The Vanishing Act


I’m trying out something new with this piece- putting drawings onto gesso-prepared board and partially rendering them, so that they appear to be emerging from the background like a photo print in a tank of developer. Or possibly, disappearing. Which one is it? Depends on your point of view.

The drawing here came from a recent trip to Australia where I filled a sketchbook with weird and wonderful Aussie birds. I was charmed by many of them, including the Laughing Kookaburra, which is not a particularly shy bird but is usually high up in a gum-tree-top where it’s a little hard to observe. You are guided by the laughter, a hilarious cackling sound, and since they are somewhat colonial, you’ll almost always have a gregarious and humorous bunch to hang out with. Wish I knew the language, since their jokes must be flat-out funny.

This particular Kookaburra was perched head-high in the open at a picnic area in a city park in Cairns. It sat quietly while I sat on the grass and drew it for nearly two hours. My only other company was a man who was eating his lunch at a nearby picnic table and who every so often would make a cheery comment in that wonderful OZ accent. And every so often the Kookaburra would raise its head and chortle.

This is just a study for a larger painting. It measures 10×12 inches on 1/4 hardboard in acrylic. Oh, it’s not done yet, but I’ll post it when it is.

And today I was profiled by Bill of the Birds, who is more than generous with his kind words. Thanks, Bill!

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