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Artist Spends 100 Days Painting 100 Species of Birds on Slices of Wood

Bird Paintings on Wood by Deanna Maree

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With their colorful plumage and breathtaking wings, it's no wonder that birds are popular muses for creatives around the globe. Artist and avid bird-lover Deanna Maree dedicated 100 days to a series of 100 paintings of different feathered friends. She captured their likeness using gouache paint on slices of wood.

“I've always been drawn to birds and all that they represent, and I love painting birds because there is so much variety and variation in the bird world,” Deanna tells My Modern Met. “I had fun bringing each bird to life on the timber, I enjoyed the tree/bird connection…and I found gouache to be very flexible and forgiving throughout the project.” Since the artist is from Australia, she spent the first 37 days of the project focusing on portraits of birds native to her country, such as the Gouldian finch, cockatiel, and mistletoe bird. Afterward, Maree extended her painting project to species from around the world, including many endangered and threatened species.

Each colorful portrait shows the head of a bird in splendid detail. Maree uses her array of gouache paints to render the vibrant patterns of feathers and the sheen of their beaks. Additionally, by placing the birds at the center of these wooden slices, they are framed by mesmerizing tree rings, drawing the viewer's attention to each bird's expressive face. “The part of the process that I enjoy the most is capturing a bird’s unique character—or ‘birdonality'—but it's also the most challenging part,” she admits. “It's only after the eye is finished that the bird really seems to come alive out of the wood slice.”

You can purchase Maree's artwork through her Etsy shop, and keep up to date with her latest creations by following her on Instagram and Facebook.

Australian artist Deanna Maree spent 100 days painting 100 species of birds.

She used gouache paint to render their individual likeness on thin slices of wood.

Each colorful portrait seems to capture the bird's unique personality.

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Learn more about Maree's 100 day project by watching this video:

Deanna Maree: Etsy | Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Deanna Maree.

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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. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.

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