Day 6: #rogertorypetersoninstutute I spent much of my childhood watching Wild Kingdom and leafing through the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds. Mrs. Weymouth, our local naturalist, showed me how to use the book by using the system that Peterson used. I loved the pictures and would spend rainy afternoons copying the birds from the books.
Today I stood in the archives that house the bird skins, that were studied to create the books. Drawers and drawers of neatly catalogued birds, smelling faintly of formaldehyde, stuffed with cotton with their delicate legs tied with string and wired to ID tags. There is a strange dichotomy that over takes you when you look at these birds. Even though some are over one-hundred fifty years old, they look no different than a bird that met its unfortunate fate along one of our highways today. They are beautiful, but dead.
Today’s painting is actually a quick study of the bird skins that I spent time with. They may not be beautiful to some, the paint is runny, painted quickly with a raw feel, but not all paintings need to be beautiful, some just need to be...
“The Skins” 8”x10” watercolor Available