I love observing and painting birds. Their distinct personalities remind me of people I know, and their interactions mirror my own experiences. Finches, juncos, titmice and chickadees share the feeder like my extended family coming together for a good meal. Scrub jays squabble like a gang of artists. As a heron glides slowly overhead, I think of a friend who’s recently died. Birds remind me of cycles of life and of my one small place in the natural world .
Each of my paintings begins with an observation. I make jottings in a field notebook which becomes my main resource as I develop a painting in my studio. While I like to depict a bird species as accurately as possible, I also love the feel of loose, spontaneous watercolors. To combine these two interests, I’ve developed a technique of working with watercolor on paper, wood or canvas primed with gesso. This allows me to splash, pour, scrub, experiment and later wipe out an area for a detailed bird. Because I don’t frame paintings under glass I seal each with an archival varnish.
Two of the joys of painting are connecting with others by sharing bird stories, and hearing someone say, ‘I’ve seen that bird you painted!’ I hope my work will bring new appreciation for the amazing avian world around us.