More specifically, a greater double-banded sunbird. Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:
The sunbirds (there are many species) are Africa's version of the hummingbirds of the Americas. despite their similar looks, they are not closely related. The sunbirds have a similar lifestyle though, and live on nectar and small insects.
My latest venture in children's books, The Tale of Wally Whale, is finally available! It turned out to be a bit of a battle.
I decided to try out a new format, in which I stretch a single illustration across two facing pages - this is a popular format for children's books. Alas, I simply could not get Amazon's software to accept the paperback version of the manuscript. Either they simply cannot print it that way, or I did something wrong, but even with the friendly help of human operators at Amazon, I could not get the manuscript print-ready; I have no idea what went wrong.
This went on for weeks, and I eventually gave up. Looks like this one will only be available in electronic format!
Feeling sick to his stomach for no good reason, Wally has to travel all the way to the coral reef, to go ask the Sea Wizard for a cure... Ages 5 - 8.
Here in the southern hemisphere, it's that time of year: nights beginning to get a bit crisp, and trees and shrubs giving a glorious technicolor display, free of charge. I have been working on a new storybook though, and thus not much time for painting...
I have been rather busy with bankers and bureaucrats, as well as some non-fine art projects (watch this space!). But finally had time for a quick painting again. This sort of small still life done from the result of a raid on the kitchen remains an old favorite genre of mine.
I rather like the semi-abstract forms that result when you zoom right into things, particularly parts of plants. I just goes to show that there is actually no very clear dividing line between abstraction and representation.
A somewhat experimental piece, perhaps. I have long liked the idea of pictures that zoom right in on a part of a plant, a la Georgia O'Keeffe. Not that I can match her work, but why not give it a try anyway?
The lavender is a bit more purple in the original. It's something I have noticed when photographing paintings: for some reason, the camera does not pick up purple very well, and tends to render it too bluish.
When I was a kid, we did not have TV. We got the weather report on the radio, but through all those lazy summer days, it always seemed to be the same report: "Partly cloudy and mild, with scattered thunderstorms." You can't really go wrong with such a report in summer here.
Over much of South Africa, rain is mostly in the form of summer afternoon storms rolling in from the south. It often creates this rather pleasing effect: you are standing in bright sunlight, but half the sky is already covered in dark, approaching clouds.
Acrylics on Masonite, 37 x 52 cm (= about 14 x 20 inches):
Rather larger than most of what I have done thus far. And thus perhaps a tad awkward; working larger turned out quite different, and will take some getting used to! I may also tweak it a little bit more...
I have rekindled an old interest, namely what one might call "intimate landscape." Instead of grand vistas, I have long enjoyed this sort of more modest scene: a bit of forest or grassland, or a corner of a garden or courtyard. I may just pursue this subject a bit over the coming months, though knowing myself, I'll probably range all over the place again!