Editor’s Note: Our first ever online bird art auction was a major success thanks to your support and thanks to the hard work of our featured artists! In this blog, some of our featured artists reflect on their experiences in our online auction, and elaborate on why they chose to collaborate with GGAS.
Daryl Goldman reached out to me about participating in the auction. I welcomed the opportunity to share my work with bird enthusiasts in the San Francisco area. I live and work on the other coast, in Charlotte, NC. The auction worked out well for me. I make affordable art prints that I can produce at home as needed, so we could offer multiple prints of the designs we made available through the auction.
I learned about the auction through my art group, Salinas Valley Art Association. I received an invitation and was very happy to participate. The auction was well organized, easy to access and I was very happy with the outcome. I look forward to participating in future events with the Golden Gate Audubon Society.
If you’d like to contact Sandra directly about her work, please email her at email@example.com.
I heard about the auction from Daryl. She invited me via email, as she’d seen the bird cards and calendars that Pomegranate publishes. I decided to participate because I am a Seattle Audubon member and I wanted to help a sister organization. I was also very grateful that Golden Gate was considerate of artists and offered a generous portion of the sales.
My work is inspired by the natural world. I enjoy watching birds in my back yard and in parks and wilderness areas. When I see something especially beautiful or interesting I usually write about it and make art about it. My books Colors of the West: An Artist’s Guide to Nature’s Palette and Birds of the West: An Artist’s Guide, help me to reach a wider audience where I share ideas about art techniques and inspirations. The children’s books I have illustrated: Birds: Season by Season and Trees, and Molly Hashimoto’s Art & Nature Activity Book, each written by Zoe Burke of Pomegranate Communications, further widen the audience; I love the idea of getting children involved with nature at a young age.
When Ilana DeBare asked for a donation of a photograph for this year’s auction, there was no question about participating. As an artist, I was grateful that my images could contribute to funding the powerful work that GGAS accomplishes. Like most fellow members who care dearly about the birds and share the concern about their disappearing numbers, I’m grateful for the work to save and restore habitat, advocate for bird-safe building standards as well as bird-saving wind farm safety practices, and to educate the public about bird protections.
But perhaps their most compelling work to me, especially now with the light shining on the need for equality and access to nature for everyone, is their work with children in underserved schools through their Eco-Ed program. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some wonderful with young people on both sides of the Bay–days not just witnessing the delight they shared of a day out of school, but a day engaged, hands on, in the watershed that they had been learning about in school. Microscopes revealed the creek creatures that indicate a healthy stream, binos the birds they were hearing, for some probably for the first time. If there was any reason to give to Golden Gate Audubon, it was for this program, and for the future stewards of who and what we all care deeply about.
I was invited to the Birdathon celebration last year and finding that the party was to be held at my neighbor’s, Alan Harper’s house, I asked if I could bring my paper Mache birds to sell and make a donation to Audubon. I sold a few birds and the party was very nice. This year I asked if I could again participate and found out about the auction to which I donated three birds. I was pleased to be included with all the many talented artists that donated their beautiful bird art.
Though I have been making three dimensional birds for ten years, I am new to Audubon and birding. I had just purchased my first pair of binoculars and had joined three or four Audubon bird walks when the shelter in place order came down. Though I am missing the out-of-doors camaraderie and all the new bird information I was acquiring, I have had many extra hours in the studio to make birds.
One of my latest projects was a commission (from an Audubon member) for a bird I had never made. I always enjoy doing the research and finding a good collection of reference photos from which to work. I will find out very soon if my work has met the high standards of an experienced and learned birder. I am pleased to be part of the Golden Gate Audubon Society.
When I was first approached by my friend Mike Lynes to donate to the GGAS auction, I have to admit I said no. That was in the early stages of the auction creation: I mentioned that it was not just non-profits that were experiencing difficulty, loss of income, during the pandemic but artists as well. In the best of times most artists struggle financially and are frequently asked to donate work to non-profit auctions. I have done so many times in the past but as time goes on I feel more and more reluctant or financially unable to do so. So when GGAS came back with the idea of splitting the sales 50/50 with us artists, I thought this was a terrific solution with a benefit to the artists, giving artists a wider audience, while raising some funds for the organization. I was really pleased with the results. I came out a bit ahead, selling prints of birds that might otherwise sit in my studio during the shelter in place, and made some money for a very worthwhile organization. It seems like a win-win situation. I hope that more auctions like this are implemented in the future by GGAS and that other organizations will see its success and think of copying the idea.
You can visit Sophie’s Facebook page here.
I found out about the GGAS art auction somewhat randomly … and mere days before the auction went live. I had to scramble, with only about 24 hours to create a new painting to accompany the prints I wanted to offer for inclusion. But I didn’t want to miss out! The synchronicity was too wild, where two of my favorite things—art and birds— were going to be combined for the sake of fundraising. I had to be involved.
I had only just a few months earlier been hatching a plan to use my artwork to raise money for birds. I run a tattoo shop in Noe Valley—Authentic Tattoo—and it’s something a tradition for tattoo shops to have special theme days… like “13” tattoos for Friday the 13th, or spooky-themed images for Halloween. So I wondered how we at my shop could do a theme day for conservation, to tattoo bird images all day to donate earnings to the Audubon. I specialize in bird imagery anyway, so that was a no-brainer, and my coworkers were totally into it. And then the pandemic hit. And that type of model became impossible.
Those of us who love what we do, and who are driven by passion to do it, are frustrated by the cessation of our creative efforts, even if we support the important, life-saving reasons behind it. I miss making art with my clients, and have tucked into bird watercolors to stretch my artistic muscles while my shop is closed. So I was beyond happy to be able to use those skills again for something important like the fundraising art auction. I’m so glad I stumbled across this auction. And I hope there are many more to come.
You can check out Tex’s Instagram here.
Note: Although our auction is over, if you’d like to see this year’s pieces, please go to our auction site here. If you’d like to learn more about the featured artists in this blog, please click their names. You’ll be taken directly to their websites.