10 September 2007

Fitz's Wood-Wren

A very qick post with a new painting pulled from the archives of the Auk on
SORA, the Searchable Ornithological Research Archive. This plate painted by John W. Fitzpatrick accompanied the description of this new species from Peru, the Bar-winged Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucoptera) in 1977, in the Auk 94: 2, 195-201.

05 September 2007

Fuertes Originals for sale

A meander through the google search returns for "Fuertes painting" last night yielded a new discovery from a gallery called 'W. Graham Arader'. This painting of Townsend's Solitaire and Mountain Bluebird is the real gem of the bunch. The others available for sale include a few pieces from the Arm and Hammer baking soda card series, (the Flicker and Brown Thrasher*), two originals from Fuertes' first major commission, 'Citizen Bird', (the Northern Mockingbird and Blue Jay) and a few other works that are likely from very early in his career. Take a look at W. Graham Arader III's 'Fuertes Gallery'*Note: a few of the paintings are mis-identified on the website.
The thing I like the most about the Solitaire and Bluebird piece is the variety of postures. The Solitaire is perched in a very interesting, atypical posture. Birds are very subtley animated creatures, especially songbirds, often twisting their heads, craning necks, erecting or smoothing particular feather groups or perhaps fanning the tail as in this Solitaire. Capturing these nuances was perhaps Fuertes's greatest skill. He seemed to portray these attributes with such ease and so naturally that the depictions speak a profound elegance, just like looking at the birds themselves. He translates onto paper, even in gray tones a breath of life, unlike any other artist has. This is quintessential Fuertes.