Lucy Large graduated from Camberwell College or Art in South London, UK in 2001.
Her sculptures of birds are made from fine aluminium mesh finished with enamel spray-paint and housed in glass-fronted boxes. Lucy’s work considers the relationship between the three dimensional object and the picture frame, exploring the theatre and potential for storytelling provided by a sculpture in a box.
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.
Concerto was a Twitter collaboration of photography, art and poetry. It began with a photo that popped up on Twitter; a bird table of starlings taken by Reuben Howes. Reuben invited Chaz E. Arnold to join the collaboration to tweet poetry and Louisa Crispin posted drawings of starlings.
The series was made using burnished graphite powder finished with graphite sticks and created while Louisa listened to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 17; the music heavily influenced the marks and the resulting movement in the finished composition. Mozart kept a pet starling around the time he wrote the concerto and, apparently, if you listen to the music you can hear the starling’s song in the piece.
Louisa said, “A lot of my work is very detailed pencil drawings so it was liberating to work on such a big loose piece! I had been given some graphite powder to experiment with and I’ve always been fascinated by starlings; they are such funny birds, always squabbling, but also very intelligent. Watching a murmuration is amazing!”
You can see more of Louisa’s work over on her website.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles.
Jennifer Miller, based in Western, New York, is a woman of many talents. She has been sharing her fantasy artwork online since 1997 under the pen name Nambroth and is currently working on wildlife artworks, jewelry, masks and sculpture. She has just had an acrylic painting of Ruddy Ducks chosen for the 2015 Federal Duck Stamp.
The series of adorable birds below which Jennifer calls Cute Critters are soft sculptures designed to make people smile.
Jennifer loves exploring the natural world and enjoys learning about both flora and fauna. She says, “I am a greatly enthusiastic about birds, and am owned by five parrots and a flock of chickens, which I adore.”
You can see more of Jennifer’s artwork over on her website.
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.
Camden Migration is an exploration into the migration of birds and people through the arts, celebrating cultural expansion but also considering its environmental impact, particularly on bird extinction.
Comprising eleven days of live music and art, talks and bird-spotting walks in the local area, Camden Migration runs until 6th October at The Forge in Camden, London
Artists showing at the exhibition include Lana Alana, Rachel Sedman, Clare Lindley and Wesley Davies.
Bird Watching, a series of photographs taken by Paula McCartney, explores how nature and fabricated elements can combine to create a scene that questions what is natural.
In densely wooded landscapes Paula has carefully placed craft store songbirds to create an idealised landscape. Paula found when attempting to photograph real birds they would be too far away or moving around too fast so she decided to create the perfect compositions she fantasised about.
Paula says, “The birds act as decoration, making the landscapes more interesting than they are on their own. Rather settling for what nature has to offer, I decided to take control and adorned the trees.”
Bird Watching contrasts well with her previous work Bronx Zoo in which she photographed real birds in manmade landscapes.
Kate Slater is a freelance illustrator who studied at Kingston University. She grew up on a beautiful farm in Staffordshire, UK, from where she still works in her studio in the old apple room.
Kate works in collage and paper-cuts which she uses to create suspended, relief illustrations. The real-life collages often look a bit like tiny, chaotic paper theatre sets which Kate then photographs to produce the final image.
Kate has also had a number of children’s books published.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the UK’s leading open air gallery and the flock of birds collage was made for the window display of their shop.
Kate’s collage illustration prints, cards and wrapping paper are available to buy in her Etsy shop KateFete.
In an effort to highlight the plight of the planet, Wild Asia and M&C Saatchi created the world’s first non-human flash mob where a flock of birds converged to spell out the words HELP in front of an unsuspecting crowd in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
By pouring birdseed in a public walkway in front of Batu Caves, a 113-year old temple, curious onlookers were treated to a spectacular display that formed right before their eyes. This initiative used entirely eco-friendly and biodegradable materials.
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.
The concept is a reference to where the festival is held, the beautiful Charlotte Square Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the show’s purpose of bringing creators of the written word to talk with the audience.
Josh graduated from Maine College of Art with a degree in New Media Design and has since worked as a New Media Art Director, balancing work between corporate clients and fine art.
The featured birds are available to purchase on Josh’s website and 1% of profits are donated to Animal and Environmental charities.
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.
These realistic miniature figures of birds were made by Anya Stone, an artist and sculptor based in Stockport, UK.
Anya makes 1:12th scale, mixed media sculptures using polymer clay and various other materials to re-create detailed sculptures of wildlife and other subjects. Her miniature birds incorporate real feathers to add to their realistic nature.
Anya has over 15 years’ experience in fine art and design and began specialising in miniatures in 2005. As well as writing tutorials, Anya teaches workshops on miniature sculpting.
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.
A CG goose escapes from his flock to get more out of life in an ad for Freederm, a brand of skin products.
The ad was directed by Peter Szewczyk with CG supervision from Light+Mathematics. As well as a fun advert to watch the adventurous goose is a big departure from the confident teens that normally sell spot treatments. These days advertising is all about the goose.
The JustKids eurotour continues with the art collective Bicicleta Sem Freio, which translates in English as Bicycle Without Brakes, who have just completed this new piece on the streets of Gaeta, Italy as part of the Just Kids Eurotour.
The Brazilian muralists were in the town for the excellent Memorie Urbane Festival, and painted this super vibrant artwork for the local residents to enjoy. As usual with BSF, this piece features their bold colors and tropical vibes.
Andy Singleton is a paper artist and illustrator based in Wakefield, England who studied Animation with Illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University. His work is an exploration of the natural and manmade world through intricate paper cuttings, paper sculpture, hand drawn illustrations and large scale installations.
Below you can see an art installation entitled They Loved What They Found commissioned by the Crafts Council to celebrate the opening of Liberty London’s stationery room, an African weaverbird, a series of paper chickens created for Hermés window displays in London, Dublin and Manchester as well as two new pieces, Hummingbird and Rainforest Birds.
Extinct Birds by Brian R. Williams is a series of drawings of bygone birds wearing clothes from the year in which they became extinct.
Brian is inspired by the way humans have used myth, folklore and storytelling throughout history as a means of reconnecting with the natural world. Sometimes he focuses on times when human history clashed with natural history, such as in the Extinct Birds series, which shows birds that have gone extinct as a result of direct human interference.
Brian says, “I depicted each bird dressed in clothing that was fashionable during the year that they went extinct as a way of visually connecting the animal’s history with our own.”
Brian is currently collaborating with Mikael Vogel, a poet in Berlin, Germany, who is writing poems inspired by the extinct birds drawings. He printed the first poem and drawing on postcards (which can be seen below) that he is distributing in cafes and coffee shops in Berlin for people to pick up and take with them.
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.
Designer Ruth Jensen based in St Paul, Minnesota, uses wire to create these cute 3-D sculptures of birds.
Ruth doesn’t use moulds or patterns so each bird is unique. She cuts individual lengths of wire, twists them together with her hands and keeps twisting and adding wires until the bird is finished. The process is lengthy and even a small bird can take many hours. To ensure her birds are recognisable, Ruth references photos and bird books. Check out a short film to see the process here.
You can see more of Ruth’s creations over on her Flickr set and her wire sculptures are available for purchase in her Etsy shop Sparkflight.
Street artist Lonac recently painted a new piece entitled Nest on the streets of his home town of Zagreb, Croatia.
The piece was created as a critique of teaching young people hate and bringing them up to be aggressive people. The mural shows two large birds with guns for their heads feeding their chicks bullets. Lonac incorporated the ivy that was growing over the wall, using it to build a nest inside which he painted the little gun chicks.
These birds are etched in a classic style and highlight some of the iconic roles that birds play in their relationship with mankind. So a parrot perches on a heavily tattooed arm reminiscent of that of a sailor and a hawk sits atop a hand clad in a falconer’s glove.
They were designed by MUTI, a creative studio based in the city of Cape Town, South Africa who work on a broad range of projects from digital painting to vector icons and custom typography.
Wildlife photographer Roy Hancliff captured these stunning pictures of hummingbirds using a home-made photography set-up in his garden in Canada’s British Columbia.
Roy managed to freeze the hummingbirds, which are famed for their speed and wingbeats of up to 90 times a second by firing five flashes simultaneously at very high speeds. To eliminate the ‘clutter’ of the trees and plants in his garden he paints coloured backgrounds which he places behind the birds’ feeding areas.
Roy Hancliff was born in Oxford, UK and moved to Canada in 2003 which gave him the time to concentrate on his passion for photography.
Roy says, “I chose to concentrate on birds in flight as they have always intrigued me. I wanted to capture the beauty of nature that is not normally visible to the naked eye. Even birds that we consider to be common and uninteresting come into their own element when wings are frozen in mid flight.”
You can find out more about what Roy is up to over on his Facebook page.
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.
These gorgeous images were shot by Mudita Aeron for a Papercut magazine editorial. Mudita is a photographer based in London, UK, specialising in fashion and beauty portraits.
Mudita photographed model Marijn from Milk Management wearing couture gowns inspired by feathers and brightly coloured plumage such as parrots and peacocks, posing with stuffed birds provided by London Taxidermy.
Styling for the shoot was done by Patrice Hall who was assisted by make-up artist Rebecca McMahon using Mac Pro and hairstylist Sky Cripps-Jackson using Kevin Murphy.
Retouching was done by Luka Ukropina and Mudita was assisted by Alex Pullin.
These pigeons were captured in the sunlight of a rainy evening by Sivakumar Kumaresan, a photographer residing in Kolkata, India.
The pigeons regularly visit Sivakumar and he wanted to portray the absence of trees and forests that form birds’ natural habitats and instead show how the pigeons have adapted to live amongst tall buildings in the city.
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.
Christian Mrozik from Grand Rapids, Michigan describes herself as making her way through life with a pen in her hand and a slew of good company.
She drew these beautiful surreal pictures of birds that look incredibly realistic yet also fantastical. Each piece can take up to 120 hours to complete and she approaches her work in a number of different ways.
“Sometimes I entirely make the drawing up. This creates a level of consistency in the oddities, so it looks right. Sometimes I do a lot of research, where I will look up different positions of a wing, or flower, but then put the reference images away, and do it from memory. This allows me to stretch, distort, change colors, and take some artistic license, yet still bring that hint or reality to it. Other times I use a very specific reference photo and draw it verbatim, trying to capture a specific moment that I see happening in the photo. I do go for a lot of walks and try and take photos often enough of different plants and animals, a lot of which I did while recently in Maine. I also like going to the local public museum to draw their taxidermy.”
You can see more of Christina’s artwork and find out more about her technique over on her website.
Aviary created by Sara Angelucci, a Toronto based visual artist working in photography, video and audio, explores a number of themes of the 19th century; an obsession with collections, taxidermy and exotic birds as well as a craze for portrait collection.
The series was made by combining photographs of endangered or extinct North American birds with anonymous Victorian cartes-de-visite portraits. These were small visiting card sized photographs that could be cheaply made in large quantities. The Victorians also had a sense of entitlement over birds and animals which they hunted for sport and captured for entertainment.
The plight of the passenger pigeon, which is featured in the series, is particularly telling. Once the most numerous bird in North America, numbering in the billions, it was wiped out by 1914 through a combination of brutal over-hunting and habitat destruction.
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.
Look closely. What may seem like hyper-realistic paintings are actually hundreds of photographs assembled one at a time to form a single composition.
The photographs were taken by Ysabel LeMay a Quebec born artist currently living and working in Austin, Texas. Using her experience in fine art painting with her technical expertise in photography she invented the unique process which she calls ‘Photo-Fusion’ as a way of exploring the power and divinity of nature.
Ysabel says, “Each branch, each flower, each leaf is photographed and positioned one by one. Every insect, every plant, every bird that I capture with my lens has an individuality that I want to enhance and share with the viewer. I believe it is often in the simple details wherein lies divinity.”
The WallCome Festival recently invited street artist Know Hope to Schmalkalden in Germany to paint a mural on the city’s former Jewish school.
The Israeli artist painted a flock of birds symbolising the longing to fill a vast space. Know Hope creates parallels between political situations and emotional conditions in his work, in an attempt to perceive the political process and dialogue as emotional mechanism, therefore making it a conduct that can be understood intuitively and not solely intellectually.
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.
Birds of a Feather will be exhibited at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery in Atlanta, GA on view from September 18 – November 8, 2014. The Artist Reception will be held on Thursday, October 16th from 6:30 – 10:00 pm with an Artist Talk on Saturday Oct, 18th at 2:00 pm. The show is sponsored by Hahnemühle USA.
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.
One of the lots in Sotheby’s forthcoming Important Jewels auction in New York is a whimsical and brightly colored brooch by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co made in 1963.
A kaleidoscope of color meets a flight of fancy in the Oiseau de Paradis brooch that not only exhibits Schlumberger’s tendency for lively compositions but his ability to transform nature into one of his many reveries. Swathed in a flourish of colourful feathers, the bird’s swiveling head adds another dynamic dimension to the brooch.
The brooch is expected to fetch 150,000 – 200,000 USD.
These photographs of pigeons were taken by Richard Bailey to celebrate the importance that these birds played in Charles Darwin’s work.
Darwin wanted to prove that all fancy pigeons are descended from the common pigeon which in turn would help with his theories towards ‘Origin Of Species’.
Richard decided to photograph some exotic breeds and at the same time discover if he could come to love the pigeon.
As the project developed the photographs became ‘portraits’ of the birds and they took on an anthropomorphization. Some pigeons looked into the camera with an unflinching gaze testing the viewer in a malevolent manner, whilst others looked on benignly, almost compassionately. The different breeds took on unusual characteristics, some looked a little bit naive, others have a conceit about them, an air of self-importance as they puff up their chests and present themselves to the camera.
The beautiful photographs which show off the pigeons’ abundance of colours are available as limited edition prints and a book is due to be published.
These photos of adorable chicks in hats were taken by Julie Persons, who runs an Etsy shop from an old farm in central Maine, USA. The inspiration for the photos came from Julie’s 7 year old daughter who made tiny hats for the chicks and asked her mum to photograph them.
Because they grow so quickly, the baby chicks are only small for a few days each spring, so the time spent photographing them is brief. Some of the hats are made by Julie and her daughter (who receives receives a percentage of calendar sales as payment for her work) and some of them are vintage Barbie doll hats. Julie also buy hats from artists who craft miniature millinery for dollhouses as these fit perfectly for the chicks.
Luftlotte 3 was a large temporary art piece made by Atelier Goupal who is based in Stockholm, Sweden in collaboration with several classes at Nya Läroverket, a local primary school.
The idea was to create something temporary and in a state of flux. Atelier held a series of lectures for the pupils at Nya Läroverket about art and about the technique of folding origami. He and the pupils folded, decorated and signed thousands of origami birds. These were then hung throughout the second floor of local shopping mall Smedjan and carried on up and out through the light well.
These colourful birds were created by Victor Vergara, an illustrator based in Medellín, Colombia, using a Wacom tablet.
After graduating from the Fundación Universitaria de Bellas Artes in Medellin, Colombia he has had his work featured in a number of exhibitions and has won numerous awards.
Victor says, “My work is mainly inspired by nature and the female body, although not in the literal sense. I like the characters in my mind become illustrations for the world. I enjoy working with the pencil, that way I can draw what I’m feeling and feel what I’m drawing.”
These birds made from shattered CDs were made by Sean E Avery, an artist and writer-illustrator from Perth, Western Australia. The birds change colour depending on the lighting and the angle they are viewed from.
Sean says, “I use kitchen scissors to cut the shapes I need out of the CDs, then arrange each shard by colour and size. I then hot glue those shards one-by-one to a wire mesh frame to create a natural feather pattern. They usually take a week to make, maybe longer depending on how motivated I am to get them done!”