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About Varied / Professional Ken GillilandMale/United States Group :iconbirds-of-prey-art: Birds-Of-Prey-Art
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Deviant for 6 Years
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Statistics 63 Deviations 43 Comments 1,888 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Common Poor-will by KenGilliland Common Poor-will :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 1 0 Puerto Rican Nightjar by KenGilliland Puerto Rican Nightjar :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 1 0 Australian Tiger and Orange Threadtails by KenGilliland Australian Tiger and Orange Threadtails :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Damselfly heart by KenGilliland Damselfly heart :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 1 0 Orange-tailed Marsh Dart by KenGilliland Orange-tailed Marsh Dart :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Western Spadefoot by KenGilliland Western Spadefoot :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Southern Leopard Frog by KenGilliland Southern Leopard Frog :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Giant Monkey Frog by KenGilliland Giant Monkey Frog :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Common Frog by KenGilliland Common Frog :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 El Jefe by KenGilliland El Jefe :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 1 0 Christmas at Saguaro National Park by KenGilliland Christmas at Saguaro National Park :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Big Cypress Wildlife by KenGilliland Big Cypress Wildlife :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Kea Roadwork by KenGilliland Kea Roadwork :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 5 5 Panther in Cypress Swamp by KenGilliland Panther in Cypress Swamp :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Big Cypress Habitat by KenGilliland Big Cypress Habitat :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 0 Who's there? by KenGilliland Who's there? :iconkengilliland:KenGilliland 0 1


20161122 Cockatoo Bird Psdelux by psdeluxe 20161122 Cockatoo Bird Psdelux :iconpsdeluxe:psdeluxe 564 21 Heterochromia by Silkkat Heterochromia :iconsilkkat:Silkkat 198 27


Common Poor-will
Here's an Iray render of my Common Poor-will, a nightjar that often seen in our yard at dusk, camped on the ground, patiently waiting to hawk Sphinx Moths.

Common Poor-wills are found from British Columbia and southeastern Alberta, through the western United States to northern Mexico. Many northern birds migrate to winter within the breeding range in central and western Mexico, though some remain further north. They typically prefer arid or semi-arid country such as deserts, gravelly plains, open prairie, grassy hillsides, rocky terrain with scattered vegetation or dry brush, rocky canyons and chaparral.

The common poor-will is the only bird known to go into torpor for extended periods (weeks to months). This happens on the southern edge of its range in the United States, where it spends much of the winter inactive, concealed in piles of rocks. This behavior has been reported in California and New Mexico. Such an extended period of torpor is close to a state of hibernation, not known among other birds.

Rendered in Iray Without any postwork. Models include: Songbird ReMix "Frogmouths, Nightjars & Goatsuckers" and Nature's Wonders "Sagebrush Habitat" (both by yours truly)
Puerto Rican Nightjar
The Puerto Rican Nightjar is endemic to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is an endangered species and roughly there were 1,400 to 2,000 adult individuals (before Hurricane Maria). Habitat destruction, feral house cats and introduced mongoose populations are the leading causes for their endangerment.

It eats nocturnal insects, including beetles, moths and other flying insects. They forage by making fly-catching sallies from perches and hunt beneath tree canopies. Smaller prey items are probably consumed in flight, but larger insects are carried in the bill back to perch, where they are shaken and swallowed. It is typically found in semi-deciduous forest with hardwood trees and little or no ground vegetation, usually on dry, limestone soils.

The moth shown is Mariamne's Giant Flag Moth native to eastern Mexico to Panama.
Orange-tailed Marsh Dart
The Orange-tailed Marsh Dart is a damselfly that is found in Asia (Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). They live around ponds, rivers, and canals. It is locally common in many populations, being the most common damselfly in Asia. There are no threats presently affecting this species.

Rendered in Iray. All models/textures in the render are mine (Nature's Wonders Dragonflies & Damselflies and Big Cypress Habitat)

The Price of Extinction

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By Ken Gilliland

The biggest headline of the year—perhaps the biggest of the millennium went largely unnoticed by the press in November 2010. Perhaps they didn’t understand the gravity of the news. Perhaps they felt it was too scary, too controversial or too complex for the public to understand. Perhaps Lindsey Lohan or Charlie Sheen’s antics they deemed a more important story. Whatever the reason, the headline faded away without fanfare. What didn’t fade away was imminent peril as sure as a comet hurling to earth.

What was the headline we all missed? The United Nations Council of Bio-Diversity announced that one-in-six species on the planet were on the brink of extinction.

The majority of peer-reviewed biologists stated that we are in the 6th “great extinction of species” that our planet has known. The difference between this extinction and the previous five is that never before has the planet been attacked so severely on all three regions that contain life (air, water and land). The other significant difference is that this extinction is entirely preventable unlike the other 5 in which natural phenomenas were the cause. What is the cause of this mass extinction? A prolific species called “Homo sapien”.

The news gets worse. It is conservatively estimated that in the next 50 years one half of the species will disappear forever from our planet. Losing 50% or more of the species without the thousands of years needed to adapt to change for the remaining species will cause a snowball effect. It will accelerate the extinction of even more species and many more symbiotic chains of shared existence will break down.

What few people realize is how important symbiotic chains are. Imagine no pollinators to make crops produce food. No plant systems to cleanse drinking water. No woodpeckers to keep trees healthy. No trees to balance the air we breathe. Imagine no medicines—because without the natural world—most of the ingredients won’t exist.

As sure as if a comet were hurling to earth, the story the press didn’t tell is that we’re on going to be on that extinction list as well.

What can be done? Can anything help at this point? Yes, it will take tough decisions…the ones that involve sharing our planet with all the other species rather than hoarding it for ourselves and thus, restoring balance. These are decisions that most of our politicians, even the forward thinking ones, don’t want to make… ones that many of us don’t want to make either. It is our job to let our leaders know the time to act is not in twenty years, not in ten, not after the election, but today. Budgets, taxes and jobs won’t matter if there’s no clean water to drink, if there’s no food to eat, or no air to breathe.

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

- Cree Indian Prophecy


KenGilliland's Profile Picture
Ken Gilliland
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
As an artist, I do four things; Oils on Canvas (Social Commentary), Drawings of National Parks, Photography of Birds and California Native Plants and 2D/3D Digital.

Since most here will be interest in digital work, I'll talk about that. I started in the digital world with a TI-99/4a computer in the early 1980's and immediately started creating art and animation with a very limited graphic range in hexadecimal code (16 colors, 256 shapes). I eventually became a published artist for Asgard Software and a year later when out on my own to form “Notung Software” which became on of the most popular TI Software companies.

After making my switch to the PC, I started with Sketcher (the precursor to Painter) and even owned Fractal Design's "Poser 1". I didn't start seriously playing with Poser until Version 3 came around. With the advent of Poser 4, I began by creating textures and became a brokered artist at Vista Internet Products where I created my first bird model and the PoserTown series. After almost a year with Vista, I decided to go out on my own and briefly revived Notung Software.

At Siggraph 2001, I was asked if I'd be interested in being a brokered artist for the newly formed "DAZ 3D". Of course, I said yes and started as a clothes texture artist. I really didn’t find my nitch in the 3D world until I partnered with BL Render to do the Songbird ReMix Series in 2003. The following year, I came into my own blending my love and knowledge of birds with a strong environmental theme "Threatened, Endangered, Extinct". Designed specifically to raise awareness about threatened species and why they're going extinct. Songbird ReMix imagery have appeared in Duncraft’s product advertisements, in Audubon literature and even on billboards in Nebraska (for the “Omaha Reads: To kill a Mockingbird”)

Since then I’ve steadily worked on improving my texturing with Painter and my 3D modeling skills with Modo, creating a little art and animation, and of course, producing more 3D birds with a strong environmental message.

Besides being a DAZ Published Artist, I work at home as a freelance artist/photographer and web designer and also volunteer at the Theodore Payne Foundation (a Foundation that focuses a native plant awareness). I am Gallery represented and do sell my "traditional" and digital work.

On February 12, 2010, I was inducted into the TI99ers Hall of Fame.


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Lethal-Woman Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017

Hello Ken I want to personally thank you for joining my group I am happy to have you as a member and hope that you will enjoy being a part of this group. Welcome!
KenGilliland Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2017  Professional General Artist
you are welcome and thank-you for visiting me. I'm not too active on Deviant Art (too many forums, too little time), but I'll try to post my bird imagery when I can.  Since you're obviously a birder you might enjoy my Bird Encyclopedia and my 3d digital bird site
Lethal-Woman Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2017
I understand and thank you for that link I will save it to my favorites. I still have much to learn about birds. 
Nushaa Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015
thank you so much for being a member of my group, Owlies-Inc. it really does mean a lot to me. Heart
KenGilliland Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Professional General Artist
You're welcome...  and thank-you for allowing my to share imagery of my owl 3D models with your group. As you've probably seen, I just finished up a I'll try to throw some owl images occasionally in but my current focus for the summer will be the songbirds of Asia.  I do plan to do frogmouths and nightjars (close relatives to owls) this fall.
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