“Silent Skies” is an international collaborative super-mural mosaic featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world. 160 AFC artists from 15 countries participated in the project. The 100-ft installation formed the artistic centerpiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congress in August 2018 in Vancouver, BC, after which, the mural will tour internationally. Below are the three species I contributed to the mural, Shore Plover (New Zealand), Meller’s Duck (Madagascar), and Mindoro Hornbill (Philippines). Each painting is 8 inches by 8 inches. You can read more about the “Silent Skies” project on the AFC website by clicking here. A limited number of canvas giclee prints will be available for purchase from the AFC website as well.
I think my favorite is the Mindoro Hornbill. I always wanted to paint a hornbill and this was the perfect reason to do so.
I want to thank three photographers who so graciously allowed me to use their images for reference, Mike Thorsen (Shore Plover); Dubi Shapiro (Meller’s Duck) and Tonji Ramos (Mindoro Hornbill).
This was a “last minute” commission for a Christmas gift. The client chose the picture from five choices and I created the narrative. 12 x 16 acrylic on canvas. The recipient was quite surprised and pleased!
“Make Way – Comin’ Thru!”
My latest painting of a preening Great Blue Heron. The reference photos were taken at a nearby waterfowl refuge. I watched him for quite a while perched on that little log, on a windy day. His feathers were blowing about in the wind and I was amazed he was able to maintain his stance. This is a 12 x 16 acrylic on canvas painting. I’m still tweaking things a bit, as I always do when I “finish” a painting, but I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Once I’m finished “tweaking” things, I’ll add a larger image to the bird gallery.
It seems I didn’t follow up on the work in progress for this little painting so here is the finished piece. Originally it was on a 12 x 16 canvas, but I decided to make it a 12 x 12 inch. This is the final painting – a minimal style that showcases the fawns. There is a larger photo in the Mammals gallery. © Marti Millington 2016
This is a crop of a new project I’m working on. This is an acrylic painting of two whitetail fawns (twins) that played in my yard one summer afternoon. The doe lived in the woods behind my house and for the several years that I lived there, she had at least one fawn. Most years she had twins. This was the second set. The painting is 12 x 16 in acrylic and was originally to be a quick little “sketch.” True to form, I got rather involved in painting the details and now it is anything BUT a quick little sketch. So I will work on it as a detailed painting so far as the fawns are concerned and we’ll see how it turns out in the end.
“What Was That?” The lynx painting is finished! I’m pretty pleased with the results, although I may tweak a little thing here and there.
The reference photos for this painting were taken in Montana, but lynx are native to Illinois, where I live. In fact, two of them live at the local wildlife park. The painting is 14 x 18 acrylic on canvas – available for purchase. There is a larger image in the Mammals gallery. © Marti Millington 2016
I’ve been working on a 15 x 30 painting of a leopard and its been tedious so I thought doing some small 6 x 6’s might boost my energy. I was right! They are so fun to do, because you must focus on the subject. My realistic painting style makes a large painting a very slow process. But these 6 x 6’s go much faster, even with the level of detail I like to put into each piece.
Both are done in acrylic on stretched canvas and are available for purchase – unframed. Contact me if interested in either painting using the Contact link.
Hunting the Fence Row – Fox 6×6 Acrylic $300
My goal with this piece was to show another side of the animal kingdom. It isn’t always pretty out there in the wild; animals struggle every day to stay warm, find food, and shelter from the elements. This little guy is cold and miserable, wet, and most likely hungry. And that is the way of the animal kingdom. It’s an uphill battle to stay alive, and most times, Life.Is.Hard. The painting is 12 x 16, acrylic on canvas and is available for purchase.
It has been over a year since I painted anything. Several personal life events, a lot of confusion, and uncertainty about my skills as an artist, have all kept me from even thinking about painting. The passion for painting had disappeared. It wasn’t fun anymore – it was more of a chore. Artists are full of self-doubt, and while we may receive tons of positive reinforcement, there is always one who constantly comes at us with negative critiques that adversely impacts our self-confidence. I was far too focused on whether my work was “good enough.” And listening much too much to that “voice.” I had a long talk with myself, and came to the conclusion that the negativism wasn’t about me, my work, or helping me to advance. It was about that person’s own insecurities.
Steve Jobs said it best: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
And he’s right! The only way I’m going to improve is to stop listening to the naysayers, and pay more attention to the people who are TRULY trying to help me grow – and there are many of them. I found a sketch and reference photos that I have always wanted to paint. And what a joy it is to be painting again! It’s exhilarating too that, instead of looking at my painting and thinking if it will be “good enough” for this or that exhibit, I look at it and ask myself, is that the right color, the correct attitude I want, etc. I find that I am much more focused on the actual act of painting, itself.
The painting above is a Bobcat that I’m currently working on. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve progressed quite a bit on it. I just can’t post it yet, as it will give away the “surprise.” The painting is done in acrylic, and is 11 x 14 inches. And it such a pleasure to be Back at the Easel!
My final painting before leaving for SEWE, “September Song” is a 14 x 18 acrylic on canvas. I had the privilege of seeing these magnificent animals in both Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park. But I can also see them closer to home at Wildlife Prairie State Park in Central Illinois.
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