Friday, February 20, 2015

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Part 4: The Passenger Pigeon Project

The passenger pigeon story is one of significance in the scientific community. This species used to be one of the most abundant birds in North America estimated
to range from 3 to 5 billion during the 1800's. A flock of these pigeons were reported to have blacken the skies for almost three days straight. By the year 1900,
this species was completely wiped out through human exploitation. They were marked as the cheapest source of meat during that time. This rapid extinction
provoked scientific research and awareness of the impact humans have on the environment. 

September 2014 was the 100 year anniversary of the last known passenger pigeon, named Martha, located in the Cincinnati Zoo. I was commissioned to paint this
11x17" digital illustration for The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in recognition of this historical event. 

The Lab luckily had a stuffed passenger pigeon for me to study and use as reference. This species used to live in thick forests similar to the ones we have
in Ithaca, NY. Tote bags are available through the Lab too! Thanks for reading, and feedback is always welcome. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Book Published: Fine Healing Cuisine

A new book is out! Self-published by Betty Davis and written by her daughter Summer Davis, this is a children's short-story/poem about a strange neighbor
who comes to help a sick friend with a special stew. 

Illustrating this book was a great experience in a couple of ways. First, this story is meant to be humorous. For me, that's challenging because most of my work tends
to be realist and serious. So it was fun pushing my work to have a humorous element while not getting too cartoony.

The second creative aspect of this project is that we introduced a goose character through the illustrations only. In other words, the text is telling one story
and the illustrations are telling a complimentary story. This goose has no idea what he's getting himself into. 

Copies can be ordered online at