Nearly Extinct

One beautiful sunny morning I was able to observe a pair of endangered Whooping Cranes grooming, feeding and interacting with each other. They were aware my presence but continued with their daily routine. I was captivated by their graceful movements and serene disposition. Standing five feet tall they commanded a presence and it dawned on me why they became endanger in the first place. Not only the declining habitat but the easy target they must have been for hunters.

In China and Japan cranes carry the symbolism of longevity, immortality, and prosperity this seemed contradictory to their current status as a species. However I connected to them even more while painting knowing their importance in culture and ancient symbolism. I placed a white butterfly for fun and more symbolism as protection and purity of soul.

The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin hosts all fifteen species of cranes. The story of the Whooping Crane is remarkable. From almost completely extinct (twenty cranes left) to now over seven hundred cranes in the wild with the effort of many scientist and individuals this species has come back from the brink of extinction.

I tried to show the compelling beauty of this amazing creature by using light. There were many shades of purples, blues and warm glows of yellow within the feathers which made the Whooping Crane a wonderful subject to paint.