Oil, 4 x 4 inches
The American Bittern is one odd bird. Secretive and sloth-like with its movements, the Bittern creeps through tall grasses and blends easily with its surroundings thanks to its neutral-colored feathers and lime-green feet. And when it feels it might be in danger, it will stretch its neck straight into the air and hold this pose in an effort to camouflage with its swampy, weedy habitat. I did not go searching for this bird, but happened upon it in a marshy area in Madison, WI, and witnessed all of these behaviors. Its sound is very unusual, too, similar to a big gulp of water. Such are the wild adventures that are the most thrilling and memorable to me. When the unexpected happens, nature can really be fulfilling.
In additional news, MacRostie's Little Big Show opens this Friday, 4-7 pm, in Grand Rapids, MN. The show is part of the city's First Friday Art Walk when businesses are open later than normal. Wine and music by Sam Miltich from 4-6 pm, artist talks begin at 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Bill Rutherford. My miniature of a Hermit Thrush is in the show, highlighted in a previous blog post. Other miniatures of mine are for sale throughout the gallery. Below is my miniature painting of an American Goldfinch that recently sold at MacRostie.