“Surfing the Sou-easter.”

“Surfing the Sou-easter.” Painted November 2022.  16”x20”.  Acrylic on stretched Canvas.

I’m working on a series about wild birds that frequent our home on Twin Eagles Bluff.  For the second painting in this series, I chose the Bald Eagle.  Not only do we have a nesting pair that live in the big fir tree behind the house, but the trees at the top of the bluff are a useful rest-stop for eagles that have been busy fishing in the Salish Sea.  Earlier this year, I counted ten eagles flying over top of the property at once and was able to get eight of them in the same photo.

As the wind hits the bluff, it creates a perfect updraft.  Eagles flying by in front of the house are about sixty feet above the ocean, but when you are sitting on the second-floor deck, they pass by at eye level.  I can spend hours watching their slow progress into the wind, floating with almost no forward motion.  Since they are no more than a hundred feet away, you have a lot of time to observe every detail as they fly past. Eagles engage the entire body in this feat of aeronautics, wings motionless but feathers and muscles responding to every current and eddy of the wind.  And just as intently as I stare at them, they stare back.

As with the previous painting in the series, I chose to paint a highly blended background with no observable details which lets the image of the bird really stand out.  As each painting in the series uses the same canvas size, but has a different coloured background, they work well as a set.

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