Ducks are such hardworking busybodies. Everything about them portrays a sense of seriousness and focused purpose. Their short wings work furiously when they are flying as do their short legs when they are swimming. They always seem to have somewhere important to go and they do it with vigour. If they don’t like something in their surroundings, they explode off the water’s surface and hurl off into the distance, protesting as they go. However, as the day comes to a close, there is some time to rest and kick back. This small flock of Mallard Ducks is doing just that at the end of another hard day of work. Evening may be a time to scoop a few surface insects but the night is a time to conserve energy and let their bodies regenerate.
Like kicking back on the front porch of a lakeside cabin and enjoying the evening sunset, the ducks find a sense of calm in the way nature is closing out the day. Particles in the atmosphere combined with the decreasing angle of the sun’s rays shatter the sunlight into different wave lengths giving the illusion of the classic sunset colours. Like ducks bursting off the water, a sunset is a fleeting moment in time and one really has to stop and admire it, for these scenes change with every second that the sun is striking below the horizon.
Glassy water is a joy to paint because of its mirror like ability to reflect the landscape around it. As complex as the colours may seem –everything in this painting was accomplished by using just the three primary colours – red, yellow and blue. Intermingled in the foreground, the gentle ripples on the surface mix the blues and purples of the sky with the warm colours of the sun. In the middle ground, the viewer’s angle of perspective is situated ideally to see the trees and hills mirrored on the water’s surface. In the background, the angle of viewing is very flat and the water simply reflects only the sky and not the adjacent shoreline. The changing light conditions at sunset bring out different colours in the landscape and the setting takes on a whole new feel at this time of day. Nature somehow knows how to balance “warm” and “cool” tones to create evening’s tranquility at the end of day – giving us and the ducks a moment to relax.