After painting the cardinals last fall, I wanted to try a more exotic bird species. There are some amazing birds out there! Since I had never seen one of these beautiful birds in the wild, I used a combination of a number of photos I found on line as a basis for the bird and the background. This site has a striking quetzal photo and some interesting information.
The quetzal lives in the canopy of the rainforest and a loves to eat wild avocados, so I am showing him (yes, it is a male quetzal) in that setting. The style is not completely realistic but I have tried to show the quirky appearance of this bird and get something of the iridescent shimmer of the feathers. I may yet make some tweaks before I decide that the painting is finished and sign it (beyond the digital signature shown here).
Hope this brings some warmth to the winter deep freeze so many are experiencing!
UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments. It took longer than usual to get back to the right mindset for writing poetry that would match a painting of a quetzal. Happy you’re back in the mood – thanks Tom!
Beneath the empty tropical blue sky
beneath the canopy of hungry leaves
beneath the cloak of feathers brightly dyed
there beats a heart of peerless peace and ease
within a breast of red a coat might envy
below a head of strangely fuzzy green
above a tail that causes quite a frenzy
whene’er a milliner comes on the scene.
Yet high upon his branch the quetzal calm
surveys with dignity and steady gaze
gripping with uniquely trogon palm
well-hidden in the forest-foam of baize.
Such beauty isn’t made for human sight
but for his dowdy love in jungle night.
poem (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe
painting (cc) 2015 Hilary Farmer