The Jesus Bird-African Jacana, 2014
oil on belgian linen
12 x 24 in
(30.48h x 60.96w cm)
The African jacana is in the family Jacanidae, long toed wader birds found throughout the tropical temperate zone. Sometimes referred to as Lilly Trotters or Jesus birds this long toed bird can walk on floating vegetation with ease. This act can make it appear as if they are walking on water, but they are actually walking around on floating vegetation seeking small insects.
I have studied many of these birds along the thousands of kilometers of shoreline in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Though I have included Jacanas in my art, this is one of only a few that I have painted as a focal point. I added the reflection of the moon to counterbalance the composition. I wanted this work to remain simple and to focus on the raw beauty of this little guy and reveal the long toes that give him his divine assets.