Copyright 2009-2022. All Rights Reserved.
On my second visit to Hawaii in 1975, Rob Shallenberger mentioned to me that the State of Hawaii had a program in which 10% of expenditures for state buildings had to be spent on decorative artworks. The Hawaii Audubon Society urged me to apply for a grant under this program, administered by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and with their endorsement, I did so and was awarded the commission to produce the ten paintings you see here. The premise of the collection was that these were very rare or possibly extinct birds that would likely never be photographed well, and the paintings are purposely created to look like photos. As it turns out, six of these birds have subsequently been nicely photographed, one species was never photographed because we now know it went extinct in the 1960s, and three others were photographed (poorly) by me and others before they went extinct in the 1980s. These paintings have been published many times in various books and magazines, and I still regard them as some of my best work despite their early vintage. They financed much of my early research in Hawaii. The originals still hang in the offices of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Honolulu.