“First Love” 6×6, oil on canvas Buy Now

I know. I know. I don’t appreciate you as much as I should. The great blue heron with his great colors– blue, and purple and orange if you look closely enough and the egret with her grace– a white flash against purple skies. They have been my undeniable favorites, and I’ve marveled at them– their long necks and thin legs over your unfortunate grey-ness. 

But don’t think for a moment you don’t take my breath away when I’m on a boat and you fly beside me, reminding me that you too have surprising grace in the air. Or when you’re with a whole host of friends (herons and egrets tend to be less gregarious) and that long-beaked shape in repetition creates a beautiful, unending pattern that I’ve not seen anywhere else. 

I have not forgotten that it was you, your color, your shape, your presence in my life on Bayou St. John that first made me want to paint again. And though I often ignore you now that the thrill has subsided, it is you whom I turn to when I want to try new techniques, new colors, new ideas about painting. On day 14 I turn to you again trying to figure out how to reveal your majesty in as few shapes as possible, an exercise that was so fascinating that I quickly started a friend for tomorrow’s painting.