Frances’s Inspiration: “It’s been quite some time since I’ve painted water. The ever-changing patterns of waves and ripples provide endless inspiration and challenges. However, water needs waterbirds. A delightful family was proudly showing off their brood of about a dozen ducklings. I considered adding the drake and the rest of the ducklings (who were so earnestly following their parents!), but the painting would have been metres in length! An odd number of birds always seems to work, so I settled on four ducklings and their mother.
Painted in a limited palette, I’ve tried to combine the abstract shapes of the water with the ducks to depict how Mother Nature mixes her palette; often blending subject and background to form a unified whole. Also known as Maned Ducks, due to the short “mane” of feathers on the head of the male, Australian Wood Ducks are a medium-sized rather “goose like” duck. They are a common sight around grasslands, wetlands, flooded pastures and lakes. Preferring to forage on grasses and other herbs, they are rarely seen in open water. They nest in a tree cavity laying around 11 eggs. Once the ducklings are ready to leave the nest, they leap out to follow their parents. They are the only living species in the genus Chenonetta”.
Original artwork by Frances McMahon.
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