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The Air, The Forest And The Watch - Bald Eagles By Robert Bateman

By Robert Bateman

The Air, the Forest and the Watch - Bald Eagles by Robert Bateman

"The bald eagle is one of my favorite birds to paint, primarily because of it's appearance. From an abstract point of view, its shapes and contrasts are very exciting. The expression of the face is strong and even somewhat primitive - it genuinely has the feel of the wild.

I could paint bald eagles for the rest of my life and not run out of ideas or inspiration. My family is fortunate in that we live in an area where bald eagles breed. We see them frequently from our house and always call to one another when they fly past. We never tire of them, but consider it an honor to be in their presence.

The bald eagle is particularly appropriate as a symbol for the Earth Day project because it is a bird that was brought to the brink of extinction in some of its traditional range. This, of course, was due to the use of pesticides which were contaminating the food chain. The bald eagle, being at the top of the food chain where the level of pesticides was multiplied and concentrated, suffered a loss of fertility and a weakening of the shells of its eggs. Even if breeding took place the eggs would not hatch. In a very real sense, the bald eagle was the canary in the mine, warning us of the dangers we were perpetrating.

The plight of the bald eagle was one factor that alerted us to the damage we were doing to the environment as a whole and therefore, of course, to ourselves. the use of this type of pesticide has now been banned here in North America, but we're still manufacturing it by the ton and selling it all over the third world. Migrating birds in tropical rain forests are picking up doses and bringing it back here. The good news, however, is that since this pesticide has been banned, the bald eagle is coming back along with the peregrine and the brown pelican.

The setting of this painting is the view from my studio window. It is wintertime along the west coast - the time of most rain, clouds and other atmospheric effects. I am enchanted by the way the raggedy, low-hanging clouds, like caressing hands, conform themselves to the contours of the land. They describe by their presence and passage all the three-dimensional aspects of the landscape. In other words, you can see the air, and the air reveals interesting things about the landscape. Along with the bald eagle, the atmosphere is also the subject of this painting, and the atmosphere is in serious trouble. There is a greenhouse effect caused by burning fossil fuels, the depletion of the ozone layer as well as hazards from other less well known contaminants such as nitrous oxide and lead - the air is perhaps the most serious problem facing the world.

Another factor contributing to the greenhouse effect and the high levels of carbon dioxide is the burning and removal of the rain-forests that provide the planet with oxygen. Forests are disappearing at a rate of 50 acres per minute, a rate that is accelerating. The particular forest in this painting has been cut over once, back in the pioneer days, and has been cut since but in an organic rather than in an the more common industrially efficient manner. You can see in the forest in this painting a variety of species and age groups. The eagle is perched in a dead snag. The mind-set of most commercial loggers is that this is a wasted tree and should have been cut down a long time ago when it was in its prime. The more scientists study forest ecosystems, however, the more they learn the importance of mature or " over mature", dead and decaying trees as part of the total interdependent system. Not only do these trees provide feeding and nesting sites for bird populations, but they relate to a whole complex community of obscure microorganisms which actually not only produce a more natural forest but a higher quality forest in every way. Tree plantation mono-cultures, which are planted after clear cutting, are often unstable and dangerous.

The Air, the Forest and the Watch was painted as a celebration of Earth Day. My subjects, the atmosphere, the trees and the bald eagle, were chosen as symbols of issues that require our commitment to the preservation of our planet. As the eagle served to alert us to the damage we were doing, in this painting it represents the watch - our duty as guardians of our planet." ~ Robert Bateman

The Air, the Forest and the Watch - Bald Eagles by Robert Bateman is available for sale as a Signed And Numbered Limited Edition Print. They have a 23 x 34-1/2 Image Size and is available for $325 unframed. The prestige edition of 950 prints includes a companion print along with the print. They are in mint condition and have never been framed. Artist Robert Bateman art prints on sale. We are a full service custom frame shop and can build a design to meet any style or budget. Order your print today. All prints are professionally boxed and insured and guaranteed to arrive in mint condition. All of the prints have been hand signed and numbered by Canadian Wildlife Artist Robert Bateman.

Types Dimensions Edition Size Price Cart
Signed And Numbered Limited Edition Print 23 x 34-1/2 Image Size 42558 $375.00

Prestige Paper Limited Edition 23 x 34-1/2 Image Size 950 Please Inquire Click to Inquire

To Order Call:
763-494-8888

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