The Emperors' Ball
by Rod Frederick
Emperor Penguin painting now a giclee canvas edition.
Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
Limited to 75 s/n. 26"w x 18"h.
Issue price: $395
Gallery Wrapped option for an additional $30. “I’m surprised that 45 penguins made it into 'The Emperors’ Ball,'” Rod Frederick acknowledges, “but it seemed like every time I came back to the easel, another had shown up. That’s the tricky thing about flightless birds, they waddle in low so you don’t see them coming.
“Emperor penguins, in fact all penguins, live in the Southern Hemisphere. A flightless bird of this size could never have developed in the Arctic with hunters such as polar bears, foxes and wolves. But Emperors thrive in the Antarctic where there are no four-legged predators.
“People love penguins and today I find myself especially attracted to them. I don’t fly or jump as high as I used to on the basketball court, so maybe that’s it. But there is something special about them. Think about, the guys, just the guys, who stay home to watch the eggs over a long dark winter where the temperature can fall to -40, while the girls enjoy a two-month long ladies night out. I bet there is some serious celebrating when the summer finally comes along and that’s the idea behind 'The Emperors’ Ball.'”
The serene outdoors seem at odds with the wild and crazy character of this artist, who is as famous for his paintings as he is for his sense of humor and gaudy shirts! If seen on his constant excursions into the wilds, many a collector would tell of an eccentric pirate come to life, only this swashbuckling, seemingly fearless explorer was more anxious to gain and share the treasure of knowledge rather than riches. "I grew up in a house full of pets," he says. "My mom had a degree in fine arts and although my dad was a lawyer, he was a weekend painter." So his love of animals and art was sown early (also inspired when he received a gift of Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds) and he attended Willamette University with a major in art and a minor in biology. "So I could know my subjects outside and in," he says. He put that education to good use as he embarked on a fine art career that would allow him to do what he enjoyed most; explore and learn. Frederick built his house in the middle of the Oregon wilderness and filled it with birds and animals. He’s hiked and camped in mountains and forests throughout the northwest U.S., Central America and East Africa. He knows the lakes and mountains as well as he knows the plains and deserts, not to mention almost all the creatures who live there, from the smallest bird to the largest elephant. And he will paint them on whatever size canvas suits them best. In addition to his peaceful views of animals in their natural habitats, he is also known for his paintings’ many different sizes and shapes—each chosen to best suit his perfectly balanced images of wildlife and wilderness.