On Golden Pond – Common Goldeneye

by Ric Sluiter

About the Painting

Each Spring the Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads and Common Mergansers show up just feet away from our back window on Pigeon Lake. There must be an abundance of food for them there because they keep coming back to the exact same spot. It’s a time we truly enjoy and my camera gets its best workout of the year during this period. I sit for hours watching these playful little guys take turns diving and frolicking in their close-knit communities.

We are fortunate to have a view of the sunsets and the colors on the lake leave us speechless on a regular basis. I enjoy the challenge of painting water that isn’t blue and I wanted to capture the golden water we see so often. I thought the golden reflections would be a unique palette for this composition especially with the complimentary blue wake.

I posed the Drake to seem to have a protective watchful eye over the Hen and then juxtaposed their head angles to add some interest, a-la yin and yang. I feel that if a painting can depict a story it’s more appealing to the viewer.

About the Artist

Ric Sluiter

Richard John Sluiter is a Canadian painter that was born (1957) in Toronto and grew up in Mississauga. As the youngest of 5 boys, he was fascinated by the intricacies of nature from the start. While his brothers were catching the fish, Richard would spend hours observing and drawing their designs.

After high school he followed his sibling’s path and worked in a factory as a Millwright and an Electrician. In 1982, he went back to school to study Animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. After graduating he worked at Atkinson Film Arts in Ottawa and then later moved back to Toronto where he spent the next 5 years at Animation House. In 1989, he moved to Florida to work at Disney Feature Animation where he’s worked on such films as; Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Bolt, and was an Art Director on Roger Rabbit, Mulan, and Lilo and Stitch. After working in the animation business for over 35 years he has retuned to his true passion, painting wildlife. He now spends all of his time living on Pigeon Lake in Ontario where he paints wildlife full time.

“I am continuously amazed at nature’s confounding wisdom; a Dragonfly can seemingly disappear and reappear 20 feet away in a blink of an eye; an Osprey can time and articulate a dive to catch a fish; or a 700 lb Grizzly can tear across the tundra at 56 kph.”

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