Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Purple Martin Studies

Watching martins fly in and out of their colony, listening to their continuous vocals and becoming familiar with their social interactions were all part of the fun of getting to know this species.  It wasn't that I had never seen a martin before, but that I knew little about them and had never had the opportunity to observe them in detail.
I also had a challenge, a request to paint a martin flying into the colony with a dragonfly in its mouth.  I  immediately wondered--how am I going to do that?  Fast flying birds are not easy to photograph nor capture in a sketch, and capturing one with an insect in its mouth seemed unlikely.
Persistence paid off.  I paid the colony a number of visits, captured more than I ever expected to with both my camera and my mind, and actually did capture a photo of a female martin flying in with a huge dragonfly.  It wasn't that I needed to photograph the image I would create, but that I wanted to study the wing shapes and movements, and get a good feel for the martin's overall personality.  These details and a real sense of the characteristics of the bird give me inspiration and add life to what I'm painting.

Next:  The painting!

Links and Resources:
To see more about my preparation for painting martins visit:  The Studies Before the Painting.
Great information about purple martins can be found at the Purple Martin Conservation Association website.

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Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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