Tricia Hewlett Art

Wildlife Artist

Aug 9, 2022

Creating my Songbird Series

 We have so many wonderful song birds in Aotearoa/NZ. 

I have been thinking about two art ideas for a while: how to represent our songbirds in an original way and using paste medium to create interesting painted backgrounds.

These ideas have come together in this new Songbird Series.

Songbird Series I – Tui

the first to sing in the dawn chorus
a thesaurus of sound: grunt, cough, keen
rich liquid notes in a metallic sheen
and a white throat clerical tuft’s
tie to spirituality, divinity, messages from the gods
delivered in soulful song, all day long
the last to sing at the close of the day
never running out of things to say.

Although most of my art is graphite work, like most artists, I do love working in other mediums. My watercolour skills are lacking and oil paints of the past required mineral turps for clean up which I could not tolerate, so paint-wise, acrylic is my go to medium. 

This new series are acrylic paints on large canvas with modelling paste, mod podge and sheet music, resulting in a mixed media artwork. 

I asked my Facebook followers which native birds they think of when they consider “songbirds” and from the responses chose Tui, Bellbird, Silver Eye, Grey Warbler and Shining Cuckoo.

Songbird Series II – Bellbird

dawn and dusk the bellbird call
liquid flutelike notes that fall
 bells that ring out sweet and strong
melodious song with whirring wing
blurring greens and greys shoot by
to where the flowers lie
pollinate, disperse seed, suck on nectar,
feed with curving bill a brush like tongue,
on flaxes hung, rejoice
in dawn and dusk we hear the bellbird voice

Then I got started. I began with the modelling paste and created raised fern patterns in the background. This was painted in multiple layers. The birds were created out of sheet music and attached with mod podge, then painted. 

When all the highlights were completed, the works were left to dry for a week, then they were coated in a medium that seals the work and allows for dusting and wiping down with a cloth.

Songbird Series III – Silvereye

from inside a feathered puffball comes a call
from out their beaks a soulful song, so strong
reminding us beware, take care
change now they shout, or live without
the choice now yours to make
it’s all our lives at stake

There are five artworks in this series:
#I Tui
#II Bellbird (Sold) 
#III Silvereye
#IV Shining Cuckoo
#V Grey Warbler (Sold) 

Each artwork also has a short verse. 

​​It is a lot of fun to create a different form of art,
​but now I am ready to go back to my graphite work for a while.

These are available at $355 each.
Send me a message for size and courier costs.

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