Deb Kirkeeide has had a love of art since childhood which led her to pursue a career in the world of commercial art with experience in the giftware, display, print and video industries.
Deb is mostly self taught, but in 2005 a class in Impressionist oil painting led her to a plein air workshop with Minnesota artist Reid Galey.
The trip turned out to be her artistic and personal epiphany and after a week of total immersion into art she came away with an awakened sense of passion for painting and nature and she has been committed to her painting ever since.
Deb currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and aims to paint every day. You can see her latest paintings over on her blog, some of which are available to buy.
Auckland artist Jeremy Kyle has developed a unique style over the years, working in watercolour and ink mixed media to create stand out work in visual communication.
His style is known for its splatters and intricate linework creating highly detailed and dynamic pieces of art applicable in any area of the industry. Jeremy’s skills have been sought after on international levels, having worked for powerhouse brands such as Under Armour, Dior, 2pac Brand and Remix Magazine.
You can see more of what Jeremy is up to over on his Facebook page.
Jacub Gagnon claims that the only way a kid can survive life in a small town is through imagination. Many years later after he had moved to a big city, grown up, studied art and graduated he realised that imagination is essential no matter what the scenery is and no matter what age.
Jacub currently works as an artist in Toronto, Canada and creates images that question and entertain the discussion of connectivity.
He presents animals and objects in bizarre manners, placing them in scenes that oppose practicality so his paintings become a space where nature becomes unnatural. Using small brushes and handling them as he would a pencil, Jacub is able to achieve an illustrative quality that edges into the peculiar world of pop surrealism.
Kimberly Applegate paints chairs. In fact she has been painting a chair nearly every day for over 8 years and the result is a collection of paintings that is humorous, quirky and fun.
Kimberly graduated from from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1999 and participated in the New York Studio Program through Parsons. She is currently based in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Kimblery says, “To me, there’s a story in every chair. We spend so much time in them. A chair is a place to collapse at the end of the day. We turn to them to read our favorite book, email friends, write journal entries, watch movies, or sometimes simply take in the view around us.”
Colin Woolf is a wildlife painter living in West Lothian, Scotland. Self-taught, Colin works in pure watercolour and has been earning a living from painting for the last 25 years.
In these paintings of birds on water Colin has captured the beauty and majesty of the birds and the transient light of the landscape. He says, “To me, a work of art should satisfy two criteria: it should be beautiful, in the opinion of the beholder, and it should exhibit some degree of talent, which means that it should be beyond the means of most people to reproduce it. I know from my own work that I actually have very little control over what I produce – there is another force at work which I cannot fully explain.”
Colin’s work is available to purchase on his website.
Adorning the scuffed covers of long-forgotten ledgers, Nancy Rose Taplin’s delicate paintings of birds evoke both transience and timelessness. The foxed and blotted surfaces provide an almost topographical habitat that Nancy feels only right to populate with birds.
Nancy was born in 1980, the daughter of sculptor Guy Taplin, and ceramicist Robina Jack. She began painting in 2010, and since then she has become increasingly absorbed in the process. She recently moved from the Essex coast to London, where she is enjoying producing new work in her studio in Hackney.
Nancy says, “When I first started painting, I used photos as a reference guide, but as I’ve become more confident my work’s taken on a stylised element, a sort of refined reality. I still love to watch birds though, to get a sense of their personalities. It never fails to surprise me how birds’ characters seem to vary from species to species, and I try to capture something of this in my paintings. Dad’s obsession with the natural world has definitely rubbed off on me.”
Although the flocks of birds are not the main subject in these beautiful paintings by Chicago based artist Tim Jarosz, they add another dimension to the series of cityscapes.
Tim says, “I add the birds (always pigeons) to add a bit of life and movement in to my work which can sometimes be stagnant with the focus always being on architecture. The pigeons are home to most cities and I feel they fit with what I am trying to express in my work.”
Bex Glover is a a graphic designer and illustrator working in both digital and physical mediums who works from Severn Studios in Bristol, UK.
Bex is also a painter who works on private and public commissions from hand painted murals to skateboards and even shoes. Her vibrant and stylised artwork and illustration has been featured in fashion projects, magazines, books, animations, packaging, apparel and interior decoration and is inspired by and often features nature, fashion and lifestyle themes.
These paintings were created for Bex’s Fragmented Nature exhibition at the Paper Gallery in Bristol. In them Bex has deconstructed the organic world, to explore shape, geometry, intersecting lines and the fusion of foreground and background elements in vibrant colour palettes and atmospheric layers.
La Petite Mort is a series of richly coloured still life oil paintings depicting dead birds with flowers.
Painted by Kate Knight, an artist based in Kent, UK, they aim to express the aesthetics of desire, sex and death. Embedded beneath the layers or paint are scars and scratches, flaws from the process of making.
Kate says, “These marks are exposed, a contradiction is communicated. The ground, colour, composition, forms a series of painterly graphic signs aim to evoke a narrative whether epic or fleeting and this implied narrative helps me guide idea with process.”
Kate studied for a BA in Fine Art Painting at Chelsea College of Art and design and was selected as the runner up for the Marmite Prize for Painting 2010.
Since February this year Saldi Breton from The Hague, Netherlands, has been adding a bird every day to her Tumblr blog.
Saldi uses Indian ink and ecoline to make her drawings and many of her birds demonstrate human behaviour. She says, “I am an observer and tend to translate what I notice around me into birds. Birds make me smile, I like the idea that my drawn birds make people smile.”
You can see all of Saldi’s birds on her Tumblr and original drawings are available to purchase in her Etsy shop.
24 year old Abby Diamond lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and visual artist, creating artwork for musicians, children’s books, tattoo design and t-shirt design.
Abby has always loved birds, wildlife and nature and originally went to college with the intent to become a scientific illustrator.
Abby uses pen, waterproof ink, watercolour paint and dye or markers in her paintings as she finds wet media experimental to work with and likes how watercolour paint behaves differently during the painting process.
Abby says, “Drawing birds began as practice for me, mostly because I’m fascinated with them, their behavior and anatomy. As a self-employed artist, I admire finches and sparrows for their resourcefulness, feistiness, and persistence, even though they’re the smallest on the food chain. I think artists can learn a sobering amount by observing a bird feeder for an hour.”
Abby has an Etsy shop where you can purchase prints and cards of her illustrations. Her work is also available on Society6.
And over on her Tumblr blog, as well as showing us an insight into her creative process, she gives a ton of advice and information to other aspiring artists all with a generous dose of grace and humour.
Alison Kendall Swearingen draws from her training as a marine biologist and science illustrator to reflect upon technical mastery and resilience of the natural world.
To create this series she spent many hours disarticulating a book of Audubon’s Birds of America, before reassembling the cut-out images into surreal paintings and collages which explore the place of nature in the face of industrialisation and technological advancement.
Alison’s paintings and illustrations have appeared in Scientific American, Harvard University Press, college textbooks, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary installations and Bay Area galleries.
Artist Dominique Fortin textures her large scale paintings with other materials such as paper and fabric to give depth and sensuality to her work.
Although at first sight the paintings in the series Unlock Yourself could seem thoughtless or naïve, Dominique’s work tells stories about life, death, rebirth, the constantly renewing cycle and the great wheel of life.
Dominique was born in Montreal, Canada and graduated in fine arts from Cegep de Saint-Laurent in 1997 and in jewelry from École des métiers du Sud-Ouest in 2000. She has been a full-time painter since 2003.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, are pictorial stamps produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act mandates that all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older purchase a duck stamp but anyone can buy one if they wish.
Proceeds from sales, less the cost of producing the stamp, are used to buy or lease wetlands and associated upland habitats for inclusion in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System
In 1949 a contest was launched open to any U.S. artist to submit designs to be considered for the stamp. Each year five species of duck are eligible for the contest; this year the species chosen were Brant, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Canada Goose and Red-breasted Merganser.
The winner of the 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Contest is Jennifer Miller of Olean, New York, with an acrylic painting of a Ruddy Duck.
You can see more entries to the Duck Stamp contest here.
Holly Henson is a visual artist currently living in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two young daughters.
Holly began her studies in Mathematics and Philosophy at Samford University and later continued in Painting and Drawing at Georgia State University and the Atlanta College of Art.
In 2005, when she became a new mother, Holly’s work shifted from the abstract and structured to the representative and organic, as she began to draw inspiration from the endless well of forms in the natural world.
For the last three years, Holly’s nature paintings have contained birds as subjects. She is an avid birder; watching, feeding, and photographing birds daily. Borrowing from conservationist Terry Tempest Williams, Holly says “the birds remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.”
You can see more of what Holly is up to over on her Facebook page.
Gerard Hendriks is a Dutch watercolour artist residing in Beek en Denk. Gerard originally began painting in oils and acrylics but changed to watercolour after discovering the possibilities and unique results of the watery colours running on paper
Gerard paints both in his studio and plein air and begins the painting process using lots of water and pigment to allow splashes and drips. He uses nails, credit cards, pencils or the back of a paintbrush to draw or scratch in the wet paint.
This series of paintings of birds pecking their way through paper were created by Camille Engel, a self-taught oil painter based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Camille and her husband Todd have created a bird sanctuary surrounding their home, and birds will often fly into the studio where Camille works which gave her the idea for the series entitled Trespasser.
Birds are depicted as welcome trespassers in the artist’s studio, a whimsical comment on how people destroy birds’ natural homes and the question, “What if birds were to take over our living environments?” Each painting invites viewers to momentarily step into Camille’s world and share in her joy of the simple things, and experience the transcendent beauty all around us.
Camille uses the “indirect layering” technique of the Dutch Masters to create her art and her oil paintings have been accepted into prestigious museum tours and art exhibitions from Santa Fe to New York City, winning numerous awards along the way.
Denver, Colorado based artist Kevin Sloan painted these beautiful pictures of birds using allegory and symbolism to show his concern and respect for the planet and to remind viewers of the wonders of our extraordinary world.
With the addition of an allegorical and narrative element, his lush work explores natural history art as well as the sense of wonder found in the old Cabinets of Curiosities.
Kevin says, “The natural world, now mostly understood and familiar is also increasingly threatened, making it once again rare and exotic. Freed from the need to describe for science, I can describe the natural world and our interaction with it through an allegorical, social and political lens.”
Limited edition prints of Kevin’s work are available to buy on his website.
These beautiful birds were painted by Frank Gonzales, an artist living and working in Tempe, Arizona.
Working mainly in acrylics, Frank takes his inspiration from old masters and adds a contemporary feel with influence from innovations in graphic design. He doesn’t think much about his compositions beforehand and enjoys the spontaneity of starting with a single image or colour as a jump point for the rest of the painting.
He says, “My various marks and color glitches mimic this uncertainty resulting in a visual stillness and movement.”
You can watch a short film below in which Frank explains more about what inspires him to create his paintings.
In 2013 Kelly Carmody found a dead sparrow near her studio in Somerville, Massachusetts and since then friends and family have been on the look out for other dead birds that she paints.
Following a long tradition of European still lifes that feature perished poultry, the birds are symbols of beauty, flight, falling, and death. Painted in oils on linen they convey a symbolic potential that has long been an integral aspect of the still life genre.
After studying painting at Massachusetts College of Art, Kelly spent two years studying classical painting and design at Numael Pulido’s studio. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her portrait work.
Sarah Graham is an artist based in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, UK. She is best known for her photorealistic oil paintings of playful subject matters, such as sweets and toys, which she says are influenced by her dad’s love of photography.
In 2012, Sarah was commissioned by the British band Kaiser Chiefs to paint the cover of their singles collection Souvenir, which was released worldwide.
Her most recent work is a series of acrylic paintings of birds for an exhibition at The Art Nest in Hitchin. For the series, entitled Hitchin Bird, Sarah has worked purely in acrylics in a looser, more painterly style. The canvasses are much smaller than her usual work and therefore more affordable and exclusive to The Art Nest.
Sarah says, “I hope the work will appeal to my collectors given the fact I still exaggerate colour, and am either choosing brightly coloured birds, or simply setting them against bold flat colour to allow me to exploit this.”
Hitchin Bird runs from the 12th to the 30th September.
These colourful watercolours of miniature wind-up birds were painted by Braden Duncan, an artist and curator based in Seattle, Washington.
Braden draws her inspiration from the peculiar minutiae of the human form, symbolism and mythology, the empty spaces left by missing friends, and the intricate elegance created by the convergence of biological and mechanical elements.
These gorgeous oil on paper birds were painted by Josh Robbins, an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. They are part of a series entitled ‘Ornithillogical’ and were originally studies for bigger paintings he was working on.
Josh uses an old drawing warm-up technique to create the birds called ‘blind drawing’ which means he doesn’t look at the bird while he’s drawing it. Once the picture is finished he either uses it or discards it; there is no reworking or modifying. The end result is one of spontaneity, unrestricted by notions of scientific accuracy.
Josh says, “It is what it is, or it’s not” and finds blind drawing keeps the process and himself fresh and honest.
These pretty watercolours of owls were painted by Marina Mayer who is based in Vossevangen, Norway.
Marina claims that she’s not an artist as she never received any formal training. However, her passion and talent for drawing and painting is clear in these pictures.
Marina only recently started working with watercolours and especially enjoys painting owls because of their large size, oval shape, discrete peak and the rich patterns and textures of the feathers. When choosing colours she is guided by emotions rather than realism.
She says, “I am not especially careful when i make the washes: just wet the paper and sprinkle the colours with the tip of pointy brushes around the wet outline, the watercolors by themselves do the rest of the job, they spread over the wet surface and get mixed in magic combinations. I love this technique and it suits perfectly to the lightness and transparency of the feathers.”
The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds is a pocket field guide that enables anyone to quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species. It was compiled by Matt Adrian aka The Mincing Mockingbird, an artist who lives in California.
Captions such as “He had a violent, uncontrolled temper, which sent him literally insane when he was annoyed, but he was good-looking” and “I preen for Satan” reveal the disturbing thoughts of Matt’s birds. The guide also includes bird attack statistics from 1970.
“Bird Rib” is a series of oil paintings by Maurizio Bongiovanni where lines of colour are generated from the plumage of birds.
Maurizio imagines the colour as a real “tear of nature” crystallized into an icy perfectionism of colour, a symbol of humiliation for us men and progressive inability to recover in an authentic relationship with the nature itself, now reduced to a land of conquest and exploitation.
Maurizio divides his time between Milan and Shanghai.