Admiring the Pheasant Paintings of Maynard Reece and Les Kouba
I moved offices at Pheasants Forever earlier this week. Like most people, I wasn’t enthused about packing up my desk and hauling it across the building only to unpack everything again. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how productive the move actually turned out to be for me. Not only did I unearth dust bunnies, I uncovered file folders that had not been opened in years. It’s incredible how little I rely on paper files today compared to 2003 when I started at PF. Time certainly marches forward. The same statement can be made about pheasant art.
After unpacking all my work documents, I took the move as an opportunity to freshen up the art on my office walls. As you can imagine, we have a seemingly unlimited supply of pheasant and quail paintings to choose from in the warehouse. As I re-examined the scenes beautifully captured by the Hautman brothers, James Meger, Rosemary Millette, Scot Storm, and so many other talented artists, I came to a personal revelation about pheasant art – I like the “old school” paintings the best.
I know, I know; “old school” doesn’t offer a very good description of what I’m referring to, so let me be more specific. When I look at the paintings of Les Kouba and Maynard Reece for example, the colors seem to be softer and the birds aren’t necessarily in proportion to the landscape or other objects in the scene. When you look at a Reece print, you can just tell it’s older and the roosters in Kouba’s print are as big as tractors; all 13 of them. Maybe what I see, and like, is faded colors and aged yellowing paper. That could very well be the case; I haven’t carbon dated the prints in the office. Beauty is an individual decision. That’s the point of art, isn’t it? In any event, a Maynard Reece print from 1976 now hangs over my desk.
Who is your favorite pheasant artist?
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
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