with Sarah Suplina
Ravishing Roosters and Perky Pigeons Populate Sarah Suplina’s Vibrant Flock of Paper Birds
Drawing on nature’s vibrant patterns, Sarah Suplina replicates the radiant feathers and beady eyes of a variety of birds. The Connecticut-based artist crafts detailed, lifelike animal portraits of species that she selects for their distinctive plumage and expressions, painting on lightly textured watercolor paper to achieve the vivid hues of chickens, ducks, and songbirds. “I love the subtle value and color surprises that I get with watercolors,” she says, using the medium to building up gradients and contrasts that reveal richness and depth.
Taking around six to ten hours to complete, each bird presents its own intricacies and hurdles. “I found the subtle tonal colors of doves to be challenging to capture correctly,” Suplina says. She often selects birds at random, but her surroundings provide a constant source for ideas. One series titled Backyard Beauties captures individuals spotted out her kitchen window, and her current project Dove Love focuses on pigeons and doves she sees around her neighborhood and during walks throughout New York City. “Birds are so full of personality and variations, and they are an artist’s dream to create, especially with paper,” she says.
Suplina’s work will be featured in the forthcoming book Stitched Journeys with Birds: Inspiration to Let Your Creativity Take Flight, scheduled for publication in September from Schiffer Craft. You can find intricate originals and prints in her Etsy shop and on Society6. Explore her website to learn more about her work, and find updates on Instagram.
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