Artist Adds Exquisite Bird Paintings To Vintage Book Pages That Describe Them

Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams

Vintage book pages merge with realistic renditions of birds in the art of Craig Williams. The Australia-based painter sources these unconventional canvases to create intentional juxtapositions between his art and printed text. This thoughtful combination results in pairings that appear to have been made for each other.

Williams brings his background in zoology and experience working in museums and wildlife parks into his creative practice. Each of the bird portraits is done with faithful accuracy to the species. In many instances, the choice of bird relates to the book page that it is painted on. “The use of vintage book pages as the substrate brings an underlying story to the piece through the history of the books themselves which is often evident in the imperfect nature of the paper with blemishes, marks, creases, and wear,” he tells My Modern Met.

Williams frequently uses pages from field guides to pay homage to the history of the reference texts used by birders and to directly relate the illustration to the information on the page. “While the birds in some works can have an easily identifiable, even a direct link to the page content (as an example depicting a bird using the identification page from a field guide) others can have more discrete and even an intangible relationship to the page contents,” Williams explains.

“Often the branch on which the bird is perched is left in the underpainting stage with no further details [and allows] the text on the page to remain visible and [help] to both tie the bird to the page text while also lifting the bird prominently off the page.”

You can purchase available artwork through Williams' website, and keep up to date with his latest projects by following the artist on Instagram.

Australian artist Craig Williams creates exquisite bird portraits.

Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams

He renders sparrows, hawks, and other species on vintage book paper.

Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams

The acrylic paintings are complemented by text and illustrations already printed on the sheets.

Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams Acrylic Bird Paintings by Craig Williams

Craig Williams: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Craig Williams.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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