Saturday, June 4, 2011

A pleasant walk in the park.

I'm just back from a late evening walk with Dubh (the dog) here in a Dublin city park. I watched a few bats flying overhead, rabbits on the grass, a fox trotting along happily, and two badgers ambling along quite noisily. All this within the city, surrounded by busy roads and housing estates. Sometimes city living offers more chances to see wildlife than living in the countryside. However out fishing in the countryside yesterday, I also saw a Harrier flying across part of the lake, I couldn't be sure if it was a Marsh harrier or a hen harrier but it looked like a marsh harrier in that it seemed to be a dark brown underneath.
It is nice to see uncommon birds and animals occasionally, it makes life interesting and keeps my periferal vision sharp. I can recognise most bird sillouettes instantly, and if I can't it also draws my attention to it in detail, probably an effect of my childhood constantly watching wildlife. This ability to register an image quickly also helps with my art, it allows me to see the characteristic shapes and stance of many things and to capture these salient points quickly without getting lost in details. I can then look at the details at a more leisurely pace, secure in the knowledge that the basic bones are already there in proportion and context.
There is always a danger that we as artists don't see the wood for the trees. Or put too much effort into the detail and forget about the emotion or impact of a subject.

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