Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Plight of the Kakapo

The 2nd in the series of 4 bird paintings I am working on.

The Kakapo is a New Zealand native bird that is struggling against the threat of extinction. They are a nocturnal bird who are not prolific breeders, and remaining numbers are small.

In this painting I have tried to set the bird in his natural environment at night time but stepping out of the dark to be lit by a lamp commonly found in NZ homes. He is stepping into the limelight so that we can know him and fight for his survival. 

I see the male Kakapo as an old man who wanders the forest floor; a dear old gentleman who is unable to defend himself from predators.

Kakapo Stepping Into The Light
Acrylic on Canvas
15cm W x 20cm H

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Flight of the Rifleman

I adore native birds and we have so many stunning ones in Aotearoa. 

I've started a series of quirky paintings where the birds feature with props or settings that tell the viewer something about their habits/personality or history.

This is the first of the series = The Rifleman.  Others I am working on are the Whio, the Kakapo, and the Yellow-eyed Penguin.

It is thought that the name 'Rifleman' came from the similarity between the green of the birds plumage and the uniforms of the rifle regiments from the colonial era. 

The Rifleman is carrying a Lee Enfield rifle which was used in New Zealand in the Land Wars/Musket Wars against the Maori people. Here I have put a native bird of New Zealand armed with a rifle flying high above the land. Maori eventually came to own these rifles to defend their position on their land.

Acrylic On Canvas
20cm W x 15cm H