Our travels to the United States allowed me to discover an entirely new world of nature. I vividly recall visiting a small town just north of San Francisco where we spent a few days in an intimate Bed & Breakfast. Some comfortable lounge chairs were placed on the patio from which I could observe and admire a beautiful flower garden. The abundance and eccentricity of all the flowers was simply amazing. I marveled at the exuberant flowers of a Fuchsia plant that had artfully encapsulated the pergola in a seemingly wild and uncontrolled fashion, harlequin flowers I had never seen before as well as many other exotic flowers.
But as if the garden wasn’t intoxicating enough what happened next provided the spark for this painting. Seemingly out of thin air this hummingbird (called Anna’s Hummingbird) turned up to drink nectar from the Fuchsia flowers, just a few feet from where I was sitting! There are no hummingbirds in the Netherlands; this was the very first one I saw with my own eyes. You appreciate what perfect little creatures they are when you can closely observe them darting from one flower to the next. It is truly a breathtakingly beautiful sight. Its wings beat so incredibly fast all you see is a blur and all you can hear is a faint whirring sound. There was just one thing left to do: make a painting of it!
– Marjolein Bastin