Birds of the Bible

It took 2 years to create this watercolor mural of the 33 different birds mentioned in the Bible.

After 40 years of observing, photographing, painting birds and 14 years of actively studying the Bible, I had this amazing idea to paint all of them together, the fierce and the fragile, the beautiful and the ugly.

Birds play a dynamic role in scripture and their usage is both literal and metaphorical, and they teach us lessons about humanity, faith and grace.

This provocative art piece helps to reveal grace in wild places which otherwise may never have been noticed before.

Throughout my art career I have traveled extensively to observe and take photographic reference of birds, all of which prepared me for this very meaningful piece.

There are 300 references to birds in the Bible, and when we compare their characteristics to our lives, we learn much about the Creator and our place in creation.

Even my inclusion of a lowly dead sparrow has significance.

My husband built and carved the intricate frame and base , while I did the gilding and finish.

It was quite exciting to finally see all of the panels assembled.

Perhaps never before has a work of art revealed all the 33 different birds mentioned in the Bible.

The process and some close-up photos of the watercolor painting:

Sketch layout

Catherine drawing

Catherine painting the right wing panel

Close-up of osprey and ostrich

Close-up of woodstork, cormorant and part of a little green heron

Close-up of pelican, sandhill crane and bittern

Close-up of doves

Close-up of rooster, falcon, and glossy ibis (top),
nighthawk and sparrows (bottom)

Red clay base being applied to the frame before the guilding

Guilding the frame

The finished painting with hand built guilded frame and hand carved base