Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Australian Birds

Four Bird Series
24x24, collage on four wood panels, framed together

These birds were inspired by my friend Anndella Bond from Australia. She shared with me many books, DVDs and magazines illustrating the beauty and splendor of her country. I was quite taken with all the amazing colorful birds (and you know how much I love color, and apparently birds...) which were so different from what we see here in the South Eastern United States. Anndella even had her Mum send a package of magazines, newspapers and travel literature for me to use in my Australian inspired collage work.

These are four birds native to Australia, I utilized newspaper and magazine clippings, stamps, and even bits of the envelope which they arrived in. From top left: Rainbow Bee Eater, Gouldian Finch, Blue Wren, and Kookaburra.

It is so nice when folks are generous to send books and magazines, hand-painted papers, and stamps they have collected over the years, or lend inspirational literature! I am inspired and motivated by the personal ephemera and generosity of others in my collage work. 

In this piece, I experimented with leaving some of the artistic process in tact. You can see pencil lines and painted areas along with the collage, I decided to allow some of the steps of my process to show through. The branches which the birds are perched upon are bare wood with outline and parts of the background are pure paint and gesso mixtures with dripping and splattered paint. I have always been a fan of pen and ink drawings which are colored in only partially with translucent medium. I am going to further experiment with the concept of letting my steps show through in the finished piece. It can be very difficult to remember not to collage every bit of the piece, as I am usually inclined to do! 

I hope that you will find this to be a refreshing twist on the small bird collages.


  1. Your experiment worked well. It is more interesting to see the artist's hand peek through the work. Good job!

  2. truly beautiful and totally inspirational i adore all your art

  3. Gorgeous, Elizabeth! You continue to delight and inspire me. What a great day to start the day with gems from you! Thanks for sharing.

  4. These are my favorites so far, Elizabeth. You really captured the birds and I think your drawings and underpaintings add a certain new sort of strength to the work. I'm always interested in process and the way you did these gives more hints into your process. Good job!

  5. Congrats to you on your sales! Looks like inspiration has struck- These Australian birds are wonderful,the colors are great- and I love how you have depicted the cardinals too. We have some that fly to our feeder, and hang out in our bushes. The reds are incredible- I love also, how your second cardinal really seems to be grasping the branch upon which it sits.
    I really love your work, and come here often, for you are my inspiration!

  6. It is interesting how the dripping of the paint in the background resembles trees or branches in the distance. Works well with the subject matter.

  7. I noticed the difference in technique right away, but thought that since I was a relatively new follower, I probably just hadn't experienced the full range of your work. It was fun to find out that you were trying something new. I really like it, the birds are gorgeous... I've got to get to one of your shows somewhere here in FL..

  8. Thank you all for the positive comments on this experiment! I plan to do more in this new style, stay tuned.


thank you for taking the time to read and comment! :)