With the close of hunting season leaving me in a "funk" as it always does, it is difficult to find activities that fill the void.  I still have the duck hunting videos on 'loop' in my dvd player, I'm still practicing new techniques on my duck calls in the house (My wife doesn't seem to find these skills very impressive), and I'm still making regular trips to the local sporting stores.  It really doesn't make much sense, so it's impossible to explain.  Unless you hunt or fish yourself - then you know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's not really so much about the moment after pulling the trigger, it's about watching those deer filter out of the trees for hours and finally seeing antlers catch the light.  It's about the several skipped beats your heart misses as rapid-firing wings of a covey of quail flush out of the brush surrounding you.  It's about making fruitless cast after cast over a hole and then finally feeling that line set just right in your hands, that precise loop uncurl to its destination, and then watching your fly disappear into the jaws of rolling greens and reds.

     I know guys who just sit in depression for months, waiting for the next season to open.  Thankfully, I have been blessed with another way to show my appreciation of the natural world.  I turn to the easel in an attempt to maintain these memories and impressions fresh in my mind.  This time around I turned to one of my favorite birds - the ringneck pheasant.  Ironically, it's also a bird that I don't get to see very often and have only had the opportunity to hunt once.  It took me several weeks to come up with a concept and to gather a dozen or so images to compile bits and pieces from to finally construct this end product, but I think it all came together in the end nicely.  And for now that "funk" has subsided to the point where I am able to at least live a semi-sane lifestyle.  At least for now.  Fly fishing season is right around the corner.  


"Ringneck"  18" x 24"

Prints now available, original available after drying and varnishing period.

Written by Clayton Stewart — February 20, 2013