Barnyard Hunter

Watercolor painting of a Kestrel and old barn by Janet Tarjan Erl.

Barnyard Hunter

Medium: Watercolor, Image Size: 18″h x 24″w, 2004.

I did this painting of an American Kestrel perched on the rafters of a decaying barn in the Shasta Valley, Siskiyou County, CA. The barn has so much weathered character and the Kestrel seemed like a perfect match. The barn has since been removed, but it lives on in the numerous paintings I have done of it.

This painting won Best of Show, First Place, and People’s Choice Award in the ‘Celebration of Birds Exhibit’, 2005, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Painting Available


This painting is FRAMED, with double matted, and under glass. Frame outside measurements is approximately 23 1/8″h x 27 7/8″w x 1 1/4″d.  Top matt white, second matt black, standard glass.

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Basking In Autumn Light

Watercolor painting of oak tree and American Kestrel by Janet Tarjan Erl.

Basking In Autumn Light

Medium: Watercolor/Gouache, Image Size: 15.25″h x 24.25″w, 1995.

I painted this American Kestrel basking on the twisted trunk of an Oregon White Oak. The kestrel’s natural colors blend so well with the warm autumn-colored leaves of the surrounding oak woodland and the blue-gray trunk of the oak. Here’s the story of what inspired me to do this painting.

One autumn afternoon I went down to the barn to gather eggs from the chickens, and I was spooked by a Kestrel who was nervously swooping about the barn trying to find a way out. In all my years of hiking I never had been so close to a wild Kestrel, and it was a moment I cherished.

I interpreted that experience as a sign to do my first Kestrel painting. Since it was autumn, I chose that season to be the setting. The following days I spent wandering about Black Mountain meandering among the oaks and pines until I finally came upon this oak branch. The rich colors of the autumn leaves saturated the scene in warm colors which contrasted nicely against the cool gray bark of the oak. I was so pleased to see how well the kestrel’s colors matched those of the setting. But, after all, this was the Kestrel’s native habitat, and it would naturally blend in.

I’ve been on many walks through the woodlands since then, and I’ve seen many Kestrels among the oaks; and each time I see one, I wonder if it was the Kestrel who visited my barn.

Original is sold.

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