Thomas Anderson

"Black-bellied Plover"
Ink, 22" x 15"
©2019 Thomas Anderson

Once I felt simple ink on paper compositions were a viable way forward, this piece came shortly after the Short-billed Dowitchers. Again, I love shorebirds because of the beautiful but subtle and hard to see patterns in their feathers. I don't need to say anything in paint about the mudflats or the pickleweed or the water. I just want to draw attention to how beautiful they are, how it might feel to hold one in your hand. Black-bellied Plovers arrive at Bolsa Chica as early as July with very spectacular breeding plumage - what I've sought to capture here. They do not blend in with their salt marsh surroundings as easily when their bellies are black and their back and wings spotted with black and white. They quickly molt into a bland brown non-breeding plumage for their fall and winter stay at the wetlands. But for me, the design in their breeding plumage could not be more graphic.

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