These used to be found in Oregon and Washington, along with Idaho. Sadly, because of damming of the Columbia River, the beetle is no longer found in Oregon or Washington (there are 150 hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River Basin and the Snake River, the Columbia's main tributary). It now seems to be restricted to the lower Salmon River in Idaho. They are rare there now too, and because of that rarity they have become more desirable so over-collecting has become a problem. Sadly they are not protected. There is a non-profit that is one of the ones I would like to support when this project is able to make money, and they are trying to raise awareness of these beetles and other insects.
I am doing 2 charcoals this weekend, but I am pretty certain I will be doing oils for weekdays, and the weekends will be a pastel and a charcoal. I'm also torn. I don't want to sell pieces from the project because I want to keep the continuity and impact of the whole. The thing is, I do want to make this be something that can raise money to help the animals. If I can get enough Patreon supporters, I should be fine, but if not, I will need to do something else. If I have enough time, I will paint vulnerable animals and sell those, but I am being rather ambitious teaching myself oil painting while doing one a day. The nice thing is I could do the ones to sell over the course of several days, but it certainly adds a lot more work. I will see what all I can accomplish. I desperately want to take this project from only sharing my art online to sharing it in person with people and being able to contribute to multiple charities because of that. I need to start scanning the original paintings in order to get more accurate colours and more detail than the little pictures I have shared. Then I can make prints and hopefully sell those even before the paintings are framed. Sometimes I think I do an art version of biting off more than I can chew or my eyes being bigger than my stomach. Hmm you'd think I'm hungry with both those sayings. I have grand ideas for how to help as many as I possibly can, but they do not yet seem to be panning out.
Ok, heading off to bed, but just had to share because I thought it was sweet. One dog is upstairs in bed, he likes to go to bed at 10pm, the other stays with me no matter where I am or how late I'm up. The one that is my full-time shadow is underneath my desk, sound asleep, wagging her tail. She's wagging it with such enthusiasm that my feet are getting cold from her fanning them! It must be quite the happy dream.