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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#534 In the field: Brookgreen Gardens, con't . . . peacocks and goats


Start this series with  #522,  April 16, 2014.  http://www.brookgreen.org/
http://www.brookgreenworkshops.com

Peacocks and goats seem like an odd combination unless one visits Murrell's Inlet on the South Carolina coast.
Located only two miles from Brookgreen Gardens, it's where I enjoy great seafood and outstanding bird watching, sketching, and photographing while teaching my yearly bird sculpture workshop and attending board meetings.

Across from a favorite Murrell's Inlet eatery is Goat Island.  Goats and peafowl have lived on the tiny 20,000 square foot island in harmony for many years and share their domaine with herons, egrets, pelicans, and ducks.
During hurricane evacuation, the goats and peafowl are taken off the island to safe ground.

Below, are photos of Goat Island residents taken from the deck while enjoying lunch last month in Murrell's Inlet.











Below, are sketches of a peacock that resides on Goat Island . . . the female of the species is called a peahen.





Peacocks and goats are among my favorite subjects.  Below is a recent sculpture entitled,
Shade of Paradise.  The sculpture was juried into the 2012 Birds in Art.

 Shade of Paradise
13"H 23"W 11"D

Below, is a recent sculpture entitled,  Tethered Goats.  The sculpture was recently
purchased by the Briscoe Museum in San Antonio and is in their permanent collection.

Tethered Goats
8"H 14"W 9"D


To learn more about the subjects in this blog go to the links below.

For a complete list of  the blog subjects go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on right.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

#533 In the field: Brookgreen Gardens, con't . . . pelicans


Start this series with  #522,  April 16, 2014.  http://www.brookgreen.org/
http://www.brookgreenworkshops.com

The focus of this blog post is the Brown Pelican.
The Brown Pelican is a year-round resident of South Carolina and I experienced, photographed, 
and sketched the big bird at one of my favorite places in the Brookgreen Gardens area:  Murrell's Inlet.
Commonly found around fishing piers, I'm sure to see them when I enjoy seafood at one of the many 
restaurants along the Murrell's Inlet wharf.  I never dine there without a sketchbook and camera!

Below, are photos taken last month at Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina while teaching 
my yearly bird sculpture and anatomy workshop at Brookgreen Gardens.
The Brown Pelican is enormous, with a wingspan of up to 80 inches.  The pelicans on
 the Atlantic coast are usually smaller, however, than those on the Pacific or Texas coast.












Below, are drawings from the decks of my favorite Murrell's Inlet seafood restaurants along the wharf.  
Interestingly, the Brown Pelican dives for their food and North America's other pelican 
- the White Pelican - swim in a group and "herd" fish that they scoop up in their pouch.












I've created two larger than life-sized sculptures of pelicans.  Below, is "Las Brisas" which was 
commissioned by the R.W. Norton Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana.  
The Brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana.  Another casting of the fountain is scheduled 
to be installed this year in Little Rock, Arkansas in the wetlands area on the grounds 
of the Clinton Presidential Library along the Arkansas River.




The second large sculpture with the pelican as subject matter is "Artful Angler."
Below, are photos of the fountain.  Water emerges from the fish fount and 
is then recycled.  There is a casting installed at Pelican Lakes golf course 
in Colorado and was placed by Columbine Galleries of Loveland, Colorado.







To learn more about the subjects in this blog go to the links below.

For a complete list of  the blog subjects go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on right.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

#532 In the field: Brookgreen Gardens aviary . . . egrets


Start this series with  #522,  April 16, 2014.  http://www.brookgreen.org/

The focus of this blog is egrets . . . specifically, the Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, and the Great Egret.
I spent many hours photographing, drawing, and observing wading birds in the Brookgreen Gardens aviary
in South Carolina last month and among the birds I experienced were the Snowy Egret and Cattle Egret.

Below, are photos of the beautiful Snowy Egret.  Note the narrow black bill, the black legs, and yellow feet.
The Snowy always has a crest of feathers on its head which is displays when excited.
The typical size of the species has a 36 inch wingspan and is 24 inches in length.











Below, are photos of the Cattle Egret.  The bird is stockier-shaped compared to the Snowy and can be distinguished
by its orange bill.  The bird is shorter in length than the Snowy but has the same-sized wingspan.











Below, we took a long walk on a lonesome trail in the Santee Delta and spotted the elegant Great Egret.  
The beautiful bird has a wingspan of 51 inches and is 39 inches in length.







The Santee Delta is formed by the Santee River and is the largest river delta on the Atlantic coast.
The posted sign reminds hikers and birders that the trail is closed to foot travel in the fall due to deer hunters.

Below, are photos taken in the Santee Delta swamp.






Below, we encountered this large alligator in the swamp while eating our lunch and kept a safe distance from it.



Below, are drawings from my sketchbook created during my excellent egret adventure in South Carolina's Lowcountry.











To learn more about the subjects in this blog go to the links below.

For a complete list of  the blog subjects go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on right.


Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish




Sunday, 18 May 2014

#531 In the field: Brookgreen Gardens aviary . . . White Ibis


Start this series with  #522,  April 16, 2014.  http://www.brookgreen.org/

Among the birds that I enjoyed photographing and sketching in the Brookgreen Gardens aviary was the
American White Ibis.  Shape is the most important characteristic to the bird artist when identifying a
species and the most distinguishing feature of the White Ibis is the long, down-curved bill.

Below, is close-up of the bird's most outstanding feature . . . the bill.






Below, are photos taken last month in the aviary and drawings from my sketchbook.









Below, the body of an adult bird is all white, the bill and feet are red,  and the primary feather wingtips are black.
Once fledged, the White Ibis has mostly brown plumage.  As it matures, the feathers gradually molt to white.
Interestingly, older birds can be a mottled brown and white.  Males are larger and have longer bills.












Below, photographing the bird proved difficult . . . They are constantly on the move, their head bobbing up and
down when they are foraging and probing the shallow water with their bill during feeding.  I managed to
experience them at rest during the heat of mid-day on several occasions however.





Below, the White Ibis flies with it's neck and legs outstretched.  I'm anxious to work with the multitude of photos
and drawings that I gathered in the Brookgreen aviary.  Studying the birds is crucial to the creative process.
When contemplating a specific pose I always ask myself:  What intrigued me most about the creature and
what gesture is typical of the individual bird?  For instance, the tilt of the head, a raised foot, etc.
I keep in mind that more is said with the large, simple shapes.  Capturing the  essence and
personality of a subject is possible only by experiencing the species in a natural habitat.





To learn more about the subjects in this blog go to the links below.

For a complete list of  the blog subjects go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on right.


Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish