My studio is surrounded by four acres of woods, the perfect environment for this artist who cares about wildlife.
My love of birds started oddly by winning a bird feeder over 10 years ago. Winters in upstate New York include so many cold, snowy and icy days. I installed that birdfeeder very shortly after receiving it, then filled it with black sunflower seeds. It took about two days for the neighborhood birds to find it. From that first winter, the birds have enriched my life in a very meaningful way.
Before the feeder, I had no idea how many birds endure months of harsh weather. I've done a little studying on bird survival during winter and learned that birds survive by eating...a lot. And the best seed to feed is black oil sunflower seeds. Now, I have more than one feeder and on very cold days, I refill the feeders more than once.
Before my day starts in the studio, as I come downstairs for that first cup of coffee, I notice they are at the feeder, taking a seed and flying to a nearby tree branch to eat it. They got an early start as the feeders are down about half way. I sit at the window, with a good pair of binoculars to see them up close as I wish they'd let me when I refill their feeders. Next to the binoculars is a small sketchbook and supplies to sketch them, whenever I feel inspired.
My paintings are of birds that are native to Western New York, but a lot of the species are statewide. I like to feature brushwork in my paintings and comfortable color palettes. I tend to work small as I paint ala-prima.