Above and Below by Nambroth

Above and Below


13 January 2015 at 08:32:21 MST

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.

Submission Information

Visual / Traditional


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    This is absolutely breathtaking; there's such an organic sense of movement in every facet of the image! I think I'm most impressed by the rock-solid cohesion of the colors in such a fractured color scheme, and in the handling of the water in particular.

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    Wow, the in-progress shots are amazing! And mysterious. One has a tendency to think of artwork as an egg, popped out whole and shining, and it's neat to find out what actually goes on inside the chicken, so to speak.

    This painting is gorgeous and will probably result in me screaming directly into your ear about FISH BULLRUSHES WATER TERN and of course MY FAVORITE DUCK FOREVER, but let's not lose sight of what's important:

    I'm going to have to buy a duck stamp this year, aren't I.

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    Oh wow, this is STUNNING. I just love the underwater cutaway sort of thing in the corner where we get to see the fish and reeds. Your work is just so flawless and such eye candy!

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    You just seem to outdo yourself with each new painting you create. Your water effects, lighting, texture, composition, depth...I could go on really but I won't. I've bought Duck Stamps in past years but I think this year it's an absolute requirement. Keep inspiring.

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    This is so amazing, I love how you made sure everything in the piece was native to the area!

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    I don't know how you pull off water - but it's incredible! The corner with the fish is a nice touch. I'm enamored by it and hope it will help bring attention and aid to the conservation of wetlands.

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    Yo so earned that award.