A Pair of Curlews. 24″ x 36″ x 1.5″ acrylic on canvas. $1,925 at UGallery.com
This barn owl (named by the Audubon Society Eyes in the Sky project) is housed in their facility at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and comes out in public every afternoon. I painted her with an eponymous barn and an imaginary friend using primarily transparent acrylics, finishing the painting with several coats of matte acrylic varnish, which give the it an ethereal quality.
These three curlews were striding together along Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara when I photographed them in this great pose. I painted them with a white background with just a hint of reflection to emphasize the birds themselves.
Willets are usually at the edge of the surf, poking into the wet sand as they follow each wave in and out. This one, when I came on him, was standing above the splash line on one leg asleep. Eventually he noticed me getting closer and closer with my camera and opened his eyes, but still acted sleepy. I painted him with the golden late afternoon sun on his chest and head, and with lavender and gray where his feathers were in shadow.