- Trumpeter Swans & Aspen
- (scroll down for description)
- 29 x 39, acrylic
The trumpeter swan is the largest of our native swans. It is a bird of beautiful country in the west, and a bird which was brought to the brink of extinction. In fact, I did this painting for an endangered species exhibition in 1975. Since that time its recovery has been remarkable. It is one of the good news stories resulting from the efforts of environmentalists, conservationists and the general public in recent years. It is not all 'doom and gloom'. There are some positive trends, which encourage us to greater efforts on the other main tough problems facing our wildlife and environment.
In this painting, I included one of my favourite trees, the aspen. Because of their soft wood, older aspens often lose branches in storms giving the trees an oriental, bonsai look. I followed up with the theme of the Japanese screen by treating the whole picture in a flat, delicate manner. One of the characteristics of traditional Japanese art is the use of empty, negative space. To achieve this effect without sacrificing realism, I used a fairly high vantage point looking down on calm water. I used a gentle yellow-green and olive colour harmony to contribute to the tranquility of the scene.