Mister Pelican © Barbara A. Freeman
Acrylic, 3 1/8" x 2"
Mister Pelican was the result of my trip to Dunedin, FL this last January when I went to see the Miniature Art Society of Florida Show. One afternoon Wayne, daughter Gina and I took a walk along the water and around the bridges to where folks were fishing. While there, several pelicans landed and posed for us. I had several photo references to work from, but was attracted to this composition because of the curve of the pelican's neck and the proud look in his eye. I also liked this format and thank Wayne for use of his photo. I have several other interesting poses of pelicans so who knows, there may be more pelican paintings down the road.
Being there brought back memories from when I lived in Central Florida and our family would take day trips to the 520 bridge at Merrit Island near Coco Beach to go fishing. It was a fun day just hanging out, feeding the fish more than catching them! I also remember when we used to go camping at the "Jetties" south of Cocoa Beach and fish all night. We'd climb out on the rocks and catch sheepshead and whatever else was running, then cook them up for breakfast. The pelicans were always part of the landscape. All that has changed and the Jetty is a park now with fees for everything. I'm glad we were able to enjoy it when the only folks there were fishermen and surfers.
Pastoral Afternoon is a graphite on film work with colored pencil on the back side of the film. Having the colored pencil on the back side gives the work the look of a faded photograph. The scene reminded me of my childhood in a small town in PA where I lived. There was a field behind my house where I loved to roam and daydream during the summer. There were cows in that field too but always far off closer to the farm end of the meadow. I used to slip under the barbed-wire fence brushing past the spearmint plants to get to the other side. There was a creek down at the bottom of the hill where I would go with my little dog Ginger. I loved spending my time in that field letting my imagination run but always keeping my eye on the cows, that they didn't get too near and block my way back home. Even now when I smell fresh mint, I can remember how it felt having the whole day to run in that meadow, to expore and dream!