In calling this painting "Life on the Edge - Black-Footed Rock Wallaby", I'm most obviously describing this individual's vantage point on the cliffs. More significantly, the title reflects the species' delicate conservation status. Although I've been lucky enough to observe them in reasonable numbers at a couple of locations, their populations are scattered and they face serious threats from habitat destruction by sheep and feral goats, competition for food from rabbits as well as predation by foxes and feral cats. Let's hope captive breeding programs and fox baiting can go some way towards resurrecting their numbers and restoring them to their former range.
Acrylic 28 1/2" x 14 1/4"
Experience has taught me that there'll never be a painting I'm completely happy with in every respect. This one is no exception, and I know I'll have to banish it to the back room for a couple of weeks before I'm able to look at it with any degree of objectivity. Verdict notwithstanding, it's the first painting I've completed in many years and I'm greatly relieved to have broken the drought at last.
However I feel about this painting after I've recovered from painting all those rocks, I know I learned a lot from it. I learned that I need to put more time into preliminary sketches to establish a pleasing overall design - my overreliance on photographic reference has got to change! I learned that sticking to a limited palette will help my paintings gel as a whole until I've gained more experience or been able to seek guidance from a more knowledgeable artist. I learned that I need to guard against rushing, particularly when the painting is large and I'm not progressing as quickly as I'd like; the best approach I've found with any formidable project is to break it into bite-sized chunks and treat the completion of each stage as a mini-milestone.
Now, it's on to something smaller with NO rocks!
As I began this blog, I must say I wondered whether it could be of any real value. Now that I've posted for a few months, I've come to feel in some small way that I'm an active part of a community of online artists, all facing similar challenges and asking the same questions of themselves. I've sincerely appreciated the support and encouragement so freely given, and I've come to regard those who provide regular comments and feedback as part of a circle of friends, without whom the task would be that much harder and certainly more solitary. So, with painting #1 finished, it seems an opportune time to say "thank you one and all!"