2013 · artist life

that one time I painted King O

King O is a Ducorps cockatoo who resided at Best Friends Animal Society Parrot Garden in Kanab, Utah. He was full of life and personality, but had developed a bad habit common to companion parrots: plucking. After the first love of his life – his first owner, who’d had him for years and had plenty of time to spend with him – passed away, her family members did their best to spend time with him, but he pulled the feathers out of his head and neck, leaving only a small patch of them around his eye.

Best Friends Parrot Garden Entry Sign
A sign I was contracted to paint in 2012 for the Parrot Garden’s entryway

In the six years he was at Parrot Garden, he became famous, sort of a celebrity personality. He got gifts from strangers, made videos and was present for lots of events and talks. He won a card contest and even had a new parrot hospital building named after him.

In 2013, I painted this portrait of King O with one of his favorite toys, a Beanie Baby of a cockatoo. If you’re not familiar with this posture, it’s a bid for attention from his Beanie Baby: he’s hoping the stuffed toy will groom the back of his neck. His ghostly feathers in the portrait show what he would have looked like when he had his feathers. The portrait was auctioned off and the proceeds donated to the Parrot Garden.

King O had a happy ending! In 2016, he had a giant party at BFAS’s Parrot Garden and found his forever home with a family in Reno, NV. 

Read more about King O: https://bestfriends.org/…/…/ducorps-cockatoo-gets-royal-send

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