High Alert - SOLD


High Alert (Willie Wagtail) Original Watermedia on museum board 38.7cm x 34.4cm – SOLD
Inspiration: “It would be fair to say the model for this painting found me before I found him! He came swooping out of nowhere. Little did I realise I had come too close to his nest and family. I got the hint that I wasn’t wanted and backed far enough away to capture him briefly resting. Wagtails are incredibly fast. I had to take hundreds of photos to find a suitable one as reference. Painting a pied bird brings unique challenges. Black and white can appear somewhat cold. I chose a warm orange-brown background to bring out the warmth of the afternoon sun and to compliment his dinner jacket attire. Best described as pugnacious, bold and fearless, Willie Wagtails are instantly recognisable. Rarely sitting still for long, they flick their long tails from side to side seeking prey. Willie wagtails are highly territorial and can be fearless in defending their territory, being known to harass ravens, kookaburras, eagles, dogs and humans! The familiar rattling alarm call “chicka chicka chicka” is sounded to warn off rivals. They also sing a lovely, liquid song described as “sweet pretty creature”. Wagtails were disliked by Indigenous people in some areas, as they were thought to be eavesdroppers and gossipers, spreading secrets elsewhere. Wagtails are member of the fantail genus Rhipidura, and are the largest of the Australian fantails”.

This painting took 52 hours to complete

Original artwork by Frances McMahon.

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