Watercolor landscape and Sandhill Crane painting by Janet Tarjan Erl.

Shasta Valley Sandhill Cranes

Medium: Oil, Image Size: 18″h x 24″w, 2008.

This setting for this artwork is scenic Shasta Valley just off Louie Rd. which lies north of Mt. Shasta. The painting depicts a family of Sandhill Cranes ambling along in the Shasta Valley of Northern California with Mt. Shasta as the dominant background feature. What inspired me to do this painting was a combination of motives. One, I adore this view of Mt. Shasta especially with its reflection in the flood waters of this setting, and two, I’ve wanted to do a Sandhill Crane painting for years and felt this was a perfect match of these noble and beautiful subjects.

An added motive was that the cranes had just arrived in the Shasta Valley and there were reports of hundreds of them visiting some of the area ranches. The nearby Shasta Valley Wildlife Area has been managing their land to foster Sandhill Crane habitat for many years, and apparently it has been very successful. Shortly after hearing reports of the Shasta Valley Cranes, a pair of cranes arrived in the nearby meadow in Rocky Point, Oregon, where I lived. I had already started the painting, but when I heard the trumpeting calls of these elegant birds, I was motivated to finish this painting. Sandhill Cranes have so much grand presence about them. They are elegant, big, and beautiful, and their leaping dance and trumpeting call really excite me, and that was a good reason to do this painting.

This is a painting about the creative forces that combine in a unique way to inspire awe and rapture in others for the beauty of this planet and all its forces.

The challenge of doing this painting was working in oils. I’m a skilled watercolorist and I work intuitively in that medium, but oils are so different. The thickness of the medium meant I had to interpret things differently than I would have in watercolor.

Original is sold.

Note: Image Watermark of Copyright and/or Website are NOT on the Original.