The Emerging Vulture

I was chatting to a friend a good while back now and she mentioned to me about a place called Eagles Flying in Sligo.

It was said to me in passing and to be honest I had forgotten about it. A few years later, I know I’m so bold, Mike and I were chatting about where to take our grandchildren when they came to visit. I had my Eureka!!!! moment, let’s go to Eagles Flying so, that’s where we went with the grandchildren.

I loved it, not sure about the grandchildren, but I loved it, being so close to these majestic animals (birds) took my breath away so much so that here I was at the start of a new year and deciding on my project for the year. That’s what I tend to do decide on my project for the year, I don’t always stick to it but at least it starts off with good intentions. Then I made a decision to paint some of the birds for my project.

OK, my head starts to run faster that I can keep up. I must go take some images, I wonder if he will let me in when it’s not busy. Any way I phoned and asked could I possibly come over and take some images of the birds. He was so welcoming, of course you can.

It’s a long drive up towards the house where the birds are . I took some amazing images, but the most spectacular image was of the vulture.

Mike and I walked up past the house and turned right and wandered around the side to be confronted with this bloody enormous thing (I have to say thing because at first, I didn’t know what it was) and as we got a bit closer out spread these huge wings. 8 feet wide unbelievable. I stood in amazement whilst watching him entertain us with his ballerina dance, (OK that seems a wee bit over stated ) but if you could have seen the way those beautiful wings elegantly swayed back and forth you would I’m sure agree.

Vultures are amazing.

Their wing span is 8 feet, Imagine 4 feet from the center of his body to the tip of his wing each side. It’s not until I got close up and personnel that I realized just how large this is. It’s mega big.

A group of vultures is called a kettle, committee or wake.

Vultures clean the earth from the decaying corpse of dead animals, food waste. Their main food is carrion. but what many people do not realize is that vultures play a very important role in the ecosystem by disposing of carrion that would otherwise be a breeding ground for disease.

Now I didn’t know that lot. I am intrigued by such a strange and you have to admit a wee bit of an ugly bird. But he has given me a wonderful chance to see him really see him.

My choice of image to paint vain Glory

There was no other option I could not see past the image that was in front of me. A vulture with one wing spreads out the other begging me to come and play, come and play with a really intimidating stare and twist of his head. Jesus the shivers run down my back and into my toes.

I could visualize him in my head but how to paint him? was the difficulty for me. I am a tight worker and I wanted to give him his air of arrogance, dominance and total egotistical self-possession, goodness me I do put myself into some sticky situations.

I can do this, yes! I can do this. I just have to plan. I normally have the image of the painting in my head before I start but at the moment, I have nothing my head is blank, I can only see this huge monster in front of me.

I did what I tend to do when I am a bit lost, (I am regularly lost) and I wrote a list. My mum always said if something is bothering you write it down so that’s what I do.

Personality colours scheme composition

Self-possessed green just the head

Dominance reds& purple one wing and head

Egotistical bright pinks full body detailed

Arrogance turquoise head, wings dissolved body

What I’m doing is trying to see him in colour.

Colours mean something to me and I suppose that is mean something different to everyone. However, I try to write down the colours that come into my head at that moment, not think about it at all, just put it down.

Next, a few quick very basic sketches.

Once I have decided on the composition, I think I go into another space. Is it meditation, outer body? I don’t know, but that’s what I do.

I do my best not to think too hard about the painting process, the colours I put on the paper (I have the colour I want in my palette so any thing I pick will be OK) I selected intuitively to a degree.

For the type of painting I would like to do there has to be a vulnerability in my process I don’t want to think too much about colour I will put down what I intuitively got to. Being a detailed artist in general this intuitive working is very difficult for me