When I first moved to Florida 10 years ago, I was mezmerized by the birds. Huge creatures they were- great blue herons, egrets, sandhill cranes- many of them so tall that you felt you could practically lean over and have a conversation with them when you met them on the street. And yes, you do meet them on the street . They hang out on cars, boats, street corners and walk through your gardens mid-morning and stop and look at you as if you are their best friends.
Which in fact we hope we are! The great blue herons are one of my favorite big birds and they are very dramatic when they are in flight. Their wing span is expansive and their flight is elegant. The sandhill cranes mate for life and have a habitat right in my neighborhood. We love watching them mate each spring and produce offspring. They walk around the neighborhood proudly- the whole family, usually two little ones and their parents. When the little pups grow big- usually in about 6 months- they fly off in search of mates and so the cycle begins anew.
The scene above was painted at Venice Beach. I added the great blue heron afterwards thanks to some photos I took with my camera.
I hope to paint more big birds in the future. It always fills my heart with joy to see them and it's one of the special perks of living in southwest Florida!