Pelicans take Pride of Place
A Pelican in Pastel
Pelicans are the most majestic and magnificent birds I know.
They have such tremendous presence and stature. Proud and confident, yet at once, gentle and calm.
Happily the Westernport side of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is generously populated with these glorious creatures.
Many times I have watched them gather around the marina at Hastings, feasting on the scraps discarded by the famous Fish Shed, watching them glide effortlessly across the surface of the water before waddling on the sand, as the waves gently lap at the shore.
I must have taken hundreds of photos over the years and I settled on one in particular to produce a painting that I entitled ‘Pride of Place.’
I created much of the painting at an Australia Day festival, where I was housed in a marquee and promoted as an ‘artist at work.’
I set up my easel, attached a large sheet of art paper to a backing board and surrounded myself with trays of pastel sticks, before sketching a charcoal outline of the image I wanted to paint.
Creating a pelican painting proved a wise decision, as families and children were able to recognise the subject as they walked by - many stopping to peer over my shoulder as I constructed the image.
It was quite unnerving at times, laying down the colours and layers of each pastel, as I have never worked in front of an audience before and there were times I felt as though I should be providing some sort of running commentary.
Happily everyone who called by was very polite and respectful and I was treated to any number of compliments as I gradually constructed the image.
The original painting is displayed at a local gallery, while limited edition art prints of the image are available here.