Dotty flamingo

I’ve been wanting to paint one of these glorious birds for a while now. Apparently, the ancient egyptians believed flamingos to be the personification of the Sun god, Re. And, because their colour changes with their diet, they’ve long been associated with illusion and shapeshifting. For me, however, flamingos always bring to mind Lewis Carroll’s poor Alice in Wonderland as she tries to use a particularly uncooperative specimen as her  mallet in a game of croquet:

The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but, generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up into her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing …


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