Monday, May 23, 2011

Walking in the Tundra

I have painted a number of caribou pieces from my WREAF trip to Labrador (see link on home page of, but only one bird. It is time to paint some songbirds from the trip.

As I looked over my reference photos, a group of images immediately brought to mind one of the first long walks in the tundra. The air was cool, the tundra starting to turn, and except for the wind, it was fairly quiet.

That is until we came across this flock of white-winged crossbills trying to grab seeds from tiny cones. They were in quite a hurry to stock up before heading south. As I think about them, I can almost smell the clean air and feel the wind on my face. Later that day I would see black bear and ptarmigan, but it was in watching these birds that the tundra began to seep into me.

As I play around with the composition, I notice it has a slight oriental feel. I am curious to see how the form and function play out.

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