Heading North (30 by 40" oil on canvas)
This painting is another painting inspired by southern Alberta. I was on a trip to Lethbridge, AB to visit some old college friends and was out looking for pronghorn one afternoon when a friend and I came across this pond. It was still frozen in parts since it was early spring but the amount and variety of waterfowl in this specific pond was incredible. I tried to show some of this diversity by painting more than one species like I usually paint or draw. In this painting there are Tundra swans, Canada geese, lesser Snow geese, Greater white-fronted geese, and a mallard. The gracefulness of the Tundra swans, the Canada geese and the tens of Snow geese lingering mysteriously in the background caught my attention immediately. I knew I had to paint this place, and this time. I wanted to let the viewer know that this was early spring and not late fall. Early spring is the start of the mating season for most waterfowl. In this painting the Tundra swans are starting to compete for mates even though they are still a long ways from their breeding grounds. The Canada goose honking in the foreground protecting his mate is competing for dominance with other males in the area. There is even competition going on between the subjects in this painting, competition for the main subject matter. Competition going on all around in this painting, and I love it! The title from this painting "Heading North" comes from the direction all of these birds are likely heading. All of these birds are returning from their wintering grounds and heading north to their breeding grounds. Even though Mallards and Canada geese do nest in southern Alberta, I'm sure the ones in this painting will be going a little further north.