Landing Gear Down

It's November, and where I live, that means Tundra Swans. 
What can I tell you? I love the way they talk, and my father will tell you I can do a pretty fine impersonation of a marsh full of Tundra Swans.  In terms of life skills, it hasn't proven to be useful or profitable, but there you go.
This painting is a starting point, a place to lift off from - even though this swan is just touching down. Although I'm pleased with the loose and fresh rendering of the swan, I do feel the background got overworked and lost its initial energy. I've included a work-in-progress to show the first layers and how fresh they looked. 
So now I'm left with the decision to either keep mucking about with this one or kick it to the curb as a learning experience and start again, with a better understanding of what I'm trying to describe (in as many brushstrokes as necessary, but not one more)

Happy birding,
Christy

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