Sanhill Crane Quartet

Sanhill Crane Quartet
OIl on 18x24 inch canvas

Friday, June 16, 2017

Barn Owl

This Barn Owl hales from New Jersey where it's numbers have so decreased that it has been placed on the states endangered species list. "Barn Owls are threatened by the conversion of agricultural land to urban and suburban development, and the loss of suitable nesting sites such as large, hollow trees and old buildings. Changes to agricultural fields and grasslands can also affect Barn Owls through changes to their prey populations. Barn Owls were affected by the use of DDT-related pesticides, and they may be susceptible to poisons used against rodents, since they form a large part of the owls’ diet. Because Barn Owls hunt by flying low over fields, they are often hit by cars; planting hedgerows alongside roads can help prevent this from happening. Nest boxes (of the correct size) have helped Barn Owl populations recover in areas where natural nest sites were scarce."

The Barn Owl hunts at night feeding on small rodents, bats and other small mammals active at night. 

I used water soluble graphite pencils on 11 x 14 inch water color paper to create this portrait. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Red-Crowned Amazon Parrot

I love the expression of pure delight on this parrot. In the photo he's nibbling on a treat but I didn't want anything to detract for that look. 

I used my new pastel pencils, Carb-Othello by Stabilo. The hues are different from my Derwent pastel pencils and can be painted on the paper with water. I used a combination of painting, smudging and drawing  to complete this portrait. 

The bird cage trade and destruction of their habitat have placed this beautiful creature on the endangered species list. The red-crowned amazon parrot, also known as the red-crowned Parrot and the green-cheeked amazon parrot and the Mexican red-headed parrot is native to Northeastern Mexico.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Endangered Probiscis Monkey

The next portrait in my series of endangered animals is the Probiscis Monkey. This image was drawn and colored with Derwent pastel pencils and Faber-Castel charcoal pencils on Canson Mi Tientes paper.

This native of the Mango groves and swamps of Borneo uses it's most obvious feature, it's large, fleshy nose to attract a mate. It is believed that the large nose creates an echo chamber amplifying it's call and attracting the females of the species. The male can weigh up to 50 pounds and they stand from 24 to 28 inches.

They live in organized groups called harems or bands. I love collective nouns. Unfortunately, the cute noun doesn't serve as protection from extinction. They are protected from hunting or capture in Borneo but that doesn't protect them from natural predators. Because their local environment is being destroyed, they are forced to leave the safety of the trees and travel some distances to find food. This puts them directly in the path of jaguars and native peoples. Both consider the Probiscis Monkey a delicacy.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Black Spider Monkey

My latest portrait is of the endangered Spider Monkey. It was executed in charcoal and pastel pencil on 9 x 9 inch gray toned paper.

The Black Spider Monkey, scientific name Ateles lives an average of 22 years in the wild and in captivity. The weigh on average 13.25 pounds and vary in height between14 and 26 inches. Spider monkeys live in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America and occur as far north as Mexico. It is because it's rain forest habitat is being cut down that it's numbers have decreased so drastically that they are now endangered. They very often will not inhabit disturbed areas and are unable to find sufficient nourishment to survive. This adorable creature contributes to the ecological system by spreading seeds of the fruits it feeds on.