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#19 Preening Dove

Preening Dove (760mm x 610mm acrylic on canvas)

Apart from the pure joy and challenge of the creative process, one of the environmental aims of my art is to make the unseen visible, to bring back into focus and bear witness to many of the lives which share our world but go unseen in our hurried rush towards the perception of a better tomorrow, and in amongst the pressures of modern life, the forgetting to take a moment to enjoy the fullness of the present.

Much has been written about the loss of wildlife and the natural environment, and although this is tragically true, I often wonder how much of this loss is due to our inability to see the extraordinary life which is still around us, including the many species which share our lives on a daily basis. For to encounter these we do not have to look far, a laughing dove preening in the morning sun, a magnificent cascade of ericas or aloes, the breath of the wind or the soothing gentleness of the rain, all vital threads within the web of life into which our lives are inextricably woven.

This week’s painting is similar in style to # 8, The White-eye, encompassing a mingling of the technical characteristics of both acrylic and watercolour. The background was painted using the traditional watercolour practice of thin washes enabling the light of the canvas to shine through, whilst the dove is very much an acrylic process of body colours and glazes.

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