As a 6th grader I had to study and then report on a bird for Science Class. I picked the Red-winged Blackbird. So it’s safe to say my appreciation for them goes back a long way. More recently I’ve been photographing the Yellow Iris’ knowing they would find their way into a painting someday. I’ve just now learned they are on the list of invasive species in Oregon because they displace native vegetation. Frankly, given their beauty, I was disappointed to hear of their dark side. It’s not unusual to have friends suggest something they feel would make a good painting, but I’ve always felt my purest form of inspiration comes from my own discovery process. When good friend and local legend Neal Maine suggested this subject, well let’s just say that’s a bit different. He has been caring for the north coast environment longer than the 35 years I’ve known him, all the while being one of the most encouraging and gentle people you will ever know. Neal stopped by the gallery with photographs of Red-winged Blackbirds he’d taken in Little Pompey Wetland (one block east of our gallery). He somewhat apologetically handed them to Carol saying he thought Jeff would do a wonderful job painting them in their native environment.
I realize most people who visit the coast are here to enjoy the beaches and ocean; but let me encourage you to stop by Little Pompey some morning or evening to appreciate the sights and sounds of our “downtown” wetland.