Our world would be a much poorer place without the existence of birds. Their environmental implications and contributions are without measure, besides their unique design characteristics, beauty and charismatic nature. For an artist, this is always inspiring and challenging to convey.
The design quality of the scene is what first attracted me to paint this piece. The way the birds mirror each other as they perch on a branch or root protruding from the river bank and the negative shadows cast on the evenly textured bank, acts as a perfect backdrop or curtain. The white-fronted bee-eaters form a complex social structure as they group and assist one another, particular in the breeding period. They are very animated creatures, made even more interesting by the theatrical costumes they seem to wear, the red throat and black mask across their eyes.
I think the title, “Riverbank Real Estate,” is apt because, at times, up to 200 birds seek out the same riverbank and all build and burrow together, as though the bank were prime property.
Description: White fronted bee eaters.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 35cm x 53cm
2014 Exhibited with, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s Bird’s in Art exhibit, Wisconsin, USA.
Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, Texas
5 December 2014 – 15 February 2015
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
4 April – 24 May 2015
The Wilding Museum, Solvang, California
13 June – 10 August 2015
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
1 September – 23 October 2015
Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
22 November 2015 – 7 February 2016