Glimmer of Hope
Framed 16" x 24" Limited Edition Giclee Print, 2011 (Age 15)
This piece is the largest that I have completed to date. For reference, I used photos that I took of a Great Blue Heron in flight and stormy clouds, while I was in British Columbia on Cortes Island being mentored under Robert Bateman. A year later, just before starting this painting in the Fall, I had the rare opportunity to take photos of this amazing bird up close, as I happened upon one down on the shore of Lake Ontario not far from where I live. This helped me better understand the patterns and colouring of the feathers and face in particular. I used over twenty photos in order to achieve high realism detail. Compositionally speaking, I decided to put the horizon on an untraditional slight angle, as I felt this gave it a more dynamic sense and created greater aesthetic appeal. The swirling clouds add further motion as the heron flies toward brighter skies, keeping ahead of a turbulent storm. For me, the slight glimmer of light reflected on the heron represents hope within the darkness of the tempest. Although it appears that the heron is about to be engulfed, with no certainty of a way out, the light ahead evokes the metaphor of coming through one of life’s storms and looking toward a brighter future. My family has faced a lot of storms, but our faith in God has given us that needed glimmer of hope to pull us through.