X

Blog

Sharing the journey and stories from the present and the past to educate, inform and entertain you.  With the love of nature, the eye for detail, Tony shares his real life ventures into the outback to seek out those rare and hard to find birds and bring them to life in the form of stunning art work.
The 30 year painting

I spend a lot of time in the dry mulga country of northern Victoria – hot, dusty, ant-infested and full of birds. Hattah-Kulkyne National Park is my idea of heaven! About 30 years ago I was wandering through the Black Box floodplain at Hattah when I witnessed a young Black Falcon learning to hunt. It was obviously newly independent and making a valiant effort to catch its breakfast. The Mulga Parrots escaped to live another day, but the image never left my mind… I knew there was a painting to be wrangled out of that scene if I could just find the right reference, along with the patience to do the picture justice.

Black Falcons are fast – like guided missiles they home in on their prey. Their streamlined shape and athleticism makes them a joy to watch. But they are also uncommon, so it’s a special day when you catch a glimpse of a Black streaking past. For the next 30 years that moment in time was etched in my memory. However it wasn’t until I saw some of Bernie McRitchie’s wonderful photos of Black Falcons that I decided to attempt this painting. And even then it struggled to make it into the light of day.

My agent at the time hated blue. As an artist who paints Australian birds in the Australian landscape, it is highly problematic trying to avoid using blue…..Our vivid blue skies are a vital part of the story – and in my mind essential when putting birds into realistic settings. So I painted the scene as I recalled it, but left the sky white. It didn’t work and I retired the painting back under the bed to compost.

Then my agent and I parted ways – happy days; I could use all the blue I wanted without being harassed. So the painting that started 30 years ago is now finally finished – blue sky and all! And not only is it finished, when I posted it on Facebook the response was so positive it is now available as a signed limited edition print - just check it out in my online shop.

  • The 30 year painting
  • The 30 year painting

Share this article

'Birds in Art' via Ecuador

'Birds in Art' via Ecuador

Read More
My equipment of choice

My equipment of choice

Read More
A Glamorous Life!

A Glamorous Life!

Read More
A safari in a shed

A safari in a shed

Read More

Responses to The Blurry Line

Read More
The blurry line - bad & contemporary bird art

The blurry line - bad & contemporary bird art

Read More
BIA 2019: The Noble Quest

BIA 2019: The Noble Quest

Read More
My Painting Techniques 2

My Painting Techniques 2

Read More
The 30 year painting

The 30 year painting

Read More
On Being a Young Artist

On Being a Young Artist

Read More