to Gallery of Private Collections
& Bearded Dragon (1994)
16" x 24"
painting was commissioned for the cover of the book "Pythons
of Australia" by Brian Kend, and depicts a black-headed
python (Aspidites melanocephalus), one of two members
of an endemic Australian python genus that specializes in feeding
on snakes and lizards such as the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps),
being constricted here. The black-headed python is a nocturnal
species that spends the daytime in subterranean burrows, often
inside of termite mounds. Bearded dragons are native to the eastern
Australian interior, where they are often seen basking on fenceposts
and small trees. Omnivorous eaters, they are especially fond
of flowers and have become very popular staples of the pet trade.
The ranges of these two reptile species overlap in a small area
of central Queensland and Northern Territory, and it is this
region that I have tried to typify in my invented landscape.
After trying various compositions, herpetoogist Louis Porras
suggested a horizontal "wraparound" design for the
book. In the background is a group of red kangaroos (Macropus
rufus) which were put there to allay any doubt as to the
location. The little flowering plant is Senecio gregorii.