Early Winter – Mallard Pair
(scroll down for description)

(Wildlife Habitat Canada Stamp)
9” x 12”, acrylic, 1985
Mallards are perhaps the best-known wild duck in the world. They are very popular with hunters and with artists. When I saw this pair of mallards in the early morning reflected on the shiny surface of new, thin ice, I had a vision of this well-worked subject in perhaps a fresh and exciting way.

I chose to feature the hen bird most prominently in a broadside pose. This is partly because the female usually gets short shrift in appreciation in the bird world, but mainly because her colours and patterns appeal to me. I used back lighting so that the contrasting rust and green colours of the male are more rich and subdued. I was excited by the translucent brilliance of the sun shining through their legs and the light bouncing up off the ice.