It’s not clear what John James Audubon thought about Thanksgiving, but he was so fond of wild turkeys that he used a painting of one as the first image in his magnificent Birds of America.

He also used a miniature version in his personal seal. This may be David Cowles’s first turkey, but he has a longtime connection to the bird’s most famous portrayer.

Says Cowles, “This assignment gave me the opportunity to combine two art books that were on my family’s bookshelves and I would leaf through as a kid: Audubon and Picasso. It was a blast working between two very different styles—and adding a bit of humor with the cooked turkey leg. (I was also a big fan of turkey legs!)"

Illustration: John James Audubon
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