Thursday, October 3, 2013

Delevan Wildlife Refuge - A Landscape

At least once a year, I visit the Delevan National Wildlife Refuge located at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley here in California.  It's in the path of the annual migration of millions of geese, ducks and countless other water birds.  A visitor in December will usually be rewarded with awe inspiring views of clouds of Canadian Geese blanketing the sky.

This scene is out on the wetlands looking back at the buildings that make up the park complex.  There's a visitor center and a old observation tower (now closed, unfortunately) and a cluster of maintenance buildings for the park service equipment.  Beyond are the foothills and the coastal mountain range that form the western wall of the valley.  On the other side of the mountains is the Pacific Ocean and the Ft. Bragg, Mendocino area where I will be painting with friends in less than a week!

It's fall, so the migration hasn't started.  There are only a few geese on the water now, but in about two months all that will change dramatically.  Hundreds of thousands of very noisy geese and ducks will darken the skies and cover the wetlands.  Bald and Golden Eagles that follow the migration will arrive too and there will be activity, noise and life everywhere. But today, it's a quiet, lazy fall afternoon at Delevan.

This is oil on MDF panel and one of the largest paintings I've ever done...perhaps the largest.

Delevan Wildlife Refuge   Oil on panel  approx 22" x 45" 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art


  1. Beautiful balance between the warm and cool elements.
    At that size this must be a very powerful painting.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. Painting this large...and on a gessoed panel instead of stretched canvas or canvas on panel...was a bit of an experiment all the way around. It has given me encouragement to try more paintings of a larger size. It was fun, once I stopped being intimidated!
      Thanks again.

  2. Very nice - wonderful sky and foothill colors! I like the idea of a larger format too, particularly in an expansive landscape such that one might walk into it. Well done!

  3. Hi Kansas! Painting a little larger was interesting and I do like the effect on landscapes. The physical size of the painting fits well with the subject matter. Having said that, I'm thinking about trying a clothed and seated figure on another 2' x 4' panel that I have gessoed and ready to go. This time, I'll try it vertically.