Wildlife paintings, portraits & pet portraits by New Zealand Artist Karen Neal

"Te Awhiorangi & Orbell" (New Zealand Takahē )

Scratchboard (16x20in)
Original Available

Open Edition Giclee Prints available

The New Zealand Takahē is one of my most favourite birds, they are rather special and only found only in New Zealand.

Zealandia have two resident Takahē birds (Nio & Orbell) who successfully reared a chick! The artwork is father and son (Orbell - the dad) and Te Awhiorangi (the juvenile aged approximately 3-4 months before he was translocated to Burwood Takahe School, before being sent to live amongst his own in the Murchison Mountains near Te Anau. It's a great story!

The artwork is from my own reference photo. 

By the late 1890's the takahē were considered to be extinct until they were rediscovered in 1948 in a remote Fiordland valley. Thanks to an intensive programme of captive breeding, spearhead by the Department of Conservation, the Takahē population has increased, we now have approximately 350 Takahe, and some are being returned to predator-free islands within New Zealand. It's an incredible story. I'm a frequent visitor to Zealandia Eco Sanctuary in Wellington and very much enjoy spending time taking reference photos for my art as well as getting to hang out with our beautiful native birds. 

Because of their incredible history of their species being declared extinct, then being restored by our New Zealand conservation efforts, I decided to leave the artwork half monochrome, and half painted, as if the bird is evolving back through time from black and white to present-day colour.

New Zealand Takahe

The final artwork (above)

 Closeup of the artwork



Painted with Daler Rowney iridescent and pearlescent inks

New Zealand Takahe Art

Scratchboard technique example - prior to inking, the feathers are etched back to the clay, to allow painting. 

Framed photo to come....

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