This original canvas artwork by Michael Glass depicts a pheasant caught in a state of surprise by a passing fox. The fox also appears to be caught off guard, pleasantly surprised even, by the presence of the pheasant. It’s a tale as old as life itself, a creature is forced into ‘fight or flight’ in order to survive. The focal point of the painting is the bird’s head, which brings intense bright colors to the forefront. The eye of the pheasant is shown peering out at the viewer, as if pleading for help. A large portion of the painting is taken up by the bird’s frantically flapping wings, followed by its tail which wraps around the fox, continuing off of the canvas and reappearing in the extreme upper right hand corner of the landscape.
Once your gaze moves on from the pheasant, you will notice the fox subdued in the background. The placement of the fox gives extra depth to this intriguing nature scene. It appears that the fox was merely strolling through the field of tall grasses or brush until the startled pheasant jumps into action, causing the fox to turn its head back towards the commotion. By the fox’s glare, you can almost feel that, as the aggressor, the animal is instantly transitioning into fight mode – at the very moment that the pheasant is taking flight in an attempt to escape the fox’s grasp. The winning prize of this instinctive exercise is survival.
For a sense of motion and excitement, add this artwork to your living areas, game room, office, lobby, or anywhere else you could use a great conversation piece.
As with all of my paintings, I began this nature art by sketching the pheasant and fox with pencil and paper. I then enlarged the drawing and penciled in the landscape on a primed canvas. From there I used a variety of techniques to apply the acrylic paint, including dropping, throwing and dragging. The foreground of the finished piece is made up of a variety of lines. This was meant to give the feeling of overgrown tall grasses and brush. The pheasant almost jumps from this ‘nest’ of grasses sending the whole composition into an explosive event. A second earlier the pheasant would have been camouflaged by the natural elements of its surroundings. Another thing I love about this painting is how the coolness of the fox’s mantel and muzzle explore the temperature of white. One question I would have for the viewer is this: Where do you see yourself in this painting? Are you the pheasant, the fox, or a nearby observer?
Title: Pheasant and Fox
Dominant Colors: Yellow, blue, red, umber, earth tones
Original Artwork Size: 70”x50”
Artist: Michael Glass