Nature Creates Art

I just completed a new work, inspired by the flight of starlings.  For years I have watched in awe as a flock of birds take flight to dramatically form a series of changing patterns in the sky.  In perfect synchronicity, the flock swoops, changes direction, and the pattern seamlessly morphs into a new shape.  The shapes are liquid in the sky, as they blend from one organic shape to the next.  Inspired, I wondered how to capture this on paper with paint?

This spring, I took a 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper and poured a sky that blended from blue to golden as it touched the desert horizon.  Big sky in Nevada.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhanced luminosity.  This beautiful background needed a center of focus- the birds I have been forever dreaming about!

How to start?  How to capture the dynamic fluidity of this aviary phenomenon?  Each night I dreamed how I would approach the painting.  Each morning I awoke and found I couldn’t attempt it.  I didn’t know how to begin; I couldn’t feel “the flow. ”  Finally I settled on my pigments- Windor blue shade, alizarin crimson permanent, and burnt sienna. I  made a small practice painting.

flight study.jpg
“Flight Before the Storm”

Encouraged with the results of that bird study and before I could “chicken out,” I jumped into the large painting.  I knew the painting would either end as an unmitigated disaster, or it would become a delightful surprise.  Each time I reloaded the brush, I added a different pigment to my palette mixture from my base colors to influence the tone.  The dynamic shape of the flock subtly changed in hue as it grew on my paper.   I continued to add defined bird shapes to the edges and loose bird groupings in the center, striving for a strong abstract shape and interesting movement throughout the painting.  The painting succeeds in capturing the dynamic movement of a flock of birds in the dance of flight.

Flight Behavior.jpg

Nature inspires wildlife to create beautiful creations of their own.  Enjoy this video showing a pufferfish creating a beautiful mandala to attract a mate.  Pufferfish 

More:

Left to right, clockwise:  Millipede, exhibiting its main defense mechanism, curling into a spectacular spiral, which protects its legs inside its body.  A celestial spiral, the Aurora Borealis, in the skies above Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  Finally, a collection of diatoms, microscopic algae.  These images were found on National Geographic.  Enjoy more here: National Geographic link

The Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride is still accepting registrations for my watercolor class.  To register, click the following link: Cheri Isgreen Watercolor Workshop