To create a painting as accurate in all aspects as possible, I spent a few weeks just researching every species of moss, lichen, fern, and so forth that I would include in my painting. I was fortunate enough to visit Oregon in 2011 and collected a few photos of moss and lichens, though I had no idea that they would be so useful later on!
This painting shows a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers working over a dead western hemlock snag, searching for delicious wiggling tidbits to eat. Pileated Woodpeckers create nesting cavities that many, many other species depend on to raise their young, and greatly aid in the decomposition of fallen wood, accelerating its break down to create a rich loam at the forest floor.
I'm honored to say that this painting came in second place in the competition!
Forest's Benefaction - Pileated Woodpeckers, 16" x 20", Acrylic on board