'Snowy Egrets' is an example os painting on commission and having it really work. "The customer came to me and said 'I'm a
Florida resident, and I want a painting of snowy egrets - it's my favorite bird. How long would it take to do a painting?' I gave him an estimate. He asked me how much I made the year before and I told him. 'Divide that by 12 and I'll give you that
much a month. Take all the time you need, and when the painting
is finished, just bill me for it.'
And that's the way it worked. It is certainly one of the more successful paintings I've done. The Chinese liked it: it was one
of the first western paintings to be exhibited in China since the revolution.
It's the only painting where I had enough time to finish it - that is, where I didn't have something else pressing to do. Of
course, as a perfectionist, if I waited until I got it 100 percent perfect, I'd probably still be working on it."
Coheleach was looking for simplicity and subdued, subtle colors,
hence the grayish water which blends into the suggested mist of
the background. The gray also complements the egret's pristine
plumage, giving the painting a serenity which belies the egret's temperament as one of the most aggressive predators in the bird