Just Ducky


Several years ago I painted the foreground you see here, but with a rather stilted background I never felt happy with.  The canvas hung around, on the brink of being painted out, but I really liked the blue flag flowers so I held onto it.  Then one very cold day in late winter I was out walking with a friend at a state park and we saw lots of ducks hanging out in a half-frozen wetland.  I’m not positive of the species you see here….canvasback?  The images I see of those online seem a little pointier, or something. Anyhow I thought this guy was a cutie and it occurred to me that if I simplified the background with a blue wash and inserted my cute little duck behind the sedges, it just might work.

I’ve been enjoying the spring here so much.  It has been overcast and cool~we’re still wearing  jackets around here!  With lots of rain.  Plants are very happy, and we’re seeing plants we don’t usually see in the preserves.  I’ve been having lots of ducks flying over, checking out my “rain garden” that is really trying to be a pond this year.

When I view my post, I see that the image is repeated….I’m not sure why that is.  It must be a feature of the theme I am trying out.  Somewhere on this site I’ve got a portfolio started, with payment buttons and everything.  Now if I could just figure out how to connect that page to the menu, I’ll be all set!  I can’t decide whether trying to get this site to work the way I want it to is good for my brain, or simply a source of pointless frustration. 😀


  1. Lovely, Melissa, and it’s interesting to read a little about the evolution of this canvas. 🙂 I like the slight tilt of the dick’s head – the expression is beautiful.


  2. I’m glad you held on to your painting for so long and finally found a way to resuscitate it. You didn’t duck your responsibility as an artist.

    Hard to believe you’re wearing jackets when it’s supposed to hit 100° here this week.


  3. It may be have been around awhile, but it looks like a fresh work. The arching sedges in the foreground look great, as do the irises, and the canvasback – or whatever it is. It’s been coldish and rainy here as well.


  4. There’s so much to enjoy in this painting, Melissa. One detail that caught my eye is that bit of brown grass angling up from amid the blue flags. I don’t know what it is that makes it so perfect, but it is. I like the placement of the duck, too. It’s as though you’ve pulled back the curtain of grasses to give us a look at it in its natural, though generally hidden, habitat — kind of a Secret Garden for ducks!


  5. Oh I love that~a secret garden for ducks! 🙂 🙂 I’m awfully pleased you like the grown stick coming up from among the blue flags. It is a yound red twig dogwood stem, added late because I felt some red was needed right there. Thank you!


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