The elegant Great Egret is the most common egrets in the North America. During breeding season, it grows long feathery plumes called aigrettes to attract a mate. These feathers are sprayed out from the egrets back to display its physical prowess. These wispy feathers were once used as decorations in fashionable ladies’ apparel, so the egrets became a target for plume hunters. Thanks to one of the first conservation movements in the U.S., they became a protected species. It was created with four copper plates and each piece is hand-colored with transparent watercolors.
“DaVinci’s Song” is a 4-plate etching that depicts a Cardinal, Robin, Meadowlark, and a Mockingbird in a life size format. This piece is about a poetic connection between art and science; when we hear birds sing, the melodies are like beautiful music for our enjoyment. For our avian friends, it is pretty much a scientific event to attract a mate, protect a territory, warn of predators, etc. The plates have been created so that the pieces flow together; the branches and landscape line up from one plate to the next one in perfect order. The viewer is looking through 4 windows at these singing songbirds. All the colors seen on this etching have been hand painted making each one unique.
This bird is designed to dive in water after fish, a spectacle to watch. It has binocular vision allowing it to move the eyes within their sockets, giving it a better way to view of fish in water by reducing angles of light reflection. In addition, it also has accurate depth perception. This image is of a life size female, one of the few species where the female is more colorful that the male. The etching is four plates, then hand colored.
Years ago, I used to refer to Great Egrets with just their necks and heads protruding from the saw grass as “hooks” and still like that reference. They have a presence in a grassy wetland field that makes me think about precious moments, nature, and the passing of time. Our most magnificent Egret in North America adds a touching note to this landscape. The etching was created with 4 copper plates, then hand-painted with transparent watercolors.
The rarest egret in North America, the Reddish Egret is primarily a coastal bird inhabiting saltwater estuaries. They get their food from tidal washes that shift bait with the current. The most animated of egrets, they are entertaining to watch as they jump, leap, wave wings, and run after their prey. A small percentage have all white feathers, referred to a white morph, but retain the same blue legs and pink lores. This is a four plate etching using 10 inks that are hand-printed; afterward each etching is hand-colored with transparent watercolor.
One of my personal favorite herons, the Little Blue has a subdued character when searching for prey, focused, and determined. Native Americans relate to blue herons symbolically as self-reliance and self-determination, the ability to evolve and progress. During the first year of their life cycle, their feathers are all white which has a practical function of improving their survival rate. Because they are white, more white herons and egrets accept them (Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets) in their foraging groups which give them easier access to prey. A four-plate hand-colored etching with transparent watercolor.
This beauty of the Great Blue Heron during breeding season is indeed a spectacle to behold! Standing at nearly 5 feet tall; it is the largest heron commonly seen in North America. Because of the variety of its diet; it winters farther north than most herons even near water that is freezing! It is a solitary hunter found in marshy, shallow water areas like the landscape I have created here. This piece was created using four separate copper plates that are individually hand wiped with various colors of inks. The inked plates are placed on fine wet rag paper one at a time and then manually put through a press. After the inked impression has dried; this etching is meticulously hand painted with watercolors making each one unique.
This four-plate etching displays a Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Pelican, White Pelican and a Tricolored Heron. A subtle creative feature of this etching is that the landscape grasses meet from one plate to the next. The viewer is looking through four windows at these wonderful water birds. Three are permanent residents of Florida, while the White Pelican visits in the winter, some of which travel all the way from Canada (a true snowbird). The plates are hand-printed with black ink, then all the colors are hand painted with transparent watercolor making each piece unique!
One of the smallest members of the heron family makes up for size by their vocal assertiveness and physical adjustments. Their accordion neck and exuberant crest will command attention from anyone that interrupts their daily routine. It is one of the few species of birds that uses tools to capture prey. It has been documented that these birds have found objects that look like bait and used those objects to attract small fish which they would ambush for food. This resourceful bird has also been observed swimming for prey like a swan looking for small fish. This life size etching is created with four copper plates, then hand-painted with watercolors.
This Great Blue Heron is keeping a watchful eye on this sublime landscape teeming with life below the surface. These environments are the life blood of the aquatic ecosystems and act as nurseries for a multitude of creatures. This species practically inhabits every coastal area in the U.S. No surprise since this is the most common heron in North America. The etching was created with 4 plates, then hand-painted with transparent watercolors.
An active hunter, this heron can be animated with wings open when stalking prey. The white chest and grey feathers make it distinctive from other herons its size. It is not unusual to observe this heron with other wading birds on the pursuit of prey. It has learned to coordinate its hunting practice with other birds, letting other species stir up fish that it will ambush. The life size etching is created with four plates, 8 inks, and hand-painted with watercolors.
Great Blue Herons are upper-level predators of sawgrass marshes, stalking prey with stealth and guile. With a sharp eye for movement, they can attack with precision and speed using their beak like a spear. This etching was printed from the large “Great Blue” plate on Arches watercolor paper with one ink, black. This watercolor paper gives more latitude in applying watercolor because it has more glue (sizing) then the normal printmaking paper used for editions. All the colors are hand painted. I consider this a varied edition where each print varies considerably, different colors and forms in the sky. Each is an original watercolor.