Kenati is an American kestrel who lives at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and who comes out with a handler every afternoon to be admired and photographed. He has an extremely placid gaze and demeanor so it's hard to think of him as a raptor. Here I painted him gazing at me quizzically, a frequent attitude of his, and a pleasing one.

- Emil Morhardt

Kenati the Calm Kestrel
EMIL MORHARDT


Acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Finished white edges
Varnished and Ready to hang

One-of-a-kind
Signed on front
2018

15" h x 30" w x .75" d
2 lbs. 0 oz.

$975

SHIPS FREE




Artist
Emil Morhardt
Santa Barbara, California

Getting to Know Emil

Emil Morhardt is an artist based in Santa Barbara who expresses his passion for birds through his portfolio of lifelike acrylic paintings. He works from his at-home studio, which is on a high ridge with an unobstructed north-facing view of the mountains behind Santa Barbara. While he paints, foxes, bobcats, and roadrunners occasionally walk up to the glass doors and peer in, and deer and coyote run by. Emil learned to paint from his father when he was growing up in the high desert of California. His father—also named Emil Morhardt—was one of the early California watercolorists. He taught Emil painting technique and instilled him with an appreciation of opaque media. In 1980, Emil began his art career by painting landscapes of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Eastern Sierra. Today, he focuses his attention on painting bird portraits reminiscent of those by artist John James Audubon. He bases his paintings off hundreds of photographs he takes of birds in the wild and at wildlife recovery centers. A single painting often uses information from several photos to get the features, behavior, and background. Every painting represents hours and sometimes days of photographing birds in the field. Through his work, Emil hopes to capture the freedom and inquisitiveness that birds show in the natural world. Emil earned a BA in Zoology from Pomona College and a PhD in Environmental Physiology and Ecology from Rice University. In 2011, he moved to Santa Barbara, where he was a Professor of Environmental Biology at Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pitzer Colleges.