The Eagle (910mm x 760mm Acrylic on canvas)
The Eagle by Lord Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls.
Following on from the standard practice in Turner’s day of linking a piece of prose to an artwork, I have included Tennyson’s much quoted poem.
The response to the 52 Artworks Blog and Africa Geographic Facebook page have been wonderful, and make this all feel like a shared journey. It does of course raise the bar for me as an artist, not a bad thing as it orientates me to stay focused and not compromise on my work in any way. This has also shown me that people are interested in the art and creative process, subjects that I will include in future postings.
But to start, my answer to the question of how one goes about painting a genet or an eagle is…carefully. Both of these works required a healthy combination of patience and perseverance as the flight feathers or coat markings needed a lot of work. And it is here that the underlying conviction comes in, for it is not possible to dedicate the level of perseverance needed unless you are emotionally driven and connected to the subject. I have found that, as a wildlife artist, it is the emotional response to a scene or subject that makes me stop and take notice, it is not in the eye but in the heart that I listen for a resonance which carries me, starting from the original sighting or idea, right through the often difficult creative process till the work is complete. It is this sense of connectedness and awe for our natural world which makes my work possible.
Noel Ashton’s Wildlife Studio – www.noelashton.com
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