This small study is my first attempt at depicting a mood around a shallow puddle that I pass each day on my morning walk. A photo of the actual puddle is shown below, with my initial charcoal study and the partially completed painting.
The photo above has a terrible reflective glare in it – the painting looks slightly better.
In the morning when my wife and I walk past this, often there is frost on the ground and some ducks or Pukeko are gathered in the area around the water (it is not big or deep enough to dive in, but I think the marsh area is rich in food for them).
The sharp reflection of the sky in this small patch of water is striking – especially in the early morning with frost on the ground.The two images below show my first concept, which was darker with a more stark value range. The painting turned out too warm and light for my taste, but I will have another go at it soon.
As we pass the ducks and Pukeko in their frosty early morning rituals, I often try to recall a Zen poem about a duck on a frozen pond. This evening I hunted the poem down, it is by the 12th century poet Fujiwara No Teika:
You who fail to think on the transience of things, listen: do you hear, in that far mountain village, a duck cries on the frozen pond?
Thanks to all who have encouraged me in my journey to become a better painter and person. I hope you are happy and content.