MONK PARAKEET "FLOWERS FOR LUNCH"
We're all used to seeing large groups of birds in urban and suburban areas - usually common species like pigeons and sparrows. But if you glimpse a flash of brilliant green and hear a series of raucous screeches, it's somewhat of a shock to realize that you're not in the wild - you're in the midst of a thriving Monk Parakeet colony! All over the United States, these parrots have established wild (or feral) colonies.
Parakeets are native to temperate and subtropical regions of South America. In the 1960s, Monk Parakeets became extremely popular in the pet trade, and by the end of the decade United States' imports had increased to more than 16,000 Monk Parakeets per year! Many of these birds are believed to have escaped from damaged shipping crates, whereas others accidentally escaped from their owners or from zoos.
The diet of Monk Parakeets is variable, depending on local availability of
seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, flowers, and leaf buds.
This oil painting on Ampersand Gesso Board, was my first with this media.
I chose to work on a smooth board as opposed to linen for easier, smoother detail.
It has worked out quite well and is now my preferred surface.
After deciding on the composition and size in Photoshop,
I draw directly on the board using an HB pencil.
The drawing is sealed with a thin coat of acrylic picking up a basic ground color of the subject.
I am ready to start with many layers of oils to complete the painting. See work in progress below.