Where the Great Heron Feeds

This old watercolour is an invented landscape, although the concept of a foreground in shadow with a warm middle-to-far ground in sunlight is often found in the paintings of some old masters in the California school, and also in contemporary masters, like the beautiful paintings of Peter Fiore.

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Invented Landscape (Watercolour, approximately 40 x 28 cm, 2006)

This painting is from a time when I started to become a bit less anxious about my watercolour pictures. As you can see in the detailed close-ups below, I applied washes quite freely and did not feel each edge should be blended and realistic.

You can see this especially in the edges of the various washes applied to the cloud areas. This is probably not in everyone’s taste, but to me it gives the painting a somewhat abstract and painterly look that I now like much more than pure realism.

The composition is a bit awkward perhaps, with that centrally placed tree and the convergence down the centre. But scenes like these hold a special sentimental value to me – as a child I spent countless happy days in a marsh-land with huge Eucalyptus trees similar to the centrally placed tree here. I cannot escape the attraction of images like these and I keep predictively returning to them week after week. I think if I get back to my studio I am going to try an oil painting version of this.

Thanks to all followers and to all likes and comments. It is always much appreciated!

I will leave you with a poem from Wendell Berry. Let’s try and help each other and the earth today in some small way?

Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

6 thoughts on “Where the Great Heron Feeds

  1. I like the shadowed foreground with sunlight in the background. Actually, I like everything about the painting. It has a unique quality to it that I find very appealing. I especially like the colors mingling in the marshy grasses. Thanks for sharing the painting, the poem, and the link to Peter Fiore’s work. All three are inspiring.


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