Pinyon jay closeup of head speaks to the moon.

Conversations with the Moon 20″ wide x 10″ high


I currently have dozens of pinyon jays swarming my bird feeder in brief but intense feedings. They hastily scarf down the black oil sunflower seeds with a minimum of fuss with each other, unlike the grackles. Due to their numbers, even the big magpies cannot successfully run them away. The pinyon jays are bold and unconcerned about my movements near the window, so I have an easy time observing them. I especially enjoy the turquoise patch on their cheek under the eye.

In this bird painting I chose a soft but wintery palette to emphasize the head, playing on the blue/orange complement axis in acrylic paints. I wanted the head of the pinyon jay to practically leap off the canvas. The highlight on the eye sets the emphasis in this painting.