Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats

"Congress Avenue Bridge Bats"
9"x12" acrylic on canvasboard

EBSQ's Member's Choice Award

The Congress Avenue Bridge spanning Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin is the spring and summer home to some 750,000 Mexican free-tail bats with up to 1.5 million at the peak of the bat-watching season. It's the largest urban bat colony in North America. Each evening around sunset the Congress Avenue bats emerge like a black cloud from the crevices under the bridge. Covering the countryside in search of food, it is estimated that the bats consume from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects. Giving birth in June or July, the bats and pups hang around til October when they head back south. Watching the nightly forays for food is a favorite evening activity, especially in late summer during Austin's Batfest.
This painting is my entry into ebsq's October Bat Show to raise awareness of truths about bats as opposed to myths. I chose to give the static elements crisp edges and hard colors in opposition to the moving bat's softer treatment, lending a friendlier feel to the often maligned little creature.

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