One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “Where do I get the ideas for my paintings?” The answer is aways from my everyday life around me, but I like to put my own twist on it. Then I’m asked, “Do I paint from my imagination or from a photograph?” My answer to that is both!
I concocted my Bird Living Collection over a year ago in my head. It all began at the same art and craft shows I attend to sell my own art. I just love the imagination and variety of all the different type of birdhouses I saw. I started to create little stories of what kind of bird would live in each house. Then it dawned on me, I should paint them! I immediately started to collect data and references to help me make my idea a reality.
Before I took any photos of other crafter’s work I aways asked first to see if it was ok. This always made me nervous! Here I was, this painter trying to explain to strangers I wanted to take photographs of their fantastic birdhouses for me to use as inspiration for my Bird Living Collection. I always figure they must of thought I was nuts! I felt a great since of relief each time they smiled at me and said ok.
I recently saw Danny and Craig (above) of Birdhouse Brokerage at the Somerset, NJ Sugarloaf Show. I was so excited to show them the birdhouse, Cabin Living, (Below) I painted based on one of their birdhouses!
Birdhouse Brokerage is a family run business by Craig and Christa Andrews. They have been creating and selling some of the most charming birdhouses and collectables for over seventeen years. They have been nationally published by Birds & Blooms, and Country Living Magazine several times, and their work can be found in many homes and store all over the country! The only thing I found more impressive then this business were the people behind it!
They have so many fun designs it was hard for me not to go hog wild and paint them all! Lol.
Another crafter, Mitch Erceg, “The Birdhouse King” was also kind enough to let me use his luxury birdhouse as references for my paintings. Mitch is extremely talented gentleman who goes above and beyond with the detail and fine craftsmanship in each one of his bird houses.
Mitch is based out of New Jersey, but can be found online at birdhouseking.com.
Here is one of Mitch’s designs (above) that inspired me to paint Swiss Chalet Living (below).
I added a bit more color into my painting of the birdhouse to give it some pop, and painted a pair of Tufted Titmouse birds to live in it. I thought they would be the perfect birds for such a unique house!
These nifty birdhouses (above) can be found at the Castleberry Fairs Shows and they inspired me to paint Rustic Living (below).
The challenge I had with creating Rustic Living was trying to paint a birdhouse that looked so much like a tree on an actual tree!
This wasn’t ment tobe a birdhouse (above) but thought hey! What a neat idea! So I created Ecclectic Living (below) from this decorative planter.
Once I started collection ideas for birdhouse it was hard to stop! So many things inspired me, and they all weren’t birdhouses!
This was one of my favorite birdhouses! So I painted it with one of my favorite birds, Cardinals.
I added a front porch onto this log home. It gave the Cardinal a place to perch.
When I saw this design (above) I could’t resist painting a red, white, and blue theme! So I added a Cardinal, Chickadee, and Blue Jay to make my painting titled Patriotic Living (below).
I also have plenty of references of birdhouse I’ve seen in peoples backyard.
This birdhouse (above) was the bases of Ramshackle Living (below).
It looks quiet a bit different then the photo. I found the more birdhouse living designs I made the more imaginative I got with each home. I have twenty designs done at the moment, and plan on adding another ten before I call this collection complete.
Above is an interesting photo of a bird feeder I took at my friends house. I have big plans on turning it into a birdhouse as part of the ten designs I’m making to add to my collection!
I have always loved birds, and have been painting them since I was ten years old. I’ve gotten pretty good at drawing all the different bird anatomies found around me here in the North East from all the years of studying them. I’m now in a place where I don’t just want to paint what I see in real life, but also want to invent new ways of interpreting them and give each one of my birds a personally of their own! I may collect photos and reference data from what I see, but it’s my imagination that is the driving force for each one of my paintings, and ultimately the collection I paint!