Birds are highly impressive.
They are master architects and engineers: designing complex family-sized structures out of mere twig and twine. They are accomplished singers: singing their arias that are the timeless songbook of springtime. They are precocious aviators: who take never-delayed flights at a moment’s notice.
So, we are celebrating our favorite feathery creatures with a special collection in their honor.
The feats of industry that have taken centuries of brainpower from the greatest intellects and talents of humankind, birds manage to do before next spring.
Here are some highlights from our “Best Of: Birds” flight:
Detail of Flamingo Cha Cha by Mary Pratt
Shawna Gilmore’s acrylic painting, Habitat(24" x 30"), from her Transfiguration series, is the brainchild of a daydreamer’s surrealist imagination. The composition centers on a female face with tree branches stemming from her hairline. But instead of leaves, these branches wear tiny, yellow birds that illume the canvas.
King Crow by Martha Wade
Ashley Cecil’sRed-Faced Star Finch on Purple Wreath(15" x 12") is a mixed-media workthat combines a loose, painterly technique with a precise, illustrative style. The painting is multilayered: including layers in watercolor, line drawing, acrylic paint, oil paint and gold lead. These many layers fulfill the narrative intimation of the composition – the bird soars off the paper.
Red-Faced Star Finch on Purple Wreath by Ashley Cecil
One Eyed Jack(12" x 12") by Robyn Kruse is an acrylic painting that is a rooster portrait. The plucky rooster confronts the viewer with his one visible eye and extensive comb. The expansive headpiece commands the canvas with the look and feel of coral.
One Eyed Jack by Robyn Kruse
The collection in its entirety has a broad wingspan.
The artwork’s focuses range from the tiny particulars of bird life – an egg, a feather, a nest – to the sweeping implications of birdkind – systemic migration patterns, entire ecosystems, the bird’s-eye-perspective.
But, despite this breadth, the collection has a common goal. Like birdwatching through binoculars’ rounded vignettes or listening to the songbirds at a birdfeeder, these works of art spare an earned moment to appreciate the beauty and grace of birds.