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.”