“Autumn Stroll” was originally painted for Wildlife Habitat, Canada's print and stamp program. I very rarely paint for “competition " style projects, but this stamp competition peaked my interest because of the subject matter. I have always wanted to paint a Wood Duck and/or a Mandarin Duck for the obvious reason, their beautiful colour! Having fantastic reference, but a lackluster setting for the piece I set off to the Sturgeon River trail behind my house to find inspiration. When I saw one single maple branch stretched over the river and the awesome contrast of orange reds against the violet blues I knew I had my setting for this original. An interesting fact about the wood duck is they are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip things like branches. This is why they are more often then not depicted in standing poses along water's edge. The Wood Duck is listed as a low conservation concern, but their favored swamps, and sluggish streams are a major concern as more and more are being lost to development and human encroachment.