Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two Feathers

I started painting feathers as an experiment some 14 or so years ago, as a way to use some of the wild turkey feathers I had acquired over the years. At the time I really had no idea that other people painted on feathers, indeed it is an artform in of itself. I was just experimenting (at the time I was painting on everything... rocks, wood, slate, feathers..).

I have since dabbled in it several times a year. A feather is a fascinating and frustrating canvas; care must be used not to split the rachis of the feather (and if you do, once there is paint on it it will never mend again). Correcting mistakes is often hard to impossible if you get paint in an area where you don't want it (one cannot lift the paint back off, nor scrub it, and over-painting ruins the appearance of the feather). Further, the size is tiny, the texture is great, and the surface is flexible. They are quite a challenge for me!

Barn Owl Profile, acrylic on 8" x 2" cockatoo tail feather, and Blue and Gold Macaw, acrylic on  7.5" x 1.5" Blue and Gold Macaw secondary wing feather, respectively.

These feathers were naturally molted (or shed) by healthy parrots in a bird rescue in Florida. The first is intended as a gift, while the macaw will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to Two Feathers Wildlife Center Inc., which is where the parrots these feathers came from reside. I will be posting more information on the auction once I have more details.


  1. Wow, those are gorgeous!!!

  2. I know I mentioned this before, but I'm still in awe at how much that barn owl just pops out at you. You definitely have a great eye in how to compose the image on the feather, and to choose which feather to go with what bird.

  3. This is a great idea!! These feathers look amazing. I have a blue and gold at home and save all of her feathers. I am raising money to go to an Exotic Animal Training Program in Southern California and this would be a prefect craft to help me raise money! Thanks for the idea!