Growing up on a farm in the rolling hills of the Piedmont area of northern Virginia, I loved exploring the outdoors. At age 11, I checked out a field guide to birds from a local library, and set out to identify as many birds as possible from the brightly colored pictures and descriptions in the book. That first day, I discovered the names of many of my favorite birds, and I was hooked. From then on, I looked for new birds to identify in the fields, streams and forests of my childhood home.
During all of these years, I also drew and painted many subjects, including birds. I loved art, was accepted into art school, but decided to take the “practical route” (highly encouraged by my parents) of a nursing career, while minoring in fine art.
Later, I moved to the west coast, and continued watching and learning about birds. Then, I moved to Texas, where I discovered to my surprise and delight that a roadrunner was nesting in a tree in my front yard. Art was put on hold for several years, as after 22 years as an ICU nurse, I focused on building a quickly growing writing business (with national clients on the Fortune 100 list, and cover articles for magazines) and raising my then teenaged children. Life was hectic and busy, but I always, always took time to hike and watch the birds I loved, whenever time allowed.
Now that I am nearing retirement age, I have the time I have always treasured to paint the subject I have loved throughout my life: birds in their natural habitat. From my home on the shores of Lake Huron, I love how the light changes throughout the day and seasons, the beautiful scenery of water, pine and beech forests, marshes, rivers, fields seen in northeast Michigan (where nature is still relatively untouched in an area where the population centers are few and far between). I also love watching the yearly great migrations in spring and fall, when familiar visitors come through or to the area to visit for the summer months, and then leave with their offspring before the frigid temperatures of a cold Michigan winter hit.
But I also love the hardy birds that stay through winter, the regular visitors to the bird feeder, and enjoy sketching and photographing them in a landscape that often resembles a Christmas card with snow-covered pines and ice patterns on windows and roads.
I hope that as you view these paintings, you will experience some of the joy that I feel when I see these winged friends in their native habitat; and my attempts to capture the ever-changing light that reflects on them.
Our creator is the greatest artist of all, and my goal in my paintings is to show through the medium of acrylic and oil paintings, the beauty found when seeking out the secret, somewhat hidden spots – and the birds and wildlife that inhabit them.
Because protecting endangered birds and preserving their habitat is important to me, I am a member of Michigan Audubon Society, and a member of Artists for Conservation. As a member, I have made a pledge to give 5% of all sales proceeds to the Audubon Society.
For inquiries regarding exhibits, paintings or to subscribe to my newsletter please contact me at: sheri(at) yeshuaschildart.com.