"Birds-of-Paradise" - Is it a bird? Is it a plant?
Title came first, subsequently the canvas was prepared. This art-piece is like a dawning to me, since I grabbed my palette and brushes after nearly a decade.
In 5 sittings with 2-4 hours of painting I created this oil on canvas (24 in * 30 in) depiction. Just like how brilliant colors are expressive, the texture is a common element in oil painting that brings out a 3 dimensional look to the artwork.
I grow a birds of paradise plant at home, inquisitively googled for namesake (a bird of the same name). I was awestruck that they are a group of 39 closely related species (Paradisaeidae). My thirst for knowledge elevated. Picked an awesome National Geography's book at the library titled "Bird of Paradise- Revealing the World's Most Extraordinary Birds" by Tim Laman & Edwin Scholes. It is a must read if you love exotic birds!
Decided to incorporate both plant and bird in my painting. The next question was the background, the answer came from the title itself - Paradise! Paradise has been used to designate mankind's first home, the Garden of Eden. A place of timeless harmony where good people live forever and share their happiness.
My Utopia/Garden of Eden is lush green, filled with pure and beautiful fragrance from the colorful blooms and the tranquil waterfalls with its natural soothing sounds. A small thatched house well-lighted to live in. It is mostly built with natural materials - hay, stone, wood and glass (windows). Paradise is free of disease and death, hence, there will be no negative/empty space in my painting as well.
Flowers are the symbol of joyfulness,
Birds-of-Paradise (Stelitzia reginae), makes a very attractive ornamental specimen also known as "Crane flowers" in Africa. It is one of the most beautiful of all exotic flowers. This green and pink boat-shaped bract with its brilliant orange and intense blue petals looks like birds in flight. The thick evergreen foliage resembles miniature banana leaves, attached to a long stalk as this plant is trunkless. This may bloom year round.
"From so simple a beginning, endless forms
most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being , evolved" - Charles Darwin
Bird-of-paradise really deserved its name. This Paradisaeidae group live in the same part of the globe: the island of New Guinea, nearby islands, and northeastern Australia. Most are distinguished by striking colors and bright plumage of yellow, blue, scarlet, and green. These colors distinguish them as some of the world's most dramatic and attractive birds.
The males and females have different appearance. Males often sport vibrant feathered ruffs or amazingly elongated feathers, which are known as wires or streamers. Although I love Greater bird-of-paradise, I settled on Blue bird-of-paradise for my work of art due to space constrains. Beautiful and bright blue bird-of-paradise is medium sized with ivory bill, broken white eye-ring and blue wings. It performs an elaborate courtship display.
Hope you gained some knowledge about Birds-of-Paradise with a treat to the eyes with my brand new painting (which is still wet). Will wait for 3 weeks to dry completely for a coat of sealant to protect the artwork. Your words of suggestions and comments on this particular artwork is highly appreciated!