Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
Art and Photo Presentation

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.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
(Artwork - 135)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)

his painting shows a species of kingbird that is native to much of the southeastern U.S., and northeastern Mexico, with the odd individual occurring as far north as my own province of Ontario. I have seen large numbers of them in Texas and one of their colloquial names is "Texas bird-of-paradise". They are also the state bird of Oklahoma. I have shown two birds amid the blossoms of the state tree of Oklahoma, the Northern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) which, in spite of its scientific name, only barely reaches the northern edge of its natural range in southern Ontario. Its flowers are amazing to me in that they are so tiny and so intensely bunched together as to prevent, except upon very close examination, the eye from discerning the individual blooms. I have tried (possibly not very well) to impressionistically suggest this appearance in the painting. They also bloom along the length of many twigs and branches, emerging directly from the bark.

Kingbirds are in the family of birds known as "tyrant flycatchers", or Tyrannidae, exclusively found in the western hemisphere. The kingbirds are "tyrants" in the sense that they are well-known for attacking, in mid-air, larger birds such as crows and hawks that may predate them, their eggs or young, although they will also sometimes go after relatively or quite harmless large birds, such as herons. They consume mostly insects captured in mid-flight, hence their maneuverability.

I normally make use museum specimens as models for my paintings, and for this one I used one collected by the late George Miksch Sutton (1898 - 1982) in Norman Oklahoma in 1953. Sutton was a famed American bird artist and ornithologist who also was a gifted writer. When I was in my teens I met him during a visit he made to Toronto, and we were introduced by Canada's greatest (in my opinion) bird artist, T.M. Shortt. Dr. Sutton very kindly looked at some of my drawings which I realize, now, were quite terrible, but he was kind and encouraging and advised me to listen to Terry Shortt's advice, which I most certainly did do, although I'll never be his equal as a portrayer of birds.

The painting is in acrylics on compressed hardboard and is 14 by 25 inches, showing the birds approximately life-size, against a clear, blue, Oklahoma sky. ($500.00)

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
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