Flightless Bird is a figurative oil painting of a nude woman lifting herself up from the ground beside the flat ocean. The clouds are gathering and the daylight is just beginning to turn ominous. The woman seems caught between wanting to lie down or stand up. She seems caught between holding onto her hope, or losing it. Flightless Bird is a painting about struggle and loss. It was inspired by a friend whose son committed suicide.
This sirens oil painting is part of my ‘Sirens’ figure painting series and was done completely from life and from imagination, without the use of photography. I first drew a study of the pose with charcoal on paper from a live model before starting the painting.
The painting was built up with many subtle transparent glazes and scumbles in the traditional painting method.
The use of premium quality artist oil paints with large pigment particle size allows for more of an impasto effect, where the brushstrokes are clearly visible, adding to the overall expressiveness and energy in the painting.