I fell in love with birds and birding when I was about 11. Shortly after that I fell in love with the paintings of John James Audobon. Later on I developed a deep love for the fantastic in both literature and art. So it's no big surprise that these paintings by Justin Gibbens immediately grabbed my attention. His injection of fantastic elements into what at first appear to be 19th century scientific illustrations, are just subtle enough to cause a quick double take. The joy is that the longer look is equally rewarding because his technical skills are up to the high standards of his source material and his clear love of the subject matter belies his finger-poking humor at myth and science.
See more at his website: justingibbens.com
"Bird of Paradise III: Asp-necked Flamingo" 2007 watercolor, graphite, gouache, oolong on paper 40x26 inches
"Bird of Paradise XII: Medusa Anhinga" 2008 watercolor, graphite, gouache, colored pencil, oolong, on paper 40x26 inches
"Bird of Paradise IX: Truly Magnificent Frigatebird" 2008 watercolor, graphite, gouache, oolong, on paper. 40x26 inches