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  • Writer's pictureMatt Smythe

The Cycle of Life

I've been hard at work in the studio for the better part of a month. Today, the last few days' painting and reality came together in an interesting way.

I had just completed the pair of commissioned paintings above from a woodcock shooting trip to south New Jersey last December. This morning I took my two bird dogs, Fox (a Brittany) and Phoenix (an English Pointer), for their morning walk and they started finding groups of woodcock! These birds were all little males (males are much smaller than female woodcock) migrating north on the nearly full moon.

There was still 50% snow coverage so they were definitely following the leading edge of spring as it crawls north. It was awesome to see the cycle of life coming full circle from the fall harvest depicted in my paintings to the beginning of the breeding season for the next generation of woodcock.

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