Tag Archives: birds

Flights of Fancy: Diana Beltran Herrera

21 Aug

I’ve told you before about my visions of becoming a crazy bird watcher.  While Mr. Forager loves to lookout for ospreys, hawks and other large birds of prey, my own preference is for birds of smaller varieties.  Spotting a hummingbird is especially thrilling!  Their diminutive size and speed make their sudden appearance fascinating.  Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera recreates their flights of fancy in her paper sculptures.

While we were recently camping in Glacier National Park, we awoke one morning to what sounded like tiny jets buzzing above the roof of our tent.  The hummingbirds were enjoying a frolic among the lupine surrounding our campsite.

Herrera’s birds seem to come alive as they search for nectar among paper sculpted flowers.  You can practically hear the buzz of their wings as they keep themselves suspended mid-air.

So what do you think?  Has my slight ornithological obsession completely taken hold?  I think the only cure is to just seek out more fowl, both of the living and artistic variety. 😉 To see more of Diana Beltran Herrera’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via My Modern Metropolis.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Finds: A Little Birdie Told Me So

20 Jul

One of our favorite things about living at the lake this summer has been our evening walks.  Once the heat begins to wane, all the birds begin to sing.  We often end our walk by making our way down to the dock where we sit and watch birds both great and small as they hunt for dinner.  I’ve even told George I’m going to take up serious bird watching.  I’m going to be a funny old lady with her huge hat and binoculars watching all the birds that fly by.. So today’s round up is brought to you by some pretty little birds of the artsy kind that I’m admiring this week!

Mindy Hawkins

Maribel Angel

Abigail Brown

Sophie Woodrow

Mindy Hawkins | Maribel AngelAbigail Brown | Sophie Woodrow 

What say you, Artsies?  Want to grab a big floppy hat & your sunnies and join me on the dock for some birdwatching?  Happy weekend!

Featured image is by Abigail Brown.  All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

Flourishing Decay: Vincent Bakkum

30 Apr

As soon as we are born, we begin to die.  That may be a gloomy thought, but we begin the circle of life at birth and it seems, now more than ever, we fight as hard as we can against the inevitability of age and the ravages of time.  Helskinki artist Vincent Bakkuum’s paintings confront us with the transitory nature of our very being.

Teen Joy

Using images of vintage-y shoes, skulls and dead birds juxtaposed with beautifully blooming flowers, Bakkum reminds us that what once was young and vibrant eventually will be no more.

Black Shoes and Pink Flowers

Just as the bird that falls from the sky, so will we also cease to fly.  Our vanity compels us to continue to adorn what is already beautiful, our very bodies that give us life.

Dead Parakeets

Bakkum’s work reminds us of the inherent beauty to be found in flora and fruit, their beauty and bounty inspires and nourishes us.  They are created as we are created and will return to the dust just as we will.

Sheep Skull

Pink Shoes

To see more of Vincent Bakkum’s work, please visit his website.

Featured image is Biological Cream by Vincent Bakkum.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Angelic Imaginings: Maribel Angel

15 Mar

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, then you know that I have a few absolute favorite artists.  These are the artists whose work I absolutely adore and return to again and again.  Today’s artist, Maribel Angel is high on my list of favorites.  From the first time I saw her work, during my gallery career in Florida, it was delight at first sight.

Bird Park, acrylic on panel, 34x24

The irresistible charm of Maribel’s work is pretty obvious, but even more so when she begins explaining the inspiration behind each one.  For these latest paintings, she found unknowing muses in the form of all the birds congregating on her lakeside property in North Florida due to such a mild winter ( even for Florida! ).

Fruit and Bandits, acrylic on panel, 12x12

From the artist: “..all those feathered creatures that flew south for the winter used our yard as their tourist destination for several months. Not to mention all the local birds who had no reason to fly further south – so we had double the  population than usual and I could hear them chattering and chirping non stop from dawn till dusk while i was working in my studio. It wasn’t like song birds keeping a tune and creating a beautiful orchestra of sound – it was just full on chatter! Similar to the sound you would hear of camp kids shouting and playing at the pool.  I enjoyed their company and while I was painting I would imagine the stories they were sharing with each other.

Gentle Whisper, acrylic on panel, 34x24

The way she renders animals in such stylized simplicity is so appealing.  Her horses stand lean and graceful, birds are bright and cheerfully scattered.  She enriches each with beautifully layered color and texture– as stunning as they are online, her work is even more wonderful in person!

Crossing Over, acrylic on panel, 12x12

New Nest, acrylic on panel, 12x12

To see more of Maribel Angel’s work, please visit her website and the Gallery Orange website.  If you’re lucky enough to be in New Orleans, you can stop in at Gallery Orange to see her work in person or in Florida, check out Maribel’s work at Southlight Gallery.

Featured image is Shangrila, acrylic on panel, 48×12.  All images are via Gallery Orange, Maribel’s representing gallery in New Orleans.  For more on Gallery Orange, check out the recent Artsy Spot feature on the gallery here.

Caged Birds Sing: Kate McGwire

2 Feb

Birds are creatures meant to soar.  They inspire us to reach new heights ourselves.  Those avian characteristics are what make London artist Kate McGwire’s work so poignant and powerful.

Guile ( detail ), Mixed media with dove and pigeon feathers in antique cabinet 1760 H x 705 W x 385 D mm ( photographed by Tessa Angus )

McGwire uses fallen feathers to create sculptures reminiscent of birds at rest, coiled upon themselves.  By often placing her sculptures in antique cabinets and cloches, she creates a dichotomy between the suggested creature and its cage.

Guile, Mixed media with dove and pigeon feathers in antique cabinet 1760 H x 705 W x 385 D mm ( photographed by Tessa Angus )

Her sculptures have an otherworldly sense to them– as if they are alien beings, captured long ago for scientific observation or simply decoration.

Stifle, Mixed media with dove / white pigeon feathers in antique glass dome. 71 x 71 x 37 cm

The tension in her work is so palpable, it seems that if one just broke the glass, the creature inside would uncurl itself and rise above its shattered prison.

Cache, mixed media with pigeon tail feathers in antique metal trunk 46 x 26 x 43 cm ( photographed by Tessa Angus )

To see more of Kate McGwire’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via My Modern Metropolis.

Featured image is Vex ( detail ), mixed media with pigeon feathers in antique museum cabinet, 183 x 110 x 61 cm.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Of a Mod Nature: Mary Chomenko Hinckley

1 Dec

Camisoles and combat boots.. cayenne and chocolate.. some things just don’t seem like they would go together.  Take, for example, the work of Mary Chomenko Hinckley.  This is an artist who enjoys finding the harmony in the disparate.

Golden Winged Warbler in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

Like pairing the detailed natural images of ordinary birds against mod-style backgrounds whose colors may echo or complement those of the bird, but the contemporary patterns give these ol’ birds a new spin.

Belted Kingfisher, Unique Variant 3/5 Digital Pigment Print and Colored Pencil on German Paper, 28x21

In her work, the artist is exposing the relationship between objects that seem completely unrelated.  By juxtaposing these seemingly incongruent objects, she finds harmony in the new relationship.  Plus, I think they give these guys the cheeky little personalities they deserve.  Birds are fun, what can I say?

Red Bellied Woodpecker in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

Gannet in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28x21, 40x30 or 52x40

To see more of Mary Chomenko Hinckley’s fine feathered friends and her other work, please visit her website.

Featured image is Pileated Woodpecker in Ellipse Field, digital pigment print on silver rag, 28×21, 40×30 or 52×40.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Miniature Manifestations: Laurel Bustamante

24 Oct

Birds have a long history of symbolism in art.  Their meanings through the years have been as varied as their colors.   Oregon artist Laurel Bustamante has taken the symbolism a step further, creating imaginary birds that represent what it may feel like to be a bird.

The Pearlfisher #2, gouache and acrylic on clayboard, 5x7

But these are not expressionistic paintings in that typically wild, emotive kind of way.  Instead, they are thoughtful studies of mystery and coquettishness of small birds.

Nigthbird in Pompeii, acrylic and gouache on panel, 8x10

These diminutive paintings have an old world, ancient quality to them, but feel modern in their isolated composition.

Bluebird, acrylic and gouache on panel, 8x10

Nocturne in Brazil, acrylic and gouache on panel, 8x10

You can find more of Laurel Bustamante’s work on her ArtSlant profile ( I was unable to locate a website for her ), or on the websites of a number of galleries in which her work is featured:  Augen Gallery, Davis & Cline, Lora Schlesinger and REM Gallery just to name a few.  Flit like a little bird and visit them all!

Featured image is Nightwatch #1, gouache and acrylic on clayboard, 5×7, via REM Gallery.

Are Chickens the New Black?

1 Aug

I admit, I’m not always up on the very latest trends, I am in my 30’s after all.  I knew all about the “Put a Bird On It” trend, but had no idea that art featuring chickens had become such a big deal.  Chicken art makes me think back to my grandma’s house and her Americana farm scene prints featuring chickens.  And her ceramic chicken collection.  Needless to say, chickens aren’t the first subject that jumps to mind when I think of the latest in the art world.  But for whatever reason, these birds are fowls are ruling the roost.

Roost by Brian McGuffey

Seattle area artist, Brian McGuffey draws from childhood experiences in his creative process.  In “Roost”, pictured above, he elevates the rooster from lowly barnyard animal to a dignified, full-plumed specimen.  Just look at that profile.  You know all the hens would be clucking all over him.

King of the Hill by Sydney McKenna

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To attend a chicken-only art show, apparently!  St. Augustine, Florida artist, Sydney McKenna painted “King of the Hill”  specifically for a show at the W.B. Tatter Studio & Gallery celebrating not just chickens, but also the gallery’s sixth year anniversary.  I hope they served a vegetarian menu for the opening. 🙂

But the Tatter who is by no means the only chicken show I’ve covered in recent months.  Remember Yvonne Lozano’s What Happened to the Chickens show?  Yvonne created an entire series of painting centered around a family trip to Colombia and a few friendly chickens she met there as a child.

Here, Chicky Chicky by Yvonne Lozano

Out and About by Hilary Williams

But chickens in art aren’t just reserved for the barnyard.. In “Out and About”, San Francisco based artist Hilary Williams  depicts a little hen who seems to have escaped and is enjoying a lovely day on the town.  This chick is ready for a ladies lunch and some retail therapy.

Speaking of plucky adventurers ( pun intended ), Dolan Geiman’s Blue Highway also shows how chickens in art aren’t just for grandma’s kitchen anymore.  Geiman’s graphic, mixed media approach results in work that is more contemporary than kitsch.

Blue Highway by Dolan Geiman

Where is this upsurge in chicken art leading?  Only the chickens know for sure.  The banty in Jim Draper’s Cross Creek seems ready to take the road less traveled.  And maybe that’s what the chicken art movement is all about.

Cross Creek by Jim Draper

The featured images is Laughing About This Life by Hilary Williams.  All images are courtesy of the individual artist’s websites.

PS– I restrained myself from finding a Road Crossing Chicken joke to go with each piece of artwork.  You’re welcome.

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