Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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In this section are copies of original works of art. All of them are dedicated to helping us live according to unconditional love and compassion, which is the foundation of our peaceful means of bringing true and lasting peace to all of God's creatures, whether they are human beings or other animals.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)


Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)
(Artwork - 137)
Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Normally the only title I give a painting is the name of the species portrayed, but I call this "Chinese Gold" because the bird is native to western China, and the adult male has the colours -- red, gold and yellow - so often found in Chinese art and decoration. Also an alternative English name is "Chinese Pheasant". The females are a modest brown, but seen up close the detail of intricate mottled patterning of their plumage is quite exquisite. They are commonly seen in zoos and collections, with many mutations now existing and they have been released into the wild and become established in many parts of the world. Although I showed my trio out in the open they tend to be found in dense, evergreen forests where even the brightly coloured males can defy easy detection.

The female lays a large clutch, up to a dozen eggs, which is a familiar survival strategy for Gallinaceous birds such as pheasants, grouse and quail and is indicative of high natural mortality.

I discovered when I did this painting that I have not only come back to this species several times through my life, but that I somehow have digital images of several paintings from different parts in my life and I thought you might like to see them. So in addition to this latest I have shown an earlier one, done, as I recall, in gouache watercolours on paper, showing a pair of birds in winter. Next is a portrait done, I think, a few decades earlier, of a portrait study, on illustration board, in acrylics.

But perhaps most interesting is the last one. I believe I was around five or six when I painted it, in oils on plastic canvas paper, signing it later before my parents put it in a frame. It is typical for very young children to separate out the various elements of the painting - sky, bird, flower -- and to not have any shading, and perhaps not quite plan the positioning well…all of which are in this childish rendering. On the other hand, I take some pride in getting the colours more or less correct, and I think I copied a picture in a book, a reproduction of a painting by Walter Weber or Roger Tory Peterson, after seeing a captive bird in a pheasant collection. I've been fascinated by birds for as long as I can remember.

The dimensions of the Golden Pheasant are 24” x 36” and it is painted in acrylics on a Russian birch panel mounted on a frame. While I have resisted having "prints" or reproductions made of my paintings, I will be doing up to fifty signed and numbered high quality giclee reproductions of this painting.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
See his website: http://barrykentmackay.ca/

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