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Hope + Freedom = Birds

I started a blog post early this week about bird paintings, including some of mine and some of my favorites from art history. I was going to finish it up and post it this weekend. But after this week's horrific world events, I'm going to keep it simple and focus on the relevant parts for these times... birds as symbols for hope, freedom and beauty in this world.


Birds sing, even after the storm.


Below are some of my recent bird studies I've completed 'from life' at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center. A variety of birds in a variety of mediums...

Osprey / oil

Avocet / watercolor

Cliff swallow / watercolor

Yellow-headed blackbird / gouache

These are challenging times for us in so many ways. Right now, I'm trying to keep hope and freedom in the forefront of my thoughts. So I will keep painting birds as a way of speaking through my work.


Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars, because it is his natural characteristic, so the artist works.


Currently on my easel - a 48" x 72" oil painting...

A flock of swans flying through the fog into the light. More symbols of hope and freedom, which seems to be a good place to funnel my energy when I'm also trying to reach for the light amidst it all.

One of the studies (a 12"x12" oil) for my large studio piece, featured in Plein Air Magazine February/March 2022 issue.

La Pie (Magpie) by Claude Monet

A favorite painting of mine, photographed on my recent visit to the Musee d'Orsay,

on a wonderfully complimentary wall color! Yes, the painting 'sung'. ;-)


"Hope" is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all …

Emily Dickinson



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