The December issue of Artists & Illustrators is on sale as of today. Free with the magazine this month is the Artists & Illustrators 2018 calendar, and I’m proud to say that my painting of ‘The Stork’ is on the front cover!
Original Contemporary Wildlife Portrait Painting by Diane Griffiths.
Acrylic and enamel on 1.5″ box canvas with painted sides, 91x61cm/36×24″ (2015).
This is actually an African stork; Abdim’s White-bellied Black Stork. The painting is based on a photo I took at London Zoo. The stork was there for an instant, right above me, before it flew to another part of the enclosure. I was lucky to get the photo. I was so taken with the composition and colour this was a painting which practically jumped onto the canvas.
Working the background primarily in enamels and the stork in acrylic, there is a striking contrast between the vibrant blue sky and the black feathers. The introduction of enamels in this work allowed me create a huge amount of movement in this painting; the sky swirls in many different directions while the beak cuts abruptly across. While I’m not trying to be photo-realistic, I do want to depict a certain amount of technical accuracy in order to capture something about the stork. There is an innocence in the moment; to stop, take a quick look around before moving on. We see a crisp fleeting moment, the stork pauses while the world around him continues to be in motion.