On Solid Rock We Stand
The original concept for this painting was to position the more common Himalayan Snow Pigeons in the foreground with an endangered Egyptian Vulture soaring in the distant sky. As the piece evolved it became apparent that although my idea worked in concept, it was not going to work compositionally. In June 2007 I was privileged to study both of these species in their natural habitat as the accompanying artist on a AFC sponsored Flag Expedition to the Himalayas of Northern India. Snow Pigeons have a large range and populations appear to be stable so they are currently evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Least Concern. The IUCN red list index charts the overall changes in status of species. Sadly, in 2003, just four short years earlier than the expeditioin, the Egyptian Vulture was also listed as Least Concern, however it has been uplisted to Endangered following a rapid population decline in India. "On Solid Rock We Stand" is intended to provoke the question 'How long could it be before these Snow Pigeons are also considered endangered?' It is with bitter sweet memories that I look at my painting and rejoice at the presence of the Snow Pigeons while mourning the absence of the Egyptian Vulture. The natural world is waiting for us with rich reward and joy as we recognize our co-existence with and stewardship of it. I hope viewers will be inspired to look within and to heed what creation is saying to us.
This piece had the honor of being one of two pieces by Dodge chosen for Art of Conservation 2008 - An International Exhibit of Nature in Art, the Artists for Conservation's first annual juried art show and touring exhibit in support of conservation. 'On Solid Rock We Stand' was on display at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum - one of the world's leading museums for nature and wildlife art September through to Dec 21st 2008.