Wherever I go, I observe and photograph birds. I grew up in New England, lived in Virginia, New Hampshire, Kenya, Texas, and Florida. My home has always been surrounded by wildlife habitat that includes a source of fresh water, gardens that attract insects, with shrubs and trees for cover and nesting. My many travels around the United States and abroad have added to my bird knowledge.
My earliest memories were that my father’s hunting dogs were kenneled in our backyard, but Martha, my pet Rhode Island Red hen, ran free and was mine. When I ran to her, she would squat down, wait for me to pick her up, and let me carry her everywhere.
My realistic paintings capture species-specific characteristics, typical habitat and even the bird’s behavior. I use thin layers of watercolor, acrylic, and oil paint to enhance the illusion of light, the three-dimensional body of the subject, and depth within the scene. Detailed, tiny strokes of color create texture such as the softness of feathers or wood grain and bark. I pay close attention to the eyes of the bird and its prey, usually completing them first to be sure the painting will have enough power.