This past Christmas West Virginia artists were invited to make ornaments for the Governor's mansion Christmas tree. I chose to do a caricature in tribute to WV Senator Robert C. Byrd, who died in 2010. I decided it would be fitting to portray him as a cardinal, given that it's our state bird (and because of his last name, of course.)
Byrd was both the longest serving senator and longest serving member of congress in the history of the US. He was beloved in our state because as a powerful government figure he always made sure that WV was not forgotten when it came to government funding or other national issues. If you visit the state this is pretty obvious, as there are tons of buildings, roads, and other landmarks named after him. I attended his public funeral service at the state capitol grounds where I was lucky enough to hear Presidents Obama and Clinton give speeches.
Here's the original drawing I did to use as a guide when making the ornament from wood:
This was a great project that I was honored to be a part of, and it's really cool knowing that the ornament will be used for years to come.