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The Art of Colin Starkevich &

The Grassland Series

Art work - To view the entire body of artwork in The Grassland Series please visit

Non Grassland Wildlife and Early Work Non Grassland Wildlife and Early Work Great Horned Owl Fledgling (11 by 14" oil on board) 206207878 End of Another Season (11 by 14" oil on gessoboard) 205627648 Keeper of Faith - Mountain Gorilla (24 by 30" oil on canvas) In Private Collection 205492298 Study of White-tailed Deer (9 by 12" acrylic on gessoboard) Three consecutive summers I have had the privilege to observe this wild White-tailed Deer on a friends property. Each year his antlers get a little larger. This past summer I came across him late in August when his antlers were almost completely grown for the year, and still covered in the soft furry velvet. I decided to paint his portrait in this small painting depicting this deer in all his glory. 204659661 Peaceful Waters - King Eider (12 BY 16" oil on canvas) 204151707 Future - Ross's Goose (16 by 20" oil on canvas) A mother Ross's goose sits on her nest in Canada's Arctic caring for her newly hatched gosling soon to be followed by at least two more who are still in their eggs. The gosling represents the beginning of a future generation of Ross's Geese which will follow migratory fly ways across the continent that their ancestors have followed for centuries, sharing the same resources. I am hoping this painting can act as a reminder of our future. If we want to see our future generations enjoy the same world, if not a better world than the one we are currently living in, it is important we continue to learn and care about our planet in any way we can no matter how big or small, every effort counts! 205001355 Living on the Edge - Mountain Goat (5 by 7" acrylic on masonite) In Private Collection 204151713 From the Wetlands - Ruddy duck (5 by 7" acrylic on masonite) In Private Collection 204151712 Across the Barrens - Grizzly Bear (24 by 36" acrylic on canvas) In the high Arctic of Canada's north, the barren landscape is open and wild. A few hundred miles inland from the coastlines of the Arctic Ocean, Barren land Grizzly bears roam the tundra living about their nomadic lifestyles. Depicted here a large bear makes its way across the land, appearing not bothered by the weather that seems to be changing spontaneously and rapidly. I wanted this painting to have a sense of mystery about the bear, making it hard to decipher what it is the bear is doing exactly. Is it just going among its business, perhaps looking for something to eat, or is it something more that its searching for? 203819210 On the Move - Grizzly Bear (8 by 10" acrylic on masonite) 195869925 The Journey-Barren land Caribou (16 by 20" oil on canvas) In Private Collection Portrayed in early summer, the antlers are still developing and covered in velvet, the fur is starting to change from its winter coat to a lighter, summer coat. Animals that are always on the move, Barren land Caribou are on a continuous journey throughout their lives, just as we are. Caribou almost always travel in herds, traveling the journey together. Just below the ridge you can see the antlers of many others, indicating this Caribou portrayed isn't travelling alone either. I portrayed this Caribou this way to act as a reminder to show that we also travel through lives involving many others. I believe that in order to achieve our goals and dreams, we can't do it alone. That being said, this painting secretly acts as a reminder to all of us that we should be thankful for all the people who support us on our journey over the years, for me, this also includes all the wild spaces and wildlife I have been able to spend time with. 199941175 Arctic Wolf (12 by 16" oil on canvas paper) In Private Collection While living in the Canadian arctic for a period during the summer of 2013 collecting data in a breeding Snow Goose colony for an ongoing research project I was able to see some amazing wildlife, including this Arctic wolf. I was able to get within a few yards of this shy but curious creature, it was recently swimming in a nearby lake and the texture of its drying wet fur sparked my interest to create this painting of it. This wolf seemed to have a bit of a mystical essence about it which I wanted to capture in this painting. 192553288 On the Ridge - Musk Ox (oil on Canvas) 198211193 Meeting of Two Worlds-Arctic Wolf (24 by 18" oil on canvas) In Private Collection Often we get caught up in the mumble jumble of our own lives, the world we live in. It may heavily involve nature, it may not. I often think wild animals are the same way, caught up in their daily routines and their own lives. In this painting I wanted to portray these two worlds coming together in a very respectful manner. When you see this wolf, I want it to stop you in your tracks. The wolf is separated from the viewer by a small pond, acting as a barrier between the viewer and the wolf to give the viewers psyche some comfort. Even though the Wolf will not have any problem crossing this piece of water, in the painting it was enough to make the wolf pause for a brief moment. It's this moment where the wolf's world and the viewers clash in silence. We begin to analyze the Wolf and its surroundings, getting a glimpse of its world. The wolf is doing the same but on the other side, looking right at us and analyzing us, who we are, where we are coming from. It is up to the viewer to decide what they want this wild creature to think of us, and what the viewer wants to think of this wolf. 201815944 Winter Companion - Barred Owl (16 by 20" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection Owls for the most part, are very elusive creatures, and in the boreal forest lives one of the most unique of Owls species, the Barred Owl. A medium sized owl and one of the very few species of owls that have a dark coloured eye, not yellow as in most owl species. If you are out in the woodlands during the winter months enjoying the outdoors, you may have a winter companion keeping you company. 203586682 The Wanderer - Semipalmated Plover (8 BY 10" acrylic on canvas) 198211195 Ready for the World - Great Horned Owl Fledgling (12 by 16" acrylic on board) 202494373 In the Hawk House (12 by 16" watercolour on paper) A painting inspired directly from the Strathcona Raptor Shelter located east of Edmonton, AB. A place where I have spent so much of my time at volunteering and learning about birds of prey, especially in my later teens. In one of the outdoor flight aviaries there is a building connected to it which provides shelter for the birds during bad weather while they are recovering from their injuries, this building is referred to as "The Hawk House". Here you will find mostly hawks and eagles on just about any given day. The weathered interior of this building has always interested me...along with the birds inside of it such as this immature Bald Eagle. 186187164 Arctic Places (18 by 24" oil on canvas) 198525565 Pleasant Surprise - Barn Swallow Chicks (9 by 12" acrylic on canvas) 195869926 Gyr Falcon (24 by 30" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection A Gyr Falcon is a bird of prey which nests in the far north and ;ike most birds, head south once it gets cold. It is also the largest of the falcons in North America. The interesting thing about Gyr falcons is that they are one of the few birds which winter in southern Canada, much like the Snowy owl. It isn't too often a person see's a Gyr falcon; I happened to see this one during winter in southern Alberta and was pretty ecstatic since it was only the 3rd Gyr falcon I ever seen in the wild. This one is in its most common colour phase, the gray morph. If you are ever lucky enough to see a Gyr falcon in its majestic white plumage it would be a real treat. I knew it would be easier for me to paint its soft white breast feathers then try to accurately paint the pattern of the feathers on the side of its wing. So I decided to challenge myself and paint it showing the side of its wing. As simple of a painting as it may seem, I struggled quite a bit with it but I am happy with the finished result! 178298792 Western Kingbird (9 by 12" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection 195869927 The 82nd Street King (24 by 30" oil on canvas) Collection of Artist This is a very special painting to me, probably my favorite one. I spent my entire second year of College working on it in my spare time. I call it the 82nd street king because I saw this very deer at this man's wonderful little acreage he had just north of the slough I grew up near on 82nd street. I spent a lot of time there in the fall in my later teens trying to hunt White-tailed deer with my compound bow. I always seen big deer there but never ever got one. Two weeks before I moved to Vermilion to attend College when I was 18 I found out that place was going to be destroyed to have a highway put through it. It was quite heart breaking since that was the last place close to home that I grew up spending so many countless hours exploring at. So the next day after I found out it was going to get destroyed I went back there with my camera just to take some final pictures of this place which has meant so much to me. When I was finished there and heading back to my car I had my head down walking through this tall grass in a meadow when I looked up and saw this deer watching me, at first glance I didn't even know it was a deer its antlers were so large. It was by far the biggest buck I have ever seen there. I knew I had to paint his portrait. I had my camera this time and was able to snap a few pictures. It's funny how much time and years I spent wondering around this place and had never seen a deer of this size before. Then on one of my last days there, the day I was taking final pictures of that place I see this deer. I consider this painting as a gift to myself from that very deer. It was not hunting season then so I didn't have the opportunity to hunt him, which I am glad I didn't. I added the Canadian thistle in the foreground to give a hint of the hardships that deer had coming to him. Whenever you brush against a thistle the sting usually comes quick and without warning since they are so well camouflaged in the tall grass. The home of this deer is now destroyed. But that deer and that wonderful little acreage will always be one of my finest memories. 118595094 American Avocet (9 by 12" oil on canvas) Collection of Artist I decided to create this painting after all the American avocets I seen at "the slough" where I grew up near. I remember this one summer when I must of been 14 it was a dry year and the water level had receded drastically at the slough. Leaving a beach like appearance bordering the water's edge. This brought in the Avocet's in great numbers that year and I remember watching them so many times that summer and how they always seemed to me like some exotic creature the way they stood out significantly among other shore birds with their bright colours. 118595095 Marianne's Portrait (26 by 28" acrylic on board) In Private Collection This is a portrait of a Red-tailed hawk named Marianne at the Strathcona Raptor Shelter. She came to the shelter a as a fully mature bird. Her wing was so badly damaged that she will never be able to fly again. She also had some damage to her left eye which can be slightly visible in this portrait. She currently is brought to events and presentations that the society holds for the general public and schools across Alberta. You might be able to say that the raptor shelter is more like a retirement home for Marianne. Where she is finished her time in the wild raising young and now is just living out her days in peace. I created this painting on a piece of masonite board which came in a box for a dishwasher my parents had recently purchased. The board was meant to be thrown away as trash but when I seen it I knew it was a perfect size to paint a portrait on. 119888876 Signs of Spring - Western Meadowlark (16 by 20" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection 198211194 Sturgeon River Goldeneye (8 by 10" oil on canvas) Collection of Artist I got the idea to create this painting after I was watching two Common goldeneye drakes trying to impress a hen one morning on the sturgeon river. It is one of the very few places remaining near my home I grew up at where I can go to explore and enjoy nature in peace now. It is still quite far however, about a 15 minute drive in a vehicle. In this painting I tried to capture the two drakes taking a small break from performing their wonderful courtship display to the females all morning. 118595102 Northern Shoveler ( 9 by 12" oil on panel) In Private Collection This painting was created after I spent a spring morning photographing and watching ducks behind a small duck blind I had set up. The only ducks that were brave enough to come right up to the blind were Northern Shovelers. Some people may find them strange looking birds with such a long bill, in this painting I tried to hide the noticeable characteristic of them and draw a bit more attention onto the duck itself. I also painted this one in this pose to replicate in a way what I seen that morning when they would be headed straight toward my blind. 154999103 Morning Solitude (8 by 10" oil on canvas) In Private Collection A Green-winged teal is my favourite duck, well favourite of the dabblers. It sits at a tie with a Ruddy duck, which is a diver. This Green-winged teal was at a tiny little hidden pond at this man's acreage I would deer hunt on and wonder around exploring when it wasn't hunting season. In fact this pond was probably only around 75 yards away from where I saw that enormous White-tailed deer which inspired me to paint "The 82nd Street King". 131045152 Dawn of a Prairie Night (20 by 30" oil on canvas) Collection of Artist I created this painting during my second year of College. Dusk is the time of day when most animals are very active, I wanted to capture this Mule deer buck out and about on the prairies getting ready for an evening browse perhaps and preparing for the dangers of the night which is coming quite fast. Aside from the obvious in this painting there is a reason for every single object and sense of time in this painting, everything! From the way the grass is blowing to the way the value changes in the sky with the setting sun. 118595097 Autumn in the Parkland (30 by 44" pencil drawing) The idea for this drawing came about during my first year living in Vermilion, AB. I was driving around myself one evening looking for some geese to hunt when I came across 3 mule deer bucks right at the edge of a road standing in a field. I immediately was inspired to create a drawing of this. In the drawing I turned one of the bucks into a doe; I figured it would make the drawing look a little better. The buck standing beside the doe still has some velvet stuck on his left antler. There's a flock of geese flying away in the top right hand corner of the drawing, maybe an indication of what I was searching for that night which ended up getting away from me. I really enjoyed creating this piece and to date it is my largest pencil drawing. 117474780 Grizzle bear and cubs (24 by 36" acrylic on board) In Private Collection 123002915 Red-tailed Hawk (14 by 18" oil on canvas) In Private Collection This painting was created as a gift for my High School art teacher the summer I was 19. I created this painting during the summer of 2009. My art teacher has been great help to me in the past and I thought I should create a painting for her. I wanted to be certain the painting would turn out nice; this is one reason why I chose to use a Red-tailed Hawk for the subject. Since I am quite familiar with this species and have handled so many of them volunteering at the Strathcona Raptor Shelter, I felt that I would be able to paint this bird more accurately then most others. Some who know me know my obsession with birds. A Red-tailed Hawk is one of my favourites. I was inspired to paint it standing on the edge of a window on an old run down shack after seeing so many old farmsteads in eastern Alberta. 118595099 Heading North (30 by 40" oil on canvas) This painting is another painting inspired by southern Alberta. I was on a trip to Lethbridge, AB to visit some old college friends and was out looking for pronghorn one afternoon when a friend and I came across this pond. It was still frozen in parts since it was early spring but the amount and variety of waterfowl in this specific pond was incredible. I tried to show some of this diversity by painting more than one species like I usually paint or draw. In this painting there are Tundra swans, Canada geese, lesser Snow geese, Greater white-fronted geese, and a mallard. The gracefulness of the Tundra swans, the Canada geese and the tens of Snow geese lingering mysteriously in the background caught my attention immediately. I knew I had to paint this place, and this time. I wanted to let the viewer know that this was early spring and not late fall. Early spring is the start of the mating season for most waterfowl. In this painting the Tundra swans are starting to compete for mates even though they are still a long ways from their breeding grounds. The Canada goose honking in the foreground protecting his mate is competing for dominance with other males in the area. There is even competition going on between the subjects in this painting, competition for the main subject matter. Competition going on all around in this painting, and I love it! The title from this painting "Heading North" comes from the direction all of these birds are likely heading. All of these birds are returning from their wintering grounds and heading north to their breeding grounds. Even though Mallards and Canada geese do nest in southern Alberta, I'm sure the ones in this painting will be going a little further north. 126318131 Coffee Run (24 by 30" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection The title for this painting may seem a bit strange to some, but for me it fits perfectly. When I lived in Edmonton, most mornings once I have painted for a few hours I would go out for a coffee and drive around the back roads near my home. On every coffee run that winter I have seen Magpie's everywhere. I always wanted to paint one because they really are a nice looking bird. But it wasn't until one morning when I was out on my "coffee run" for the morning when I drove by this small willow tree and saw a lone Magpie hidden amongst the branches looking out across the field into the sun. The bird seemed to glow with the sunlight reflecting off of its white chest. It looked so spectacular I thought to myself "That's my painting! I quickly stopped my vehicle and took a bunch of reference photos of this willow tree and the field. The Magpie flew off before I could get pictures of it but I used some sketches I had created of Magpies earlier that year on another coffee run as my reference. In the painting I added in another Magpie, to help balance the composition a bit. I did take a bit of a risk on this painting by putting the one Magpie almost smack in the middle of the canvas. But I think it works. I thought that by calling this painting "Coffee Run" would work perfectly and be unique in its own way since it is not about the actual painting itself, but about what I was doing when the inspiration for this painting came about. 120555171 Bubo the Great Horned Owl (oil on canvas) In Private Collection This is the painting that won the national Robert Bateman Get to Know contest in 2007 at the age of 17. It was my 4th ever oil painting. It is of a Great Horned Owl that I knew when I was 14 years old. 120555170 Snowy owl (10 by 12" mixed media on paper) In Private Collection I saw this Snowy owl just south east of Wainwright, AB on a hunting trip in October 2008. I was on my way back to Vermilion where I was attending my first year of college at the time when I had spotted it about 100 yards off the road just standing out in the open in a pasture. I started walking up to it snapping pictures with my camera every few steps. I was able to get within 15 yards of this owl. I thought it was injured and may have a broken wing when I was this close to it. As soon as that thought crossed my mind the owl proved me wrong when it flew off. I decided to draw this owl using pencil, ink pen, and coloured pencil. I created the piece on plain white drawing paper which I stained myself one evening after school. 120334569 Caught Red Handed (24 by 36" oil on canvas) This painting was my first attempt at a larger painting. This painting was a turning point for me since it is where I really started to learn how to put together a painting. I started it in January of 2008 when I was 18 years old and worked on it my entire first year of College, finishing the painting in April of 2009. It was this painting which I showed a digital picture of to Robert Bateman on one of the occasions I was able to speak with him. After giving me some great advice about art he then offered me to attend his Master Artists Seminar in the fall of 2010. 118595096 Scavengers (9 by 11" graphite and charcoal on paper) Whenever I would go back home to visit for a weekend during the school year I always look forward to what kind of wildlife I will see on the 5-6 hour trip. One weekend when I was returning back to Lethbridge I saw this Bald eagle feeding on a carcass of some sort just off the highway. My guess was that it was feeding on a deer which had been hit by a vehicle. I knew I wanted to turn what I seen into a drawing since I hardly ever come across eagles feeding in the wild. Most of the times I see them they're flying or sitting on tree limbs. I also wanted to add in one of the two Magpies into the drawing which were trying to get their fair share of food as well. 154999102 Waiting on Spring (12 by 14" pencil drawing) This drawing of a House sparrow was based out of a seen through the kitchen window at the house i grew up in looking out into my backyard. Everyday I would see the sparrows hanging around the Raspberry bushes in the back yard and never ever get around to painting or drawing them. I finally said enough's enough and decided to create this little drawing of a male sparrow sitting on one of the branches of the dead raspberry bushes. 123002916 Blue-winged Teal (9 by 11" graphite on paper) The month of May is my favourite month of the year and those who know me know I really like birds, Raptors and waterfowl in particular. May is always exciting when all the ducks start coming back from their wintering grounds and in full breeding plumage too. One morning in early May I set up a duck blind by some small pond and was able to watch this Blue-winged teal for a few minutes within mere feet from my blind. It was from that morning where I decided to create this small drawing of that Blue-winged teal. I think most ducks are over looked at times because for the most part they really do look like dark little specks on the water. But when you get close enough, and the time of year is just right, I think that they are some of the most spectacular creatures we have! 154999100 Thumper (10.5 by 11.5" water colour on paper) Collection of Artist This small water colour is of a White-tailed jack rabbit named Thumper. If you read my artists statement I mentioned that as soon as I get an idea for a painting I also get the idea of what medium I am going to use to create the painting. This is a perfect example of one of those cases since I NEVER work in water colour, I think I did one other water colour painting when I was 16 as a school project and that was it. But when I got the idea to paint this rabbit by the name of Thumper it came to me that it HAD TO be created in watercolour. Since to me, if I think about working in water colour paint it seems so delicate just like this rabbit at her old age, delicate and fragile. If I used oil or acrylic for this piece I believe it wouldn't have anywhere near the same effect. 120760087