oil on canvas, 10x8"
I would never have imagined that the first painting I would be working on after my return from England is of a pheasant. But there is a story behind this bird, a story of kindness from a stranger and a new friendship formed.
Ken, our neighbor in North Yorkshire, England, knew that we were visitors to the area with a limited amount of time to spend enjoying the surrounding beauty of his native land. Without hesitation he offered to show us the sights and share the history of the area, sometimes by foot, other times by car. He became out tour guide extraordinaire. We learned so much from Ken in such a relatively short time. As the paths along the countryside are varied and sometimes vague, Ken showed us the way. By car he gave us an overview of Nidderdale; all of it was fascinating.
Back to the pheasant painting. Ken loves the colorful pheasant that grace the countryside. He even enjoys feeding those that come to his yard each morning. (Robert, on the other hand, had other thoughts about those pheasant. Like Ken, he got so excited when he saw them, but it wasn't because he wanted to feed them.)
Robert was leaving England before me but before he left we decided that an appropriate thank you gift for Ken would be a portrait of a pheasant which became the inspiration for this painting. Early one morning, with camera in hand, Robert paid a visit to Ken's yard. With those reference photos and others that I took while touring the area, our plan was set.