Wild Turkey, 36" x 24" Oil on Canvas
On the final evening of last year's North Carolina spring turkey season, I was hunting solo. I planned to get above a large green field where turkeys had been feeding in the afternoons and make a move on them from above as they headed to roost. But my plan was cut short when I ran across this scene on my way in. A bench near the top of the steep mountainside was holding water and had exploded with a variety of plants and flowers, growing up amidst moss-covered hardwood logs.
It was too good of a scene to pass up, so I laid my shotgun down in favor of my camera and spent a half-hour photographing from different angles and soaking in the view. As I walked back to my truck that night after fly-up, I regret I wasn't carrying a longbeard over my shoulder. But in its place was a camera with an SD card full of great images and the inspiration for a new work of art.
Eight months later, I brought the scene to life in my studio, painting these longbeards and their hens into the scene just as I pictured it in my mind that warm spring day. Below are two videos of the painting in progress.
But the story doesn't end there. Months later, I put the piece back on my easel and completely reworked the scene, even re-stretching the canvas to new dimensions. Read more about that process in my blog post "Remix" by clicking here.
"Double Date" is a true one-of-a-kind piece of art created from a hunt I'll never forget in my favorite place to hunt turkeys, the mountains of North Carolina.