Nicholas Schukay "El Segundo Blue"

Nicholas Schukay "El Segundo Blue"


Nicholas Schukay (OH)

El Segundo Blue
pastel pencil, chalk and charcoal on toned paper
10” x 12” (in oval frame)
ready to hang
The El Segundo blue (Euphilotes battoides allyni) is a rare subspecies of the square-spotted blue butterfly. It is endemic to a small dune ecosystem in Southern California that used to be a community called Palisades del Rey, close to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In 1976 it became a federally designated endangered species. The El Segundo Blue Butterfly Habitat Preserve next to LAX exists to protect the subspecies. There are only three colonies of this tiny butterfly still in existence. The largest of these is on the grounds of LAX; a further colony exists on a site within the huge Chevron El Segundo oil refinery complex, and the smallest colony is an area of only a few square yards on a local beach. The butterfly lays its eggs on coast buckwheat, which the adults also use as a nectar source. Recently, some nearby beach cities such as Redondo Beach have replaced ice plant growth near the beaches with coast buckwheat, in order to provide the butterflies with more of their natural food source.

”Rendering portraits is my passion, and a true portrait can display a life's journey. Capturing a person's life through an expression is my ambition, although I lacked the skill set in my younger years. Until my eleventh year, when I met a professional portrait artist: Bill Kufahl. Observing my natural ability, Kufahl decided to take me under his wing. My thirteenth year I accepted my first commission of a toddler with the deepest cobalt blue eyes. I still can recall such a deep sense of accomplishment which dawned my art career. Seven years I studied under Bill Kufahl, upon my eighteenth year I embarked into the art world with his knowledge/expertise.
Life impacted me with hardship and depression, never pausing my inspiration to create. My despair actually reinforced the emotional aspect of my art. Recently, my personal work is focusing on the dark side of the human mind. Instead of just rendering a complete depiction of an individual, I am combining my surrealism and my portraiture to construct metaphoric artworks to convey inner mental instability. I yearn to establish awareness on the mental crisis, and alert other's who suffer: you are not alone. Depicting portraits is my passion, but the human mind is my muse. Even though my personal work is focusing on inner complications, however I still create a wide variety of pieces and compositions. We have to make a living, but we can also design a life.”

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