Pileated Woodpecker on Beech Tree
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24” x 36”, acrylic, 1977
A woodpecker almost as big as a crow and built like a heron, that is the pileated. It is much more common in the settled areas of both East and West than most people think. It is found in extensive wooded areas, but don't expect to see it up close. You may hear its call like a louder, slower flicker's - cuh, cuh, cuh. Many people have seen it flying at a distance and assume it was a crow, but the long neck and bill and bounding flight are easy to recognize.

We feel honoured where we live to have pileated woodpeckers visit our part of the woods. Often, we will hear loud whacking, and there he is throwing big chips in all directions. He is not as shy as his reputation indicates and will work away quite close to the house.
In this painting I have put him in a setting that is almost a sculptured landscape in itself . . . the trunk of the beech tree. I find the variety of surface textures like an exciting piece of abstract art.