Oh my – a pigeon I started in Feb this year is finally finished. I had so many other projects to take care for that I didno find the nerve to finish above painting. But now it is done.

I am not 100 % content with the outcome of the plumage but after spending so much time on it with layer after layer I decided to leave it as it is. It looks so simple and easy but in fact it is quite a challenge to paint these iridescent feathers. I have to tryand exercise this again…

But here he is The Philosopher aka our lovely Jimi, who is a PMV survivor and now enjoys good health. From time to time he has to cope with body tumors but he is an exceptionally strong (and large) pigeon and when he is in trouble he comes home to his mommy.

Every day he visits us at least once to get his beloved sunflower hearts which he always takes directly from my hand while he is sitting on my knee!!! Very cute. A couple of months ago he developed this behaviour because he was always molested by other pijjies and he does not like this. He wants to eat in peace in his slow and pleasurable manner and therefor he decided to fly on my knee while I am sitting at my desk. There he cannot be bothered by any other pijjie.

 “The Philosopher”
(from the Pigeons series)
18″ x 26″ acrylic
©Petra Voegtle

And here are some details:

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I cannot believe it but I am still working on the new pigeon painting The Philosopher. It has turned out to be much more complicated than I originally thought. But it is a nice challenge – and I love challenges.

I cannot remember any more how many different layers I have added to the plumage to recreate that very difficult iridenscent colours in green and purple. But it is coming along – slowly but soon it will be finished I think. Unfortunately the flash of the camera is not so very good in reproducing the correct colours – so I have to wait whether the scanner is better.

Here is now an update of the progress:

It looks more and more like Jimi and I am happy about it…

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First of all I decided to re-name the painting: it is called now The Philosopher.  Jimi has always been our little philosopher right from the beginning when he was still a little baby. Somehow he always liked to be alone, separated from the others. And he always seemed to contemplate on something whatever that might have been. He always had his secrets. He was the one who stayed on the balcony for the longest time after he was fully fledged and although he sometimes disappeared for a few days he always came back for his breakfast or little supper.

And then when he became so ill he came home again seeking help here which we gladly supplied. When he had recovered he did not show us step by step – from one day to another he suddenly was able to fly again and eat ba himself. So he totally suprised us. It was different with all our other patients who did excercising every day to re-gain their strength. Jimi was different. He showed us that he was healthy again just one day taking us by surprise.

Since then he has never missed a day to come back home again…

So today I worked on his lovely plumage:

He is a light grey pigeon with broad shoulders and he has a beautiful collar of iridescant feathers shimmering in a lovely green and purple colour. The challenge here is to re-create the moment when he appears on the balcony balustrade in a contre-jour light that creates something like a tiny halo around his body.

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Today I continued working on the 5th painting on my Pigeons series. It is merely a portrait of Jimi, one of our PMV survivors and a son of Pete and Emma, who live on our balcony. You can read about these stories in my Pigeon Tales if you like.

Jimi is such a sweet one, calm and often seems to be a bit lonely. Already as a baby he was different. He always tried to find a calm corner, did not like to be around all the others, kind of outsider. He often came intomy studio, flew on my easel and sat there while I was working on my computer.  A very affectionate little pigeon.

Then, in December before last year, he became very sick and we already thought that we might lose him. It was a PMV (Paramyxovirus) infection. I could hospitalize him before his seizures became really bad and he could not eat any more by himself. If he had not looked for help here he certainly would have died. He was only a shadow of himself and very depressed for two weeks. But then he got used to find himself closed in a box, being handfed 3 times a day and taken care of and slowly he started to recover. End of March Jimi could be released to gether with his big love Alice who had been our patient as well.

Since then he is doing well although at the moment he suffers from a large body tumor on his right side under his wing which will hopefully dry out soon and fall off. Poor little Jimi – he’s been through so much. Therefore I will call this painting “The Survivor”. (renamed to “The Philosopher”)

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