If you have ever had the pleasure of floating down one of the many spring-fed streams coursing through the Missouri Ozarks, you have undoubtedly engaged in a game of hide and seek with the Great Blue Heron. Growing up in Missouri, I have spent hundreds of hours on its rivers with paddle in hand, and every so often I would notice up ahead a vertical cast of blue and gray, something both gangly and majestic, either perched up above or wading down below in the grass. I soon became familiar with the Great Blue Heron - but never up close. As I would excitedly approach, the Great Blue would arch up its wings and turn, flying away, only to alight somewhere around the bend. As I would round that bend, the search was on for the hiding place - for it was never far. Having discovered the “hider,” the game would begin again, and repeat itself long down the river.
I’ve grown to love the Great Blue Heron over the years and he seems to show up most places I go: farm ponds, the Chesapeake, the Carolinas, along the Gulf, the Northwoods and even along the Pacific Coast. But alas, although I could never count the many herons I've seen, I have never really seen one (without binoculars) up close. Like a slate-blue ghost who teases from afar, but disappears into the mist as you approach.
It was not until I painted this Great Blue Heron that I really truly appreciated their elegant beauty - something I suppose I had always taken for granted, given their ever presence throughout my life. I thought about painting a flowing heron in flight, but decided against that, preferring instead to create a simple straightforward portrait of the quarry that always eluded me on my approach. This time I would catch him and keep him, just the way I would find him, hiding on the stump, looking for me, just around the bend.
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Available Editions of this Artwork
|The Sentinel - Portrait of a Great Blue Heron | Giclee (signed/numbered)
|30.00" H x 15.00" W