Birds

Birds are arguably the most beautiful and accessible animal on earth. Wherever we are living, so are birds, surviving and thriving alongside us. Many times, they leverage us as much as we benefit from them. As I spend my own time interacting with birds and learning from them, I feel compelled to tell the stories of those experiences and how they relate to our own. My appropriation of nature's beauty is part of a long lineage of artists who were drawn to painting birds to tell their own stories. What I have learned is that even the most objective work of the past cannot avoid the influences of the location and time in history it was painted. My work is intended to be a part of that lineage.

Recent Perspectives

2021 was a tumultuous year, not just for America but for the world at large. The symbol of our nation, the bald eagle, got taken down to the depths in 2020 and didn't seem to come up for air in 2021. The true nature of our country was on display as the pandemic, an attempted insurrection, and numerous man-made disasters all stole the headlines of the year. Painting about these things did not make them go away. It merely served to relieve the pressure.

A giant pacific octopus takes a bald eagle down under water.

2020


Acrylic on linen. 36 x 36 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2021.
Original available.
A blurry human holds a starling that is colored like a bald eagle.

Bald Starling


Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 48 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2021.
Original available.
You have a bird's eye view of the smoke covering the coast of Santa Barbara during the 2021 Alisal wildfire.

Eagle View (Coast)


Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 48 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2021.
Original available.

Silhouettes in Flight

Seeing a bird from below as it flies, silhouetted against the sky above, is a memorable impression that we adapt to at a very young age. In an attempt to reconnect us with this frequently occurring moment in nature, I've created these paintings as a way to blend our own lives with that of the birds via metaphoric and lyrical representations of shared experiences.

A flock of Canadian geese in v formation are migrating from left to right on the canvas.

Migration


Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Original available.
Two crows are going on about their day on the edge of the woods, as a third crow takes off upwardly.

Day in the Woods


Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Private collection in Houston, TX.
A murmuration of starlings fly in an infinite looping pattern in the sky.

Infinite Flight


Acrylic on canvas. 48 x 36 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Original available.

Diversity of Owls

These paintings celebrate diversity by posing a variety of owl species in close proximity to each other on the same canvas, as if in audience of the world outside of their own. The predominate color of the series draws from the indigo hues of late dusk and early dawn when owls are most active.

Six owls.

Party of Six


Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 20 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Private collection in Anacortes, WA.
Six owls.

Rapt Audience


Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 24 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Private collection in Skagit County, WA.
Eleven owls.

Eleven Indigo Owls


Acrylic on canvas. 18 x 24 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Private collection in Sedro Woolley, WA.

Eagles of Skagit River

This series of paintings were inspired by my visits to the town of Marblemount, Washington during the annual bald eagle migration in January. The cold, blustery, and foggy landscape of winter on the upper Skagit River silhouettes the trees and birds in a photographic manner in these works.

Painting titled Fork, that shows two bald eagles in a tree at the fork of a river. Their ability to eat, or not, is also a determinant of how easily we can eat the same source of food. This painting asks, is the environment healthy?

Fork


Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 36 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Chmilarski Family Collection in Houston, TX.
Where most would see emptiness, a bald eagle awaits in a tree to claim its prize.

Optimist


Acrylic on canvas. 12 x 36 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Private Collection in Day Creek, WA.
A bald eagle waits in a barren tree in the white sky of winter

Waiter


Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 48 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Private Collection in Day Creek, WA.

Roosterdoos

When you compare male chickens (roosters) to human men, there are a lot of similarities. They exercise chivalry towards females with the intent on scoring their affections. They keep an eye out for arial attacks from eagles and hawks, and they will fend off ground attacks from coyotes willingly to the death. These feathered lizards are truly hard, despite their silly appearances.

An exaggerated view of a rooster and its id.

Roosterdoo 1


Acrylic on linen. 24 x 84 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Original available.
An exaggerated view of a rooster and its id.

Roosterdoo 2


Acrylic on linen. 24 x 84 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Original available.
An exaggerated view of a rooster and its id.

Roosterdoo 3


Acrylic on linen. 24 x 84 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Original available.

Day Creek Studio Selections 2018-Today

Since 2018 I have been working full time in my Day Creek studio, and in between the various series I've painted, these standalone pieces stood out to me as also interesting and collectible.


Robin Memories (Triptych)


Acrylic on canvas. Two 12 x 12 inches, and 16 x 20 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2020.
Original set available.
A stylized crow is flying over a moon.

Corvus Moon


Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2021.
Original available.
Red Starling

Red Starling


Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.
Painted in Day Creek, WA. 2019.
Original available.

Queen Anne Studio Selections 2011-2018

My studio days in Seattle were more limited due to maintaining a design job while training for trail running. I was a volunteer in the arts during this time, but more of a fan than maker. It's a break from full time studio work that I am glad I took. The small number of works from this time period vary in concept and content from painting to painting.

Apt Protest

Apt Protest


Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 20 inches.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2018.
Private collection in Skagit County, WA
The Red-eyed Soothsayer

The Red-eyed Soothsayer


Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 10 inches.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2018.
Original available.
Allegory of the Viceroy

Allegory of the Viceroy


Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 24 inches.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2018.
Original available.

Big Blue


Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2011.
Original available.
Dusk by Don Wesley

Dusk


Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2012.
Original available.
Tree Topper and Bluebird Corduroy by Don Wesley

Tree Topper and Bluebird Corduroy


Acrylic on canvas. 8 x 24 inches each.
Painted in Seattle, WA. 2013.
Original available.

Arts Fund 2017

Visual and performing arts enhance the cultural diversity and awareness of a community. The arts increase a communities chances that they'll be inclusive and healthier. Children who have participated in art during their developing years, have a better chance at succeeding as contributing citizens. By default, art develops the mental capacities for curiosity and problem solving. So, in addition to making the world a more beautiful place through paintings, plays, songs, and movies, art also makes us better people. This series of gold paintings served as gifts to donors during the Arts Fund annual fundraising campaigns. All pieces were painted with gold backgrounds to symbolize that giving to the community and supporting the arts is a treasure. It's like gold.


Flammulated owl


Acrylic, 6 x 6 x 1.5 in.
Painted for ArtsFund in Seattle, WA. 2017.
Thank you to the Turcott Family.

Great green owl


Acrylic, 6 x 6 x 1.5 in.
Painted for ArtsFund in Seattle, WA. 2017.
Thank you to the Bischofberger Family.

Great red, white and blue owl


Acrylic, 4 x 4 x 1.5 in.
Painted for ArtsFund in Seattle, WA. 2017.
Original available.

Bremerton Studio Selections 2000-2009

Bremerton was where I got my start in the art world. Prior to opening my own gallery in town representing myself and other artists of the area, I was building up my network via creating the Bremerton Art News, which brought together a variety of art practices and helped market the downtown arts district. My focus at the time was depicting starlings as stand-ins for humanity. This is also when the Eternal Counting series was painted during the Iraq war.

Starling

Blue Starling


Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 in.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2005.
Collection of Kitsap County 1% for Art.
Starling

Green Starling


Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 in.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2003.
Private collection in Las Vegas, NV.
Starling

Patience


Acrylic on artboard, 11 x 14 in.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2002.
Private collection in Madison, WI.
Turkey Vulture by Don Wesley

Turkey Vulture


Acrylic on linen. 40 x 20 inches.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2002.
Collection of Kitsap County 1% for Art.
Starling

No Fly Zone


Acrylic on masonite, 20 x 16 in.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2003.
Original available.
Year one: 578 soldiers died.

Year 1 - And Counting


Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 in.
Painted in Bremerton, WA. 2003-2004.
Traveling series on loan.

Ballard Studio Selections 1996-2000

Ballard was where I had my first post-collegiate studio. It was here that I discovered my love for birds in my art and began to focus on them solely while drawing and painting.

Square portrait of a starling on a starkly white background. Within the shape of the bird's eye and neck area, it looks to also be the shape of a fish

Starling #1


Acrylic on canvas, 13 x 13 in.
Painted in Ballard, WA. 1999.
Artist's collection.
Hummingbird by Don Wesley

Hummingbird #1


Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 12 inches.
Painted in Ballard, WA. 1999.
Original available.
Guineafowl by Don Wesley

Guineafowl


Acrylic on canvas. 34 x 34 inches.
Painted in Ballard, WA. 1999.
Private collection in Bremerton, WA.

Pre-career

Birds were a part of my life from childhood. My father always maintained a flock of pigeons as we were growing up, and whenever my art teachers gave me an assignment I would either pick birds or sports to emulate. I thought it was cool to see these pieces in relation to what I ended up going for in my art.

Baby Seagull by Don Wesley

Baby Seagull


Ink on bristol board. 5 x 7 inches.
Drawn in Cincinnati, OH. 1986.
Artist's collection.