Thursday, May 28, 2009

Micronesian Kingfisher in Teacup

This painting is of one of my favorite birds of all time, the Micronesian Kingfisher. It is indigenous to the woodlands and forests of Guam but there are zero left in the wild and about 100 in captivity. I was surprised to learn that the usual loss of habitat was not fully to blame for the demise of this kingfisher but rather the brown tree snake.

The Philadelphia Zoo has been a leader in the conservation of this endangered species since the Guam Bird Rescue Project was initiated. This year the zoo is opening the doors of the new McNeil Avian Center. Visiting this facility might cause my heart to explode from pure wonderment but I am willing to risk it!

(I thought this lovely little guy deserved a fancy teacup and a few good books).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wish Me Luck

I've just submitted a grant application for The Nest Egg Art Project from Arizona Commission on the Arts-keep your fingers crossed! Here is a condensed version of my project narrative:

Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant
Project Narrative

My mission is to produce a body of work using the imagery of extinct and endangered birds as well as birds that have been removed from the endangered species list. I will organize an art exhibition to take place in the fall of 2010 for this artwork and donate a portion of the profits from each art piece to an organization dedicated to maintaining the livelihood of endangered bird species.

The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken is possibly the most endangered bird in North America. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas initiated a captive breeding program in 1992. In that time, the Center has successfully contributed 60% of the total Attwater’s released into the wild.

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to visit Fossil Rim to observe and sketch these amazing animals. The prairie chickens are most active in the spring . I plan to visit in mid- April.
Through this project I hope to become a better artist, learn more about avian behavior, and become part of a community that supports the survival of an animal about which I am passionate.