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"Wild Turkey" oil on canvas by Todd Telander.

Todd Telander Fine Art

The restrictions that have prevented close contact for groups over the last three months because of the coronavirus pandemic haven't prevented naturalist painter Todd Telander from attending to his craft.

He put that unexpected free time to good use by painting commissions and new works for Telander Gallery, 34 S. Colville St. The gallery  reopened on Monday with hours from 1-5 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  Friday-Saturday,  by appointment or by chance, according to a release.

Zona Tropical, a Costa Rican based publisher of nature books commissioned Todd to illustrate the Field Guide to Fishes of Costa Rica. He's almost completed the project that features about 150 fish, rays, sharks and more. Plans are in the works for an exhibit at Seven Hills Winery in the fall.

Todd especially enjoys being outdoors in nature, which feeds his work. And a few weeks ago, nature came to him.

"I was in my studio working and to my surprise, this wild turkey was just outside my window, exploring the vegetable garden and visiting with our chickens. I had plenty of time to watch him and take some good reference photos."

The painting accompanying this column item is what came from that visit. "I was impressed by the complexity of the plumage, the weird bare skin patches, and his endearing, big brown eyes," Todd said in the release.

When able, Todd spent some of his free time outside recording what he saw with sketchbook and binoculars. He returned to the studio "with a renewed excitement for my painting, and a memory fresh from the new sights."

Currently, Telander Art School classes are on hold due to social distancing, but dates will be forthcoming for plein air workshops. He is working on online videos to share, such as blind contour drawing, which can be viewed at ubne.ws/2Y4Uxw7. For more information, see toddtelander.com.

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Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at 509-526-8313 or

annieeveland@wwub.com.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,