Sunday, September 2, 2012

Of Days Passed - Ferruginous Hawk by W. Allan Hancock

Allan positions his hawk, on the seat of a decaying farm instrument, where it is profiled against a clear, blue, sky. The bird has survived, in spite of man ripping open the topsoil and altering its habitat.

There is an innate nobility about hawks. When I look at this magnificent creature, its easy for me to imagine medieval noblemen, releasing hooded peregrines.

Have you ever noticed  how hawks seem to sit immobile for hours, peering, waiting, looking?   There's a timelessness about them. But then again, nature didn't invent clocks - man did that.

Nature seems so perfect in this work.  The fields undulate and roll in the background while the  foreground has a cacophonous jumble of human rubble.

While the  hawk sits silently, peering out across the fields I find myself wondering what it sees, if anything? I love paintings which leave me asking questions

A strikingly beautiful painting!

Artist's Comments

I painted Of Days Passed - Ferruginous Hawk in 1991.  It is 24 x 30 inches and my first venture into acrylics.  To this day I vividly remember the struggles I had with this painting.  It was put aside a number of times and eventually became my sixth completed acrylic work.  It is also the first of many of my paintings that comment on our impact on the natural world.

While I greatly enjoy painting portraits of birds and animals, as well as paintings that depict the subjects in their natural habitat, my favourite paintings to work on are ones with depth of meaning or ideas to communicate (perhaps a result of my English studies).  Of Days Passed specifically comments on the fragile state of endangered species and habitats.  It depicts an injured Ferruginous Hawk, an endangered species, perched on an old binder.  The binder, which is extinct in that it is no longer used (except as yard decoration), adds a human element suggesting our involvement.  Bird and binder are set against a backdrop of short-grass prairie, an endangered space.  I was trying to achieve a beautiful prairie scene that upon closer inspection causes the viewer to ponder an uncertain future (I'm glad it left you asking questions, Winston).

My hope is that we make every effort to cherish the natural world - a world that inspires me daily, a world we have a great impact upon.

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