Golden Pelican mixed media on wood artwork

I had been wanting to start painting more birds in my artwork, and my brother,George S Blonsky, who is an extremely talented professional wildlife photographer, and whose work I love, nudged me to paint one of the birds he’s most known for photographing in a place called Lake Kerkini in northern Greece, namely the Dalmatian Pelicans. I have also visited the Lake with him and fell in love with these magnificent creatures, amongst others!

One of the images of the pelicans that I have imprinted in my mind is how they glide so elegantly on the water, proud, imposing and graceful. If you are there in the morning, they seem to emerge from the early mist and this is what I wanted to emulate in my own way as it seems, in my painting, to be emerging from a forest of garlands. The darker blue & turquoise ones in the background are larger, bulbous and organic in form and appearance also reference the water, while the finer, shimmering and more delicate garlands in the foreground are white and golden with a spiral swirl element at various stages on each.

Etched feathers, outline and details provide depth and a tactile quality, which contrasts with the flat image and smooth surface of the wood, also adding visual weight to the piece. 

It is painted in bright, bold, vibrant and complementary colours, while the organic, cell-like pattern in the inner wings is in an earthen, terracotta colour that reminds me of clay pots. An element that ties in with the ancient Greek design details that may be observed on ancient pots.

I have a fascination with symbols, motifs, patterns and design, in particular as to their relevance in specific cultures, and I wanted to incorporate such appropriate elements as to speak of its location and origin. These can be seen in the abstract detailing in the symmetrical wings harking to ancient Greek design elements. I have also etched the Greek work for Dalmatian Pelican into the background, ΑΡΓΥΡΟΠΕΛΕΚΑΝΟΣ, in lettering, or font as a nod to such found on ancient Greek marble carvings.

A repeat pattern in shades of yellow in the pelican’s torso is of a retro/art deco vibe, a nod to my interior design background and love of this style. A marrying of time periods and styles?

The pelican’s scruffy head and feathers contrast with the symmetrical and neat wings and torso. Its strong beak with red pouch below and behind it, it stares ahead at the viewer, unfazed, confident, demanding attention, exuding strength in its regal, almost theatrical stance, the raised red platform on which it sits, adding to the majestic effect. Is it ready to perform? Are we worthy of watching it perform? Better sit down, be quiet and wait.

Golden Pelican is sold and shipped unframed as it is created on a raised wood panel that is painted on the sides and ready to hang on the wall as is. 

However,  for those who might be interested in framing, the photos above are merely to illustrate how Golden Pelican might look framed as the original art in a tight or floating frame, or as a print.

dimensions: 100 x 70 x 3 cms 

materials: mixed media on wood panel.

Check out my website and message me for more details if interested in purchasing either the original or a limited edition fine art print.

You may also like to check out my creative logbook entry on some thoughts I had while making Golden Pelican.


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