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Bird Painting ~ Watercolour Lust!

Friday, August 12, 2016 | 11:04 pm | Media

Bird Painting ~ Watercolour Lust!

I have been a tireless bird painter for over 20 years now… and still it is still such a great love affair for me. Never dreaming that my efforts would see my bird paintings exhibited and sold all over the world, or that they’d soon be hung next to some of the greatest Natural History and Bird Painters of my time ~ extraordinary artists like the late William T Cooper, but it has and I am so thrilled to have come so far with my work. Its hard to process those moments now, standing before a wall your work shares with your greatest idol, but it makes me feel that the challenge and dedication is worth it. My only vision now is to keep exploring this as my path, striving for personal excellence as a bird painter and to keep sharing my work with the world as best I can.

When I think of the aspects of painting and the challenges of watercolour I love the most, i can think of few subjects that make better use of the medium more than bird painting does. When properly harnessed, watercolour has a remarkable ability to capture and translate mood, atmosphere and incredible life energy in your painting, every piece capturing a moment in time and its own unique story. It is a medium that so effortlessly reflects the gorgeous colours, textures, and the wonderful, intricate relationships of colour that this subject offers.

With their endless colours, combinations, sizes and personalities to reflect, birds as a subject brings an endless source of inspiration, diversity and complexity to explore as artists. Developing the equally gorgeous botanical elements further into a bird painting not only offers a far richer insight into their world, but as artists, the combination of both botanical and bird painting pushes your observation, perseverance and technical skills to the absolute limit. My personal style is all about exploring these colours, textures, relationships and the intricate complexities of these things as well as I can.

For me, my work is simply about the pursuit of excellence… Excellence in the medium, and excellence in reflecting the world and how i value it as well and as true as I possibly can. To produce exquisite bird painting in this style is a lifetime of focus, effort, practice and dedication and there really are no short cuts. What I love about it is the extraordinary scope in this genre to keep improving, to keep raising the bar, and to keep learning more with every challenge and piece. I never tire of the constant discoveries, the glorious beauty and diversity you find in bird painting, or the sheer challenge that painting birds brings. Bird painting is the most challenging painting I do, but I believe it is also my truest language and work.

Measuring 3×5 foot in size, ‘Black Cockatoos’ is the largest painting Ive ever created, followed by the St Vincents Amazons and Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos measuring 3×2.5foot in size. These signature works take many many months of uninterrupted work to complete, and are my favourite projects to undertake. They are pure indulgence, they are rare showcases of my work, and if I had it my way Id work at this size all the time! These major works are intense technical challenges. They are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, a marathon of perseverance and a testament of my skills in this genre. Big or small, these bird paintings are all labours of love and I wanted to share them with you here… enjoy!

© 2017 Heidi Willis. All rights reserved.