Flight of the Great Blue Heron
Watercolor on gessoed paper, 14 3/4″ x 21 3/4 “, 2007. Intellectual property of Dawna Morton. All rights reserved. Do not copy.
Like a prayer that lifts us up from our troubles to see a glimpse of the beauty and majesty of god’s plan for us, the great blue heron takes flight from the marsh towards the footbridge and the misty mountains beyond. Set at Trojan pond near Goble, Oregon.
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In process of rephotographing my artwork with the new camera I got for Christmas, I realized I had not written a blog post about Flight of the Great Blue Heron.
There is an interesting story behind this painting:
Back in 2006 we went fishing at the pond at the site of the old Trojan nuclear facility(near Goble, Oregon). On one of my many trips escorting kids to and from the bathroom that day, this great blue heron went swooping down to the water and away again. Unable to whip my camera out quick enough to get the shot, I kept going back hoping the bird would be there again. Finally several hours later I said a prayer in my head asking for the bird to come back so I could get some pictures. Within minutes the heron swooped down again, sticking around long enough for me to get quite a few good photographs. Amazingly enough even the dog managed not to frighten it away.
Before beginning this painting I had been hearing quite a bit about achieving interesting results by painting on Yupo paper with watercolors. I didn’t have money to buy new paper at the time, but thought maybe applying a layer of gesso to the paper and painting on top of that would create similar effects. It worked beautifully, causing the paint to slide around with a loose slippery feel, creating a light airy feel to the mountains in the distant background. As an added bonus this brought an element of fun and spontaneity back into my artwork–as opposed to the drudgery of trying to be photo-realistic.