“Lady” Accepted to Birds in Art, and a story…

I am honored to share that this painting was chosen by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum to be included in their international juried Birds in Art exhibition. 
 
“Lady,” a 30 x 24 oil painting (left), depicts a golden eagle he rehabilitated when I was a girl. It was impressionable and inspiring for me to have this gorgeous creature in our home when I was young, and now a thrill to be able to share her painting at this exhibition. 
I gave this painting as a gift to my dad. There’s a story of my dad and an eagle he called “Lady.”

Dad was driving home after his meetings in Casper, WY when he noticed a golden eagle on the side of the road. When it didn’t fly away upon his car passing, he knew something must be wrong. He turned his car around, and tried to approach it. The eagle took off, but couldn’t fly far and made a crash landing. This happened several times.  

Later, he found out her talons were paralyzed due to thallium poisoning. Dad said it is hard to catch an eagle, especially a feisty one like this one! Eventually he did and he wrapped her in his sport coat. To keep her contained inside the car, he put her in the passenger seat and buckled the seat belt around the sport-coat-swaddled eagle and drove back to Jackson. As an ornithologist, my dad was able to care for her, but Lady unfortunately was never able be returned to the wild due to the paralysis she incurred from the poisoning. Lady was sent to a zoo, where she lived out her years.

Dad always commented on how beautiful she was and took many photographs of Lady. I used these photographs as references in creating this painting for his birthday. I used oil paint, but because it was applied transparently and with a combination of tight and loose strokes, it has an appearance of watercolor. 

Thallium poisoning is one practice used by some ranchers to kill predators. As a result of Lady’s incident, a rancher in that area was convicted for putting enough thallium in baited carcasses to kill every man, woman, and child in the state. 

Trapping is still very prevalent today, especially in our beautiful Wyoming. This can be dangerous not only to unsuspecting wildlife, but to our beloved dogs as well. To stay informed about trapping in our area and to learn more, please visit wyominguntrapped.org.

Resources:

Wyoming Untrapped






USDA Wildlife Services Reports

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Posted on May 14, 2017.
Posted in Field Notes, In the Press, Uncategorized. .
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