Several years ago, when I was still monitoring butterflies at Illinois Beach State Park, I happened to see what I thought was an eye peering out at me from a tangle of branches. “What am I seeing?!” I wondered. Finally I decided it was a bird hiding in there so I quick took a photo and moved on lest I disturb it. Studying the photo with a field guide later I determined that it was a night hawk hiding in there. I’ve wanted to paint it for years but was intimidated by the ugly tangle of branches, plus it is sort of an odd looking bird and I wanted to get it right. Finally, for this year’s Bird Art exhibit, I decided to give it a go. To paint the bird I peeled back several of the branches. It was a challenge to convey the twiggy surroundings yet create something that would be pleasing the eye.
This, along with two other paintings, will be heading over to Volo Bog sometime this week.