When I go to museums, portrait paintings are primarily of people. My decision to paint bird portraits in a ‘formal style’ seeks to honor them - to place them on equal footing with us and to encourage the respect they deserve. Eagles have been an integral part of my life. Working in Alaska for 30 years, I had many opportunities to watch them in Unalaska and Haines. I also grew to appreciate the eagle imagery in Alaska Native art and culture. A favorite wall-size wood carving by Tlingit Alaska Native artist James Schoppert incorporates eagle talons.