Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fire Dancers at the Dallas Zoo

Fire Dancer
16X20
Oil on Linen

My first field trip in grade school was a visit to the Dallas Zoo. I will never forget seeing the hundreds of vividly orange flamingoes and watching them stand on one leg still as statues. It wasn't until I finished this painting for the Dallas Zoo last week that I researched these fascinating birds. Flamingoes are the only birds equipped to feed and live in the caustic environment of a volcanic lake.

Scientists are baffled by their dance, a bowing and bending, a marching back and forth as a group, and then suddenly taking flight en masse. These beautiful birds get their red color from eating spirulina, an algea that contributes to the pigment in their wings. I wonder if the spirulina is the same spirulina we see in health food stores and at our favorite smoothy stations?

11 comments:

arcobaleno said...

Ciao! oh, were are your beautiful flowers???!!! ....in the brush... but this is another beautiful subject! beautiful color!!!! Ciao!!!

Laura said...

So wonderful to see such a unique painting from you, Nancy! I love it, and the colors are so pretty.

Art with Liz said...

I love the way you paint animals - your passion for nature comes through with every single one of them and this flamingo is really beautiful.

Nancy Merkle said...

This fellow is strutting his stuff. Lovely painting!

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

Love the painting, Nancy! The colors are beautiful and I like how you painted the feathers!

Hugs,
Donna

Becky said...

I also have read they got their coloring pink color from eating shrimp, crabs, etc. Very interesting painting, I like it.

Angela Elledge said...

You are all over the place...dallas zoo and the tx art website; excellent news and good for you!!!! Your flamingo is beautiful, love the soft rendering of the feathers.

Also, wanted to comment on your agapanthus flowers, so beautiful. My parents have these and of course they are lush and plentiful; I've tried them here, but no such luck.

Sheila said...

Wow... vibrant, strong, majectic especially with that royal purple in the background. Bravo!

Manon Doyle said...

Wow! Beautiful work Nancy! The colors are magnificent as always!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

oh my gosh nancy!
it is beautiful! i think you can do anything and everything!

Sai, VU2SGW said...

Thanks for the great blog!

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