Coming Home, Cockatoos and King Parrots.
We’ve moved back home! After four years of living in Sydney, Dom and I have come back to our house in the country. I am amazed I lasted that long in the city. I missed this place so much. I missed the peace and quite, I missed the trees and I really missed the birds. Dom got a job in Sydney and we relocated temporarily. My older son stayed at home and looked after the place. In Sydney we were in a tiny two bedroom unit in an apartment block surrounded by other apartment blocks. Here in the country, our home is built on 25 acres (about 10 hectares) and we are surrounded by state forest.
The bird life here is amazing. We have so many birds that have made their homes in our garden. Close to the house there are Butcher birds, Rainbow Lorikeets, Eastern Rosellas, Blue Faced Honeyeaters, Noisy Miners, Magpies, Satin Bower Birds and Crested Pigeons. Down the back, closer to the forest, there are Superb Fairy Wrens, Red Backed Fairy Wrens, Eastern Yellow Robins, Golden Whistlers, Green Catbirds and Fantails and they’re just the birds that I’ve seen. Visiting on a daily basis we have Galahs, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos, Corellas, Kookaburras and of course the beautiful King Parrots.
All of these birds are starting to feature in my paintings because I spend a lot of time in the garden with my camera. I’ve got a really big zoom lens. It’s a 600mm lens and I have to attach the camera to a monopod in order to use the lens. It’s too large to hand hold and take photos. The camera (attached to the monopod) is always in grabbing distance from the back deck so I can grab it quickly whenever I see a bird I want to photograph. For example, when I was writing this blog post I heard a White Cockatoo calling, so I ran downstairs and picked up the camera and there he was sitting on my potted Gerbera.
The King Parrots visit regularly even though the Lorikeets tend to boss them around. They particularly like feeding on the seed pods of our Evergreen Ash trees. I enjoy watching them from the deck as I sit in my hanging egg chair. If you don’t have a hanging egg chair you must get one! I’ve been known to go missing at night time now and then. You’ll find me wrapped in a blankie sitting in my egg chair while I listen to the rain on the verandah roof.
Now that I’m in my 50’s I find I’m more aware of my age and I know that the clock is ticking and ticking fast. How did I get here so quickly? It just feels like the other day I was a mum to three little kids. My kids have all grown up now and I’m waiting patiently for some grand children to arrive……….drumming my fingers here.
More and more I’m wanting my paintings to be a reflection of my life. I guess the subjects I paint are documenting parts of my life in a way. It probably sounds a bit morbid but long after I’m gone I want my paintings to be a reminder of the life that I led. I want my paintings to make people smile and I want people to remember that beauty is all around us. You just have to take the time to look.
So, with that in mind, I started painting my first ever King Parrot painting this week. I took two different photos and combined them into one painting. This is the start of the female below.
Below is a video of my progress so far.
……and below is the finished painting.