By Daphne Crum, Genetics & Genomics ’23
In this bird series I have painted a Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), a Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), and a Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus). These three birds were painted as gifts for members of my family, each one personalized to match the region of the U.S. where they live. While I have yet to narrow down my all-time favorite species, all birds collectively make the top of my favorite-animals list. I have been keeping a life list for bird-watching since I was in 8th grade, with 80 species and counting! There is something so unexplainably whimsical about birds that has captivated me for as long as I can remember. Birds have stolen our hearts for hundreds of years, inspiring artists and scientists alike with their power of flight, their feather variety, their intricate language of chirps and song, and their differing social dynamics. Capturing the vivacity that birds emanate is a huge challenge for me when it comes to finding the perfect medium to paint or draw in, the angles at which to position the birds in my art, and the body language that should be portrayed. I am inspired by artists who can successfully capture a bird’s personality through their work, and I strive to do the same.