Penguin Awareness Day

We call ourselves animal lovers, but, we have to admit, there are far fewer of us that love cockroaches than furry, four legged bundles and beats. And seeing as today is #PenguinAwarenessDay, I thought I’d talk a bit about one of my personal favourite species, and why they do (and do not) appear in my art often.

January is an important time for penguins, as it’s mid summer in Antarctica the cute little Emperor penguin chicks are now fat, gangly, moulting teenagers. While they enjoy some much needed sun, their trip to the sea to fatten up is now much shorter. Summer won’t last long, and soon it’s time to start all over again!

I had the pleasure of encountering penguins a number of times, however, never in the wild: the closest I got were puffin sightings in Anglesey, Wales. But the few times I saw them in bird parks and zoos, I was amazed by their comical waddle, their curiousity, and how odd they feel – a mixture between a hard rubber tyre and soft leather, would be the best way to describe it.

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The African or ‘Jackass’ penguin, in Madrid’s Zoo Aquarium

My love of penguins extends to some watercolours and a few accessories, too!

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‘Cosmic Penguins’ from my Cosmic Nature series, and my favourite avian scarf!

Few animals are as resilient as penguins. From chinstrap penguins being mercilessly hurled onto the rocks, being pummeled by the full force of the Southern Ocean as they fight to get to their chicks, to the desperate struggle of female emperors to adopt chicks if their own have perished. Perhaps no other animal sees less sunlight per year, too. And living under temperatures below -50 degrees Celsius, I believe that penguins deserve their credit. They are just one of the many species that are going to be effected by ice sheet melt, plastic-riddled oceans and global warming.

For the love of penguins, send them a thank you card!
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Penguin-themed greeting cards and products available at Redbubble
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Colour Theories: Purple

We are a pattern-seeking species, and this is never more evident than in the career of any long-term established artist. From signature brush-strokes to colour meanings and even position and juxtaposition of objects, patterns are evident within any body of work. Evolution from disjointed works of art to art with purpose, evolution and a timeline doesn’t happen overnight, but sometimes it does seem to happen by accident. Look at Van Gogh’s early works, thickly pasted potato peel and dripping in mud-hues, or Marc or Monet’s early experiments with muted hues and brush strokes.

We all have our comfort zone, our comfort colours, even if we don’t necessarily have our feet on the ground artistically.

Purple is a colour that was once prized for its rarity, instability and its costliness. The colour purple is not overly feminine or masculine, and it doesn’t come into my daily life at all. I don’t own any piece of purple furniture, fabric, home decor, pottery or flowers. Yet it seems to be becoming the dominant colour in my watercolours.

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This colour has the ability to hold a painting together; it transforms something black into something solid, alive and that interacts with its environment. It can be used for hard and soft equally well. When used with complementary colours it transforms into depth, shadow, and light.

To find out more about commissioning a painting or to inquire about specific paintings for sale send me a message through my Facebook Page or take a look through at my website: cjwaterfieldart.com