Friday, February 22, 2013

When Art Goes to the Birds

"Jazzy Junco" 6x6 oil on linen panel

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I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.   Emily Dickinson

As many of you know birds are one of my favorite painting subjects. So last weekend I was thrilled to visit the Woodson Museum touring Birds in Art exhibition at the Colorado Wildlife Experience. The quality of the show was top notch and I had many favorites (I posted a few on my Feathered Friends bird art board on Pinterest.)

Sometimes wildlife art (for me) while technically amazing can be a bit stiff, but I was impressed by the variety of interpretations, styles, and media. If you love bird and/or wildlife art I can’t recommend the beautiful Birds in Art catalog enough. Also, if you enjoy bird art, I highly recommend Tim Wootton's Drawing and Painting Birds book.

After seeing such an inspirational show, I’m also very motivated to work on a larger scale bird painting this year so I can enter next year in the meantime today I posted a little alla prima study of what I think is an Oregon Junco in fresh snow--It’s a fairly unusual bird to land in my little city yard so I spotted it right away.

Speaking of websites I’m excited to announce that my new Scarlet Owl Studio website is just about ready to launch—in the meantime you can get a sneak preview here. My original art website has served me well for many, many years but it was time for a spring makeover. And next time I’ll return to my thoughts on color dominance. See you then!


  1. I love your jazzy junco. He has really nice movement. I completely agree with you, I love birds and paintings of birds, but sometimes they look like if the "freeze frame" were to keep going, they would all plop out of the sky!!

  2. Thanks very much Cat--LOL--that's a great observation. Animals (and many figures) are often "on the move" which you can play up with looser brushwork, bits of color, etc.