For this week's challenge I knew the entire time that I wanted to paint a Mallard duck but was avoiding actually doing it because I have a friend who carves birds and knew I couldn't give it that kind of justice. I prepped the canvas, texturing and laying in a background colour. I researched images and meanings. And I was really happy that I was really, really busy with ARTember in Airdrie so I had an excuse to avoid it. But I finally had to get to work...deadlines, you know...and am pleased with the results. I like the shape and colour of his head, the loose brushwork of his feathers, and the glint in his eye.
When we used to live in Nose Creek Park, backing onto the creek, we would watch the ducks travel by every day until one day a gaggle of ducklings wandered up our neighbor's driveway. He is such a kind man, a grandfather figure to our children, and gathered those babies to bring them back to the creek to connect them with their mother (which he did) but first he stopped at our door to share them with my girls. They were so cute and so soft and my young daughters were thrilled.
As a totem animal duck symbolizes emotional comfort and protection. Their connection to water and to one another reminds us to connect to ourselves and the environment and people around us. In their element they are graceful travellers. Also, the colour green symbolizes nature, growth, balance and fresh ideas which is really how I have to remember to look at this body of work. It's all about growth.
AIRdirondack Art Project