Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009

Simply gorgeous today! Mid day was a bit bright when I painted the Hay Wagon making the depth of field available slight. Other than that, I’m not saying much more about it. I think that the paintings will show just how much I loved the color of this time of year and today. The next few days are supposed to be better...

Here's a sure sign of spring... a bunch of male hooded mergansers chasing one happless female hoodie.

“Overlooking Behning Creek Valley” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a location in Wisconsin that is definitely hard to find. One day I did and set a waypoint on my GPS as a painting location. Good thing because it’s a beautiful valley and the creek is a trout stream. Better start tying flies. I had an amazing run in with two absolutely stunning critters while painting. I heard a deep throated ‘cre-uck, cre-uck...’ (my impression), looked to my left and saw a beautiful male goshawk about 5 feet above my head and felt the breeze as he whizzed over my now ‘ducking’ head. I followed him in amazement as he zipped into the heavy pines (on the right in the painting), zig-zagging to avoid hitting branches. Almost immediately following that, a female did exactly the same thing! They froliced, chased each other all over in the pines, swatting branches with their wings but like magicians, avoiding a collision with major limbs. I love hawks and have never had that happen with a pair of wild goshawks. Outside of a peregrine or gyrfalcon, this is the most amazing bird on wing.

“Balsam Branch Pond In Spring” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is the mill pond for the Kennedy Mill, now a park with trails and a prairie hike. I come here often as it’s only about 20 minutes from my house and has a good mix of both hardwood and northern evergreen forests. The pond is fed by the Balsam Branch Creek.

“Hey... A... Wagon!” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
If you squint it’ll remind you of a covered ‘Radio Flyer Wagon’ with sideboards! As I mentioned the light was blindingly flat at mid day. But it was a surprise to see it parked in an offroad place to paint, so I did.

“Backlit Bugs” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The bugs are those little specks, finely painted with a #6 filbert and palette knife... no kidding! You’d be tempted to get out a 0000...00...000000 pointed round. That would be a ‘half a hair’ brush. This location made for a glorious finish to the day. Not only was I forced to realize that, ‘yes’, BUGS are about to be exchanged for snow and ice as one of the great pleasures of being an outdoor painter, but the spring peepers were so loud at this pond that I could barely hear my self saying bad things at bad paint strokes. Love the frogs in spring!


Erik van Elven said...

Haha, I'm imagining you standing there talking to yourself: "Bad, bad stroke! You behave now you hear?"
Great paintings again, I love the variety in all these April paintings while every single one of them still has your signature style.
Goshawks are awesome, I painted one last year. They have such a striking expression.
Good to hear the weather is working with you.

Magie Kruger said...

GREAT bugs!

collectionoftheartist said...

How does an interested buyer know which of the 5x7 marathon paintings have been sold.

Erik van Elven said...

Hi Elizabeth, you can look here.

Unknown said...

I love the contrast between the background and foreground on the last one.

Marian Fortunati said...

Beautifu day... beautiful paintings!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Erik you do nice work with the wildlife, very nice! That used to me my focus too. Weather's getting better.

Thanks Magie. Darn bugs!

Elizabeth, sorry... Erik, thank you.

Thanks Jeremy. Nothing quite like a good backlit situation. The strong darks of the spruce forest lining the edge of the pone, the light warm color of the grasses... priceless.

Thank you Marian. Was a nice one.

niles said...

Goshawks are beautiful and fascinating birds. I've had some close encounters with them as well, both in the wild and in the hands of friends who are falconers.

If you ever get a chance to watch white-throated swifts in flight, I think you would get a kick out of it. They often make close passes by the rock climbers in Yosemite Valley, and they remain in the air for hours on end. They tend to circle around the same areas, hunting for insects and playing or reveling in their speed and mastery of the air -- so you can watch and enjoy them for long periods of time.

Solvay said...

backlit bugs - another fave!

the mergansers - that's a photo, right?

Russian Art Dealer said...

Wonderful work. Contac me to show your portfolio.