Pair of Skimmers
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11” x 24”, oil, 1980
A streamlined squadron of graceful black and white birds dips to the surface of the water. Spectacular vermilion bills partially open and touch the water. With amazing precision, the birds cruise with the lower mandible just millimeters below the surface. Any luckless little fish or shrimp which touch the bill will be quickly snapped up. This is the method of feeding for a remarkable bird which is found in America, Africa and India.

Skimmers nest in colonies on sand spits near their feeding grounds. The sand is tossed out in a radiating pattern to make a shallow depression for the eggs. I wanted to show the elegance and grace of the bird in this painting, but at the same time, to indicate and almost exotic richness to the scene.