Bird Painting (Wildlife Collection) ‘Just Peachy Flamingos’


‘Just Peachy Flamingos’ — Bird Painting by Valerie Rawlings — Austin, TX

My latest bird painting is based on a photo taken by my artist cousin Karen (oil painter and photographer). I love the contrast of the dark shadowy foliage with the brilliance of the birds. And while some flamingos are plain old pink, these are really much more of a peachy or coral color. Apparently the color is dependent on their diet — more shrimp, more coral tones. That pink color of the plastic yard art flamingos doesn’t do justice to the real thing. And this reminds me of a story.

One of the unique things about living in Austin years ago was the Pots & Plants nursery that occupied the large corner of a busy intersection. Every spring the two owners would bring their lawn chairs out to the sloped and grassy area next to the road. They wore pith helmets, khaki shirts and shorts, and had binoculars around their necks. They would peer up at the sky through the binoculars and point and gesture, all day long for several days. You see, the mascot for the nursery was the flamingo and they were waiting for the “flock” to return for the summer. The next day, the entire hillside in front of the place would be covered with — you got it — plastic pink flamingos!


Pots & Plants — Painted Birds — Flamingos

Now this would make another great bird painting! The painted birds were so colorful and made me smile EVERY TIME I drove by (although there were dark forces in Austin that railed against such tawdry displays in our upscale suburb). When the Westlake High School football team went to the State Championship, Pots & Plants painted those silly birds red, white and blue in support of the team. Just prior to the annual UT/A&M football game they painted half of them burnt orange and white, the other half maroon and white, and lined them up like opposing football teams. So funny! The day after the big game, the losing birds were lying on the ground. (I can’t remember who won that year, but the visuals were great!). Soooo, flamingos as yard art??? I have to say if it makes you giggle, it’s a winner!!!

My flamingos are eager to fly to your home and make you giggle! Let me know if you have just the right place for them. And speaking of flamingos, here’s a cute story I found while doing research for this wildlife bird painting:

An old pirate with an eye patch, peg leg and arm hook is reminiscing with some young sailors about his life on the sea. “I lost my leg and hand in a horrific sea battle,” he said. “A cannonball took off my leg at the knee, then one of the boarders sliced off my hand with a saber.”

One of the sailors said “That’s amazing! And how did you get that eye patch?”

The pirate replied “I was standing watch on the main deck, when a flamingo flew over and crapped right in my eye.”

A sailor asked “And the bird crap made you blind?”

The pirate replied “Well, it was my first day with the hook.”

About Valerie Rawlings

Austin, Texas oil painter focusing on portraits, landscapes and still life paintings
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2 Responses to Bird Painting (Wildlife Collection) ‘Just Peachy Flamingos’

  1. Jan says:

    You captured the beauty and dignity of these brilliant creatures. Bravo!

  2. Valerie Rawlings says:

    Thank you Jan! Now that it is posted, I see how poor my photograph was. There is so much glare on the left where it should be dark. I am considering an expensive camera but really I think I need some kind of tent to diffuse the sunlight outside. With indoor lighting it is easier to control the glare on the oil painting, but the colors are much cooler, which can be a detriment to the photo. You just need to come to Austin and see my work in person!