It’s almost like a stain-glassed window as the light filters through spring leaves. I have been watching this for many seasons and have had the idea on my easel for many years now.
I was interested in the richness of fading afternoon sun. I love the shadows of blues and greens reflecting a coolness in the midst of an ending day. This is the third in an upcoming series of paintings coming off the easel. Stay tuned.
I finally got a chance to paint. It was a stormy afternoon as you can see from the remnants of a swollen stream in the distance.
I got more information and sketched more on a trip to Hagerman where there are always hawks patrolling each fence row. There are a lot of red tailed hawks and I consider them the watchmen of the meadows and fields.
Oil on Canvas 2018 ArtbyGordon
This painting was inspired by a ride in East Texas. I liked the grouping
of the drakes and the females looking on. It was a quick snapshot that turned into a long process of capturing a cool autumn day.
Since I started the painting, there have been many starts and stops. I have also had several times studying mallards at a local park to get the personality and eyes right on the males.
I aim to capture that relationship between characters in nature. When I go and study the ducks, they always know I’m there, they just keep their comfortable distance.
I was also aiming for the dark colors of autumn but the warmth of light on the reeds and the shiny green heads of the males. This is the first in the series, tomorrow I will have another I just finished: A hawk from a fence near Hagerman Wildlife Refuge.
Every visit to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas, Texas is a chance to learn more about raptors and the Blackland Prairie. What always strikes me is the fact that young children already know about terms like diurnal and nocturnal and are interested in learning more about the birds.
It makes me hopeful for the future that the youth is already interested and engaged in wildlife preservation. Families walk the prairie with naturalists and are taught the significance of the Blackland Prairie and why it needs to be preserved.
You learn about each bird and their stories and you see how each has their own personality. Today was a particularly beautiful sunny spring day and I can’t think of a better place to spend an afternoon.
If you get a chance, you need to visit on the first Saturday of each month and if you can volunteer, I’m sure they could use an extra set of hands.
Unfortunately a common theme is human imprinting. People mean well but most don’t know how to take care of wildlife and usually the consequences are not good for the bird.
Remnants of summer’s gardens; sharp gnarled teeth of devils’ walking stick, shriveled up stems and seeds of sunflowers waiting for spring.
I found them at the weathered gate, rich green algae on an old broken down fence. These are all whispers of a summer past and I realize the gardener is only an introduction of seed to soil, the wind and rain are the catalysts, each bird a possible carrier of a new seed and every weed a new battle for supremacy.
You can learn much about life from a garden.
A sunset on Mount Scott as I rushed to capture the last bit of light.
The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is an amazing prairie with sweeping buttes, free range longhorns and bison and many small brilliant blue lakes.
I can’t say enough about the feeling of being away from everything. There are prairie dogs in open fields and meadowlarks in bright yellow flocks rising and falling in rich brown fields of native grasses.
I would also recommend the blue hole for a rugged hike surrounded by waterfalls and deep gorges. There is a holy city and a great network of trails that go all through the park.
For another story from a recent trip. Please see Wichita: Two Views of Mount Scott
My next trip will be in the Spring.
Images are available on Fine Art America. Working on adding to a large inventory of abstract nature images that will be available soon.
I have wonderful memories of zoos growing up. My dad had a passion for travel and zoos were one our families’ favorite destinations. My brother and I have since carried on that passion
for travel with our families.
Caverns, aquariums and zoos are some of our favorite places for my son and I to explore and we have magnets to remember each one.
We have been to the Dallas zoo many times but it’s a different experience when you go alone. Even as my son got older, he would have specific animals he was interested in, usually he would antagonize the monkeys.
The experience was usually fast-paced but today I went alone. Even though I missed his company, it was a unique feeling being alone.
I spent the first thirty minutes watching the gorillas. I talked to the zookeeper and learned about each gorilla by name and she told me about the chimps.
When you’re alone you get to stop, you have no agenda, only getting photographs of specific animals. I was able to enjoy each animal in a relax unhurried pace.
I spent much time in the reptile house and because it was during
the week, it was uncrowded. I got to listen to the zoo keepers information about the elephants and I I learned not just more about each animal but about the zoo and what they were doing to protect certain species.
There are so many more zoos I need to visit, across the country
and across the sea, so many more animals to enjoy. It is the child in me that loves to see animals and though I would prefer to see them in their natural habitat, I am glad zoos are a beacon for society to see that these amazing animals are worth saving.
These are portraits from the animals at the Dallas Zoo. I hope you enjoy and will seek out a zoo near you.