On The Wing

Wood Duck Pair on White Oak Leaves, Casey Girard

Illustrator Casey Girard (they/them) never thought much about birds until January 2018, when they awoke to find more than 100 pine siskins in their California backyard. The flock of tiny avians captured their attention in a way no animal ever had. “They say you get into birding through a spark bird — a bird that makes you want to see every bird,” says Girard. “I am no different.” Now based in Asheville, Girard uses digital software to create illustrations of snowy plovers, hooded warblers, mountain bluebirds, and other avian species. Girard also paints birds on dried leaves using gouache. “As I choose which bird to paint on each leaf, I make sure that the leaf matches the area the bird is from. I also consider which bird will fit well into the shape of each leaf,” Girard explains. “It is always wonderful when a leaf holds a bird perfectly in flight.” A selection of their framed leaf paintings will be on display at the Cedar Mountain Canteen until Thursday, May 2. Girard hopes the paintings help viewers foster a connection with flighty friends. “It is my way of sharing my love for them with others,” the artist says. 

Casey Girard, Asheville, caseyg.com. Girard’s paintings will be on display at Cedar Mountain Canteen (10771 Greenville Hwy., Cedar Mountain, cedarmountaincanteen.com) until Thursday, May 2.

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