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Dead Bird at Field Museum 24x48 oil on canvas

Looks can be deceiving - this vibrant bird is taxidermy at the Field Museum in Chicago. I love painting birds, but getting reference photos can be tricky because they fly away before I can ever get a good shot. Enter the Field Museum. They have huge bird exhibit with tons of taxidermy - which I usually find gross... but this time I had a new perspective. I got so many reference photos while my daughter (always so encouraging) cheered me on and my boys waited patiently. This is one of my first paintings based on the reference photos I took that day.