Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Roseate Spoonbills

 Roseate Spoonbills, 9x12" oil, Diane Mannion

Ding Darling, Sanibel

Finally got to see a flock of the elusive roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling, Sanibel!  They flew off  minutes after I arrived.  My first sighting after living in Florida for over twenty years.

Painted with the Peace River Painters, Lee County Plein Air Artists, and Suncoast Plein Air.

My plein air study evolved into studio painting with major struggle:

This painting was first a plein air study that I decided to paint on top of to add the birds... mistake.  Should have kept the plein air study and started a new painting.  After looking at my photo of the first version, decided I liked it much more, but it's lost under layers of paint.

So, lesson learned.  Keep plein air sketches and studies as they are.  Something vital happens while painting on location that can never be duplicated with photo reference in the studio.
Plein air study forever lost under several layers of paint and many wipeouts.
Another version under the final painting.  It was important to illustrate the Spoonbills... but they took over the painting here.  Wiped out a few more times.

This is how they looked that day, off in the distance.  Folks were lined up with huge cameras lenses snapping away.

Painting conditions were difficult, breezy with spotted clouds.  It was a four hour drive, so I didn't want to go back to work on location again.  When I showed my husband the original plein air painting, he said... "You drove four hours for that?"  But I was determined to celebrate my sighting of the Roseate Spoonbills, thus the many, many wipeouts.  


Susan said...

Hi, Diane. I visit my Sanibel timeshare every summer, and I recently discovered a reliable place to find Roseate Spoonbills... without crossing the toll bridge. You must time this for low tide: About a half mile before the bridge, look for pull-off areas on the left. The Spoonbills will be fairly close offshore on mucky flats that are exposed at low tide. You'll need a good zoom lens on your camera to get good detail.

Diane Mannion said...

Thank you, Susan. I'll check it out.