Golden Retriever, 36" x 22" Oil on Canvas
A flushing pheasant is one of the most chaotic moments an upland hunter experiences afield. Despite his bright headgear, a rooster pheasant can seemingly appear out of nowhere, exploding into the air with a cacophony of erratic cackles and wingbeats as the hunter frantically tries to draw a bead and pull the trigger. It's pandemonium, and we love every second of it. Because of the intensity and speed of the moment, rarely do we get the chance to enjoy a pheasant taking flight the way we do other birds, like a soaring eagle or a swooping hawk.
This commissioned piece allowed me to enjoy this moment in a way that hunting never really has. The client asked for a painting of their Golden Retriever, Baily, flushing a pheasant along a river. Not only were the dog and the rooster a fun challenge to paint, but also the habitat. Upland habitat can be very monotonous, boring, and uniform in color, so I took some liberty in the foreground grass and painted it loosely, using more color than I saw in my references to add life to the piece.