This is my companion painting to my winning Federal Duck Stamp image. This piece will be printed behind/around the peel-and-stick issue of my stamp (called a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive issue).
For more information on what I am talking about, and to see works in progress, visit my blog post about it: http://duckstampadventure.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-psa-duck-stamp-art.html
The finished painting is 12" x 24" (which will be cropped slightly for the stamp issue).
Acrylic on Board
Two Ruddy Duck Drakes (Oxyura jamaicensis)
A Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Swaying Bullrush (Scirpus subterminalis)
and Emerald Shiners (Notropis atherinoides)
The inspiration for this piece comes from close to home; I have enjoyed seeing waterfowl cruising the waves of Lake Erie near the shore, where birds often forage, and diving ducks are often seen appearing and disappearing again under the surface. It was important to me to select a native aquatic plant to this region. The Black Tern is a species of bird that depends greatly on wetlands and habitat that the Duck Stamp conserves, and is regionally endangered (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/60683.html), with numbers dropping disturbingly in the last several years. Finally, the emerald shiners are a small and beautiful native freshwater fish known to school in the conditions I've painted. Special thanks goes to Donald Einhouse of the NYS DEC Lake Erie Fisheries Unit, and to Matt Candeias for his insights into native aquatic plants.
It is my hope that my painting reflects the important work that the Duck Stamp Program does to preserve, maintain, help, and renew wetlands and all of the many species that depend on them.