these gannets are superb. They are going to make a wonderful series of little paintings. Gannets everywhere!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Marie, great painting. You are so kind and gentle towards nature and animals. Thank you for your beautiful writings of your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Mango Gal, I love it when you visit from "Fashion Country"! I am glad you found my post informative!

    Thank you Maree. Yes, the albatros is a lovely bird, so heavy that I wonder at them being able to fly. Thanks for reading, I learn so much from you too!

    Thanks Liz! Yes I love that wall-to-wall gannet look. That is the way of Cape gannets. I notice in some books that elsewhere they allow have a little more personal space!

    So kind of you to say that, Liana and I love the idea that you are reading the stories too! I was in your blog but battled to comment, will have to try again.

    Mary, you say such kind things. It is so that appreciation of the small things make up our coast.Than k you for such lovely comments!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Marie, I'm still on Facebook (Sherry Sanders Massey), so hope you can find me. I've sent you two emails with my address, using your email address that is in your blogspot profile. Did you get either of them? If not, can you email me and I'll respond via your email? (My blogspot email address is still current.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a fascinating post, Marie!!

    Who knew all of that... Great bird painting too... Almost graphic quality... I like it!!!

    By the way... How DID your grandson end up in Texas???

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sherry, at last I have a connection, thank you!

    Marion, I am glad you like the more ornamental style I have used here.My children are US citizens already and have been in your country for 12 years. My grandson was 2 years old when they moved to Texas. Thank you for your interest!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You've really captured the group with all of their social habits! Wonderful color combination, too, Marie!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very interesting information about this great striking painting. Yes,I can see the other bird...I like the graphic nature of this composition.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you, Linny! I must admit that I spent many hours just looking at them, they are so cute!

    Thank you, Linda! I am glad you see the little bird, I was hoping somebody would! The birds are so graphically designed to put it that way, they lend themselves to all sorts of designs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Marie, you've captured a very distinctive graphic quality in this painting, I look forward to seeing the next!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you, Diane, I painted another one like this, as well as a graphic little boat which I will keep for a future post!

    ReplyDelete
  19. A wonderful piece! Thank you for the additional information you have provided regarding these birds as well!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice painting you blog. I like your blog's content too. Come take a look Teuvo images www.ttvehkalahti.blogspot.com blog and tell your friends Teuvo pictures blog. True to the picturesque autumn for you. Teuvo Vehkalahti Suomi Finland

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments, they make my day!