Saturday, August 23, 2014

Black-Footed Ferret and Prairie Dog

Now here's a couple that are truly up a creek without a paddle. The black-footed ferret depends on the prairie dog as a food source and for their burrows for nesting, but the extinction of the prairie dog is having a toll on the ferret population by extension. In fact, as late as 1981, the black-footed ferret was considered extinct until a colony was discovered in Wyoming. Much of the demise of both species has been caused by a bacterial plague for which they have no immunity, and by ranchers who consider them competition for the grass that their livestock depend on.

Oil on wood panel, 30" x 40".

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Salt Marsh Harvest Mice

Another of my "Numbered Days" series of endangered creatures. These cute little fellers are found only in the San Francisco Bay area. They are very unusual in that they drink salt water and swim very well, floating on the tide looking for pickleweed plants to munch upon. Their days are numbered because housing developments continually drain or dyke the marshlands near the bay, eliminating their habitat. I'm not a huge fan of mice, but I'm rooting for them! 

Oil on wood panel, 30" x 36"

Monday, August 4, 2014

Roseate Spoonbill

Many years ago I created a series of oil paintings depicting endangered species. Each canvas had a surreal twist to it, usually involving numbers within the creature's natural environment, symbolizing the limited number of remaining species. I really enjoyed this series. This particular canvas depicts an endangered spoonbill found in Florida. Interesting, it was purchased by a Minnesotan who told me it is gracing the living room of his winter home in Florida.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Friends of mine are driving up north to the Boundary Waters this weekend to relax and camp out. You know, pitch a tent, hike and do all those outdoorsy things. It's all well and good if you're armed with a can of heavy-duty bug spray and bear repellent, but frankly, my idea of the great outdoors is sitting next to a tent more like these:

photo: London West Hollywood Hotel