Aves Artiste: Anne-Julie Aubry

Anne Julie Aubry is a French artist and illustrator who’s work depicts dark whimsy with a humble self portraiture. Crows and blackbirds appear often in her paintings, inspired by her personal environment, childhood, and dreams.

She is a distant dreamer, a sleepwalker on the lookout, a traveller from the shadows who loves labyrinths and unanswered enigmas, fairy tales and girls with white socks. At night, her heroines are lost in a nebulous kingdom full of dragonflies and snowflakes.

Visit her Artist Gallery , Blog , and Etsy Shop

Fine Artist: Veronica Foster

Veronica’s father encouraged her at an early age to be creative. He shared his love of drawing, painting, creating with her; teaching her to draw from books on the old renaissance masters. The powerful figurative drawings of the renaissance artists inspired Veronica to become an artist.

Veronica’s unique style has evolved out of this experience and reflects a sense of timeless antiquity. All of her work is on a fresco like plaster and has a sensuous texture with tiny surface cracks and fractures. The work is intentionally emotional and expressive creating a sense of memory, movement and the passage of time.

Visit the entire gallery here

Obscured by Light – Remains of Winter

Sometime back in January, I was sitting in my office on a particularily cold mid-morning. Everything beyond my windows was a shade or two of grey, interrupted only by streaks of icy white cruelty. Since moving permanently to Zagreb in 2007, I had never experienced cold such as this, nor for so long.

I was pondering how many sweaters to put on when a jackdaw slammed into the north facing window. The sound was so loud I thought one of the neighbor’s kids had thrown a soccer ball at it.  I shot up out of my chair, ran over to the ledge, and leaned into the window-well to view the tiny lifeless body cushioned eight feet below in the snow beneath our pear tree.  After several moments of ringing my hands and standing there saying ‘oooh no. oh no no no’ over and over again, I finally grabbed a coat and my sneakers and went outside.

The cold immediately seized my lips for thought to speak. Each breath was like inhaling needles. As I approached the bird, I could see red trailing from his little beak. My face scrunched up in a rictus of horror. His eyes were half closed in the slumber of death. Under normal circumstances, I would have grabbed my camera and shot an entire series, but for some reason it seemed more apt to remain in the moment. I took him in my hands, checking his warm little chest for a heartbeat. His head lolled loosely on his shoulders, and as I sniffled away my first tear, should it freeze upon my cheek, I chuckled to myself upon closer inspection of the beak – it was smeared with the remains of his last berry, likely fermented in the clutch of winter. The cold and the poor food had probably addled his mind, and he misjudged his launch from the tree branch to another likely reflected within my window.

I cradling him along one sleeve of my coat, and walked half a mile into the forest to lay him to rest in the nook between a young chestnut’s sprawling roots. To this day, I am haunted by how warm his little body was.  Today, it is 24C and beautiful, and my hooded crows Kara and Kaine are busy meeting the demands of their hatchlings.

This past winter hit Bucharest equally as hard, and one of our readers captured the compelling photos in this post to document the effect it had on corvids in the area.

As he describes it, “The Remains of Winter series refers to the dead birds lying in the parks, killed by the cold weather, hunger or thirst, during one of the most bitter winters in the last twenty years. Among the children’s playgrounds you can spot these creatures lying on the ground.”

To view more Obscured By Light photography, visit the artist’s photography blog here.

Rodriguez Munro

rooks*** by Rodriguez Munro.

When the rooks were laid in piles
by the sides of the road
crashing into the aerials
tangled in the laundery line
and gathered in a field
they were burned in a feathering pyre
with a cold black eye

crow III by Rodriguez Munro.

When the swallows fell from the eaves
and the gulls from the spires
and starlings in the millions
will feed on the ground where they lie
the ambulance men said there’s
nowhere to flee for your life
so we stayed inside
and we’ll sleep until
the world of man is paralyzed

it is me - crow serie by Rodriguez Munro.

Oh the falcon heir awakes
to the sound of the bells
they’re heading southbound
they’re leaving it alive
and each empty cage just rings
and is heard like a bell
underneath these cold stars
and this troubled night
and the cries of man
let the kingdom come to nigh
let this dream be realized

what we are. - crow serie by Rodriguez Munro.

*play dead by Rodriguez Munro.

View the entire series here

(Poem from Shearwater – Rooks)

Audrey Kawasaki – Karasu no Jyou

The themes in Audrey Kawasaki’s work are contradictions within themselves. Her work is both innocent and erotic. Each subject is attractive yet disturbing. Audrey’s precise technical style is at once influenced by both manga comics and Art Nouveau. Her sharp graphic imagery is combined with the natural grain of the wood panels she paints on, bringing an unexpected warmth to enigmatic subject matter.

Audrey updates her online journal frequently with new work, pieces in progress, information about shows and more. Click here to visit Aud’s Journal.

Christophe Dessaigne – Midnight Digital

Tormented dreamscapes, desert and silent plains, all invitations to remote and chimeric territories… Christophe Dessaigne’s creations are open doors on fantastic and dreamy horizons where digital photography serves the fanciful imagery of surrealist photomontages.

“The more I was learning about photography, the more I realized how frustrating it could be,” he explains, “most photographers are usually after outstanding natural landscapes and rule out, maybe out of snobbery, digital tools. I consider digital photography as an extraordinary way to alter and experiment with the image, and ultimately bring it to something fantastic, in the literal meaning of the word.”
Driven by this creative urge, now unhindered by the sacrosanct rules of photography, Christophe threw himself into editing. “The possibilities offered by Lightroom and Photoshop combined are unlimited. My work mainly revolves around two axes and depends on my mood. I can take “simple pictures” with few editing or get lost in sophisticated photomontages.”

Even if he readily admits enjoying photomontage, photography still takes up half of his creation work: “I think that the success of a complex photomontage resides in the story it has to tell. Technique is secondary though still necessary. To evoke a feeling, an image has to tell something, it has to carry the viewer in a different world, besides having a solid composition. Most of the time I know exactly what I want in the end. I visualize the final image before I start editing it. I even often sketch it.”

Christophe was the very first featured artist here on Aves Noir, and we felt he deserved a repost to show off some of his recent work.  If you love what he does, you can visit his shop here.

Claire Morgan – Visual Artist

Claire Morgan is an irish visual artist best known for her geometric 3-d nature installations.  She creates surreal moments frozen in time by using thread,each piece conveying a natural statement within the confines of its wholly unnatural shape.

Claire has appeared in over a hundred printed and online magazines and several galleries across the globe. Beginning April 27th, those of you in the states can enjoy her On Top of the World installation as part of the Dead or Alive show at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.   For more information click here

Among her most compelling pieces are those in which she depicts the plight, existence, accidental quandary, or ephemeral quality of her subjects. Below are selections featuring jackdaws, crows, or rooks.

Ali Herrmann – Fauvist

Encaustic painting is a technique, most notably used by the ancient Egyptians, in which pigments are added to hot beeswax and then formed into the artist’s vision upon whichever medium he or she favors. It is also a technique which frequents the whimsical nature-inspired art of Ali Herrmann, mixed into the fragile textures of seed pods and mica.  Each piece presents us with a tangible quality unlike many modern Fauvists.

Living in upstate NY (USA) for nearly five years now, Ali observes a group of crows/ravens that gather out front, make noise, scour the lawn, and then suddenly drift off.  She says.”They seem to have a circuit that they travel around town, because I notice them on my walks too, traveling in their pack.”

“I used to feel that passing crows and ravens, while driving, was some sort of ominous sign of something about to happen in the near future. A little internet research into the symbolism of these birds guided me to believe that they represented/symbolized past spirits, souls of people that inhabited certain areas….so after watching them, since these birds seem to have such a local, tight traveling group and seem to ‘keep a schedule’, I have come to believe that perhaps these are ‘souls’ in another form of the people that lived here, some family members of generations past, and some friends.  The way they ended up in my artwork was simply a natural extension of how I create work…I talk walks, observe and gather seeds/pods/elements from nature, paint studies and larger works of what I see.  The fact that I see these birds everyday also, seemed like a natural metamorphosis of merging them into my work.”

Ali currently offers only her original pieces for sale, and what precious things they are!  To view her shop, click here

You can also catch” The Messengers of Fortune II” on display as part of The Black and White Show at the Columbia County Arts Council Gallery. The show features a variety of the NY region’s most talented emerging artists. For more information, visit www.aliherrmann.com

Buddha’s Ghost

The images in this featured gallery present a strong case that some people are born to be photographers. Buddha’s Ghost has a natural eye for composing stunning avian portraits, then taming his digital camera to record these wild and unpredictable subjects according to his vision.  From somber stillness to comic silliness, his collection is not only diverse, but one of the most delightfully expressive ones we’ve ever seen.

Visit the full gallery here.