This beautiful nest was discovered up on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs one Minnesota spring. I watched it from the early stages as it was being built until the eggs hatched. It is truly fascinating how birds gather material and construct their nest to withstand the elements and predators. They are amazing architects, piecing together small grasses for their bed and larger sticks and branches for the outer structure. I have photographs of the nest in all its phases and I knew it would be a great painting. I stripped away the surrounding brush and just focused on the drama of the nest and its contents. While my technique is highly realistic, the organic shape of the subject, combined with the dark background, gives this painting a contemporary feel.