Remember “Take Me to the River”? Here it is (below) to remind you.
The Little Pied Cormorant of “La Danse” is the same individual as the one in the drawing “Take Me to the River “. I took the photos for these drawings on 19th September when a misty spring rain was falling. In “Take Me to the River” the view is up-river towards East Fremantle. In “La Danse” we look across the water to the riverbank opposite. This area is part of North Fremantle. It is a bonus when a bird is patient enough to let me get several different views of him in his surroundings.
Little Pied Cormorant is looking straight at us with his wings outstretched to ventilate his feathers. He looks like he is striking a dance pose. Even the trees, in their softness, suggest a stage set painting. The wooden pile is the stage floor. I had been viewing a documentary about the pupils of the Paris Opera Ballet during the period I was working on this drawing. My mind was in ballet mode. What ballet could this be? There’s no swan and there’s no lake…therefore… “Cormorant River”? (Come to think of it, there is a swan involved as this is the Swan River which flows from Perth to the sea at Fremantle.)
I wrote about my new Caran d’Ache wax and oil blender recently. In “La Danse” the whole area behind the bird has been worked over with it. While it makes the layers of colour more opaque, it doesn’t obliterate the white paper underneath. (I like a hint of the paper below the colours to show through. I think of it like breathing space.) The blender knits together and enhances the colour layers without taking away any of the pencils’ subtlety.
While working on the new bird series, I see now that the elegance and intimacy I search for in romantic far away places like Kyoto and Paris are actually right here at home. They’re here and I’m here. What a discovery!
I have made a new “Subject” page. It is called Subject 6: Birds in a landscape. I will keep adding drawings to the page as I complete them. “La Danse” is number 4. Number 5 will be a pied oystercatcher – as long as my current work on the drawing board succeeds.
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