Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Free Gift: an American Avocet Art Print


Above is the link to a free giveaway, which is an 11x8" watercolor print of a shorebird in a cattail marsh. The title of the print and original work is 'Adult Avocet in the Secrecy of Rain'.
The team of Minnesota-based artisans on Etsy, Handmade in MN, has free giveaways of two weeks' length, each giveaway featuring some work by a different member. Viewers are invited to enter a request for the free item by clicking on the link (above) to the team blog.

The original 12 x9" painting that this print is made from was created in 2001, mainly in the suburban area north of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and in Lac Qui Parle County over in Minnesota's southwestern region. When I started the work I was remembering my first-ever avocet, a wading bird with an upward-curving bill, which I had seen along a creek bank in North Dakota in late May when my child was about seven years old and hiking the prairie with me. In coloration and markings the avocet was a book picture come to life, instantly knowable by name. In its behavior, as it chased geese and ducks off a sand bar it preferred for its own occupation, the avocet--or blue shanks if you enjoy using old-folks' names based on a bird's overtones or quirks--seemed militant and halfway funny, like a thin eccentric clearing squat, much heavier strangers from a public space while everybody is dressed in legendary finery.

In  the painting however I was invested in a predominant theme of my own and much other natural-history art, the sense of 'Ohh' that comes to a person who is crossing land or water and sees something that is alive and true to that place, especially if it is seldom seen or never-before-met but has a wondrous repute and mystique. Yes, the soul notes, this is a piece of Creation that I have missed out on before today, but can now verify through my own senses which are not to be mistaken, at least in such visions as this; I may hear it too, and see it flee because of the danger inherent in my kind.

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