Depiction of Waterfowl in Flight

April 24, 2012

Below are images of various waterfowl in flight.  The images are posted to depict Monte’s attempts at how to portray waterfowl in flight in an accurate manner and also to illustrate his attempt to record what his own eyes saw and how his brain processed the information.

Capturing and recording what his eyes saw and his brain processed was a lifelong endeavor for Monte.  One goal of his was also to create artistic works where those viewing the piece would “see” the created artwork as an accurate portrayal of the wild.

Note the changes in the portrayal of the wings of the waterfowl in their shape, form and positions.  The changes are noticeable throughout the years and dependent upon the progression of his artistic abilities.

Below is a more simply, bare, crafted illustration concerned more with the depiction of the flight of the waterfowl, than detail.

Below is an early drawing where Monte had attempted to blur the moving wings of the waterfowl in an attempt to illustrate what his mind registered when watching landing waterfowl in flight.

One of Monte’s struggles as an artist was to render his pieces as truthful scenes of nature as he saw them.

Below is an early oil panting by Monte where the wings of the Mallards are gracefully curved and flared and styled in a way not readily apparent in his later works.

In conversations with Monte after his battle with colon cancer in the early 1990’s, his distress over his claim of “not seeing things” the same way he used to was quite palpable and confusing to those who would listen. Often his ability of explaining what this meant to him was lost upon others. What he could not express well to others was how something changed when it came to his powers of perception and his skills as an artist.  Many thought it was a mental issue and the aftermath of cancer, but as mentioned previously, it was not until years later that it was discovered Monte received brain damage during his cancer surgery and treatment.

During the later years of his life he would comment that he was finally starting to “see things the way he used to.”  But the meaning of that was also a hard thing for him to put into words so others would understand what he meant.


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