Thursday, May 9, 2013

Put a Bird on It! (part 2)

Once again, I bring you further evidence that art can never be too full of birds.  In my last post, we looked at the origin of birds in art, and some early examples as well as a few contemporary ones. These are all contemporary, spanning a wide range of styles, methods, and media.

Fred Tomaselli, Big Raven

I think his process is fascinating...

Fred Tomaselli, Work in Progress

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky...

... But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing...

- Maya Angelou, excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

photographic work by British artist Lesley Bricknell

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.   - Robert Lynd

Jay, by Karl Martens

Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for thier departure.

-Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

Beauty by Mo Crow (Mo Orkiszewski)

I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
- Charles Lindbergh

You have to believe in happiness,
Or happiness never comes ...
Ah, that's the reason a bird can sing -
On his darkest day he believes in Spring.

Douglas Malloch, You Have To Believe.

Be Still and Know, David Arms

I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.    - Emily Dickenson

Penny Hallas

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
- Langston Hughes

 Joshua Yeldham, Prayer for Protection

Some artists make birds from metal...

Steampunk birds by  Jim Mullan

Found object sculpture by Harriet Mead 

Bird, Alexander Calder, 1952

...and other materials, like found objects...

assemblage artist Ron Pippin

... while some prefer paper...

Dream of Flying, Selkie Bindery (apparently no longer in business and has taken down its website))

Polly Verity, paper and wire bird

Even when a bird walks, one feels it has wings.   - Antoine-Marin Lemierre

Elsa Mora

Matazo Kayama

 There is nothing in which birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.   - Robert Lynd

Watch this amazing video to see proof beyond a shadow of a doubt of the grace and complete beautiousity of birds!

Some artists like to literally put a bird ON it.

On someone's head, perhaps...

TotemDominique Fortin 

Migration, Andrey Remnev

Der Rabenkonig  by Christian Schloe

...or on their shoulders and lap.

Frida Kahlo, Yo y mis pericos, 1941

A bird looks especially delightful on anything surrealistic, as you can see.

Maggie Taylor, But who Has Won?

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.      - Joseph Addison

Claire Brewster, We are on Our Way

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?
- Rose Kennady

And then, just when you think you've seen it all, there's the uniquely exquisite work of Chris Maynard, who actually cuts tiny bird compositions from feathers.  How he does it is beyond me; I'd surely be pulling my hair out in frustration if I tried something like this.  I'm pretty sure it's done by magic; I think you'll agree.

Peacock Attraction by Chris Maynard

Chris Maynard, Hummingbird

Macaw, Chris Maynard

According to the artist, "Feathers mark nature's pinnacle of achievement: the intersection of function and beauty."  To find out more about Chris and his work, including where he gets the feathers, go here.

I love this piece, entitled, "I Wish I could Fly", but don't know who the artist is. If you do, please let me know; I would like to credit him/her.  [ Update: The artist who made this piece contacted me; I'm happy to now be able to tell you that it was done by South African artist Nicolette Geldenhuys.]  I wish I could fly, too- don't we all?  I guess that's why humans are so enamored with these graceful, gravity-defying creatures.  But unfortunately, we can't. So whenever you feel sad and blue, just do what I do... 

... Put a bird on it!


  1. such a facinating post! I love the collection of pieces you have found, my favourite is the Fred Tomaselli, it is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. hi Paper Rainbow, thanks for visiting. Yes, I love Tomaselli's work myself; the way he produces his pieces is quite unique!

  2. ah Sharmon love all these bird inspirations & especially the quote from Emily Dickinson and (blush) thanks for including Beauty!

    1. Mo, I'm glad you enjoyed the art. Emily Dickenson really had something, there, didn't she? I tried emailing you about using your work, but I guess you didn't get it- glad it's OK with you!

  3. Wow!! Will definitely be coming back for another browse. Thanks for taking the time to bring so many images into one aviary and for introducing me to many new artists. I particularly like the watercolour Jay.

    1. Thanks, Annie. My goal was to introduce people to many different ways of portraying birds; it's really because of the unique approaches of the artists that bird-based art remains fascinating.

  4. Such an amazing collection of birds! I've been doing a series of owls in the winter forest drawing - white ink on black paper.. I want to get back to them, but they are such winter drawings, we;ll see. Thanks so much for this great post,
    I imagine I'll be coming back to follow more links when I have more time.

    1. Valerianna, I can see how the owl drawings would be much more suited to winter. I hope you do finish them, though- I'd love to see them! Yes, do follow the links; you won't be disappointed.

  5. All so very different, fascinating and individual to each artist's viewpoint.
    As I watched the process of Tomaselli, my interest in his work increased. At first I thought how strange to use all those noses, etc., then I thought, how wonderful.
    I really loved each of the artist's work that you chose to display.

    1. Hi Gwen! As I said to one of the other commenters, it's really artists' very different viewpoints, methods, and materials that gaurantee the continued interest in the subject. Glad you liked the noses- so do I!

  6. I have really enjoyed these posts re: birds, Sharmon. Thanks for introducing all these marvelous artists to me. -sus

    1. Sus- so glad you like them. I think there is definately something here for everyone's interests and tastes.

  7. Great to connect with you here again and I did this because you are on my list of blog followers all 154 of them !!!
    I found out today that Google/Blogger are going to be phasing out the Blog Reader Facility so I would advise you to do a couple of things.
    Firstly enable the "FOLLW BY EMAIL" gadget in the layout area of your dashboard.
    Then be sure and let me know
    Please also do include this blogs address in the message otherwise I wont know the blog address.

    Then do what I am doing and that is gradually contact your blog followers - I am pretty sure they will appreciate it and tell them they can follow you by email too !!!

    1. Hi Aine! Thanks for the useful information; I wasn't aware of this.

  8. Wow- a fantastic gallery and a feast for the eye and spirit!

    Foxglove Hollow

    1. Lori, thanks for visiting! So glad you enjoyed the birds!

  9. What beautiful art works you have shared here, Sharmon. It's so lovely to be back and see what you are doing. Your blog and website look beautiful!

    1. Hi Roxanne! Thanks for the kind words. I know you've been a busy girl lately; glad you stopped by!

  10. love your postings... and love birds... I understand that some people tire of seeing an image used frequently... I am not one of them... the symbology of birds and wings is so profound... x

    1. You're so right about the symbolism, Cat. It's meanings are endlessly deep, and the images endlessly enlightening.

  11. gorgeous collection
    ...ornithological art is incredibly awesome...
    as is the work that you put into making this post so superb...

    1. Thanks, Donna; so glad you liked the post. Awesome bird art is everywhere! I hope you don't mind that I used yours in my last post.

  12. dear Sharmon, it's been a while since i was here so it's only now i discovered your wonderful bird posts, can't get enough of them, such great works and thanks for introducing a lot of artists to me.
    it's true birds will keep their fascination and will inspire us no matter what was said or tweeted.
    it was just yesterday evening i watched a documentary about the Galapogos islands, so intriguing and beautiful,
    outside my backdoors a blackbird , a tit and a black redstart built a nest, i can hear the little chicks peep when i pass. the parents are so busy feeding, it's just wonderful to watch.

    the quotes and poems you added, i loved to read them.
    and ofcourse in your work birds are shining stars too, mysterious, hopefull and just in place,
    thank you, xx

    1. Thanks, Renilde- what a lovely comment. I'm constantly amazed by birds, and the beautiful works by these artists and others. Best to you, Renilde. xo

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