This piece has been juried into The Art of Conservation 2017 virtual exhibition.
The idea for this painting came about on a trip I went on in southern Alberta during late October of 2010. Autumn was sure setting in on the grasslands and I started to see a great number of Rough-legged hawks making their way down from the Arctic. I started focusing so much on watching out for Rough-legged hawks that I just stopped everything else I was doing. I came across an old busted up Cottonwood tree and liked the shapes of it and how it stood out so boldly in the landscape. I took some reference pictures of it and wanted to paint it but wasn't sure what to add into the tree. Then it came to me, a Rough-legged hawk of course! The challenge in this painting wasn't even the hawk or the tree, but the landscape. Trying to find rhythms and pathways in the grass to make a good painting was challenging, especially painting the grass. I added in the small herd of Pronghorn running away in the distance to bring some extra life to this piece. When you first look at this painting you notice the tree, then upon more careful observation you see the hawk, then by the time you notice the Pronghorn in the distance, they're on the run!