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acrylic on illustration board 40" x 15"

A lot of artists say they paint as a way of sharing with others things they've seen or experienced. My own motivation is usually pretty different and more selfish. I typically paint as a way of seeing for myself something I couldn't experience otherwise. The physicist Richard Feynman liked to say that he didn't truly understand what he couldn't create, and I like that idea a lot. This painting was certainly an exercise in trying to understand an aspect of nature for myself, in this case, snake locomotion. I've never actually seen a snake climb a brick wall, or even seen it on film, only in still photos, but it's common behavior for a number of snake species, and the fact that it can be done always seemed kind of extraordinary to me. Here a Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) climbs towards the nest of a Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica).