Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gearing up for Trinidad!

In 2004 I was the second person given the Don Eckelberry Award for my achievements in bird art. I was awarded a trip to see the splendor of nature, particularly the birds, at the Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad. I travelled there in March 2005, and my senses were immediately overloaded with so much color, so many birds, and plants it was just amazing, and I knew from the first day that one trip would simply not be enough. Trinidad and its sister island of Tobago are the last in the string of Caribbean islands, with Trinidad being 7 miles from Venezuela. While each trip always consists of bird watching I have grown to really appreciate all aspects of the country. Truly a wonderful country from rainforest to beaches to their friendly people, rich culture and food!

As I write I am planning my next adventure there, I have some ideas that I'd like to explore and I'm also looking forward to the inspiration that comes from just being there. When I paint it is important for me to not only paint what I see, but express the character of what I am painting, so it is vital to observe and understand my subject matter, to portray a fuller experience.

"National Treasure" Scarlet Ibis (Trinidad's National Bird) © Beatrice Bork

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December events

“Peace, Love, Joy, ART”

ARTISTS’ GALLERY Holiday Group exhibit:

Open House: Sunday, December 13, 2009. 2–5:00 pm

Exhibit dates: Dec. 11, 2009–Jan. 3 2010

32 Coryell Street, Lambertville, NJ

Gallery hours: Fri., Sat., Sun., 11-5:30 pm

Winter Duo Exhibit:

Beatrice Bork and Michael Schweigart

December 5, 2009 – January 2010

Bell's Dining Gallery

Lambertville, NJ

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter Green

I will be among the artists and crafters at the the one day event, "Winter Green" at D&R Greenway in Princeton NJ, and will have my 2010 calendars and prints available. The event takes place on Sunday, December 6th, 11:00 am–3:00 pm. I also have a two original watercolors on display in their small works exhibit that runs through January 8. This event should be a lot of fun for a good cause, hope to see you there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Autumn officially starts at the end of September, but for me the change of season really isn’t a mark on a calendar, its a gradual experience. The goldfinches lose their bright summer colors, common summer birds start to fly to warmer climates, blue jays and canada geese seem to proclaim summer is over, and one knows the cold starkness of winter is closing in on us. Birds frequent the feeders, and It's time for juncos, those lovable little snow birds that seem to enjoy our cold air and makes you wonder how much colder it is where they're from, for our north eastern climate to seem better?!

"Snow Day" Watercolor © Beatrice Bork

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

D & R Greenway small works show

I will be among the artists participating in an art exhibition at D & R Greenway Land Trust.

"Season's Greenings: The Gift of Nature"

November 9, 2009 - January 10, 2010

Art Opening on November 20, 2009, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
at the Johnson Education Center,
One Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ

I have selected 2 watercolors, "Little Prince" (Golden Crowned Kinglet) and "Barn Swallow" to be included in this group exhibit of artists interpretations of nature. D & R Greenway is a great organization dedicated to land preservation, education and saving wild areas for us to enjoy the wilds of New Jersey (yes, New Jersey has some natural treasures!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Group show!

Beatrice is one of the artists featured in the juried group exhibit:

"Small Works—Big Impressions"
The Wildlife Experience
Parker, Colorado
November 7, 2009 through January 3, 2010

Visitors and collectors will have an exciting opportunity to view and
purchase little “gems” by members of the Society of Animal Artists.
The artworks for sale are one-of-a-kind, exhibit quality pieces
created on a smaller scale – making them more accessible to all art
collectors. A substantial percentage of the proceeds from the sale of
these works benefit the work and the mission of The Wildlife

"Bees" Watercolor painting © Beatrice Bork

Friday, October 9, 2009

Opening: October 15, 2009

Featuring paintings by
watercolor artist, BEATRICE BORK

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments
Thursday October 15, 2009
5:30-7:00 pm

Raymond James Assoc.
1735 Market Street, Suite 3402
Philadelphia, PA 19103

"In Your Eyes"—Western Lowland Gorilla, © Beatrice Bork

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm working on getting ready for a few different exhibit opportunities; a corporate showing in Philadelphia, and a small private venture a friend of mine is hosting. I’m also organizing which paintings to exhibit at my co-op, Artists' Gallery, in Lambertville, NJ, as well as participating in two other upcoming group shows in Pennsylvania and Colorado. It will definitely be a busy October, but I'm excited to be this busy, more details to come!

Wildlife in Watercolors

I started teaching a watercolor class at the Hunterdon Art Museum. This is a 10 week course, and I’ve just completed my second week of teaching. My class size is small and my students are eager to learn and paint. We are practicing different watercolor exercises and are now preparing to start the first painting. I want everyone comfortable enough to go at their own pace. I'm really looking forward to seeing their progress as the weeks pass.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Art in the Garden

I conducted a watercolor workshop yesterday at the Leonard J. Buck Garden, in Far Hills NJ, a fantastic place to paint in the outdoors! After a rainy start the sky cleared and we were able to get some painting done, I think this is my 4th workshop? As usual it was an enjoyable experience. Thanks to all!
Thank you to Patricia Scibilia for the use of the photos

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Why Birds?"

While I enjoy painting animals of all kinds, a large majority of the subjects in my pieces are birds, I am frequently asked, "why birds?" Well, why not birds? What's not to love, the variety is fantastic! All different shapes, sizes and colors, they fly, hover, swim and run. They are vital to our ecosystem doing everything from pollinating, propagating plants, pest control, to cleaning up carrion... and "gulp" a large portion of our own food. They are present in symbol throughout history from representing gods to representing Nations. Each has it's own character and function and depending on the bird it sets the mood of a painting.

I am continually drawn back to our fine feathered friends... they are an unending source of inspiration.

"Out of this World" —Tufted Coquette © 2008 Beatrice Bork

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"How do you get your ideas?"

A question I get frequently. Inspiration comes to me serendipitously, I'll see something and in an instant, I know that's the next painting... or I'll store what I've seen in the little gray cells until one day it pops back to the foreground of my mind, and I know now is the time. I may even see a scenario over and over again before that moment happens, I can't explain why it's suddenly the right time?!

If I get an idea, but don't grab onto it right away, it just goes away, and sometimes I get an idea and mull it over until the light bulb goes on and I know I need to go for it. So I observe as much as possible, do the sketches, take the photos, and stay tuned for that "light bulb" moment.

Sometimes the whole painting is complete in my mind, sometimes not, but when that moment happens I know I'm good to go, I say a little thank you, and begin to create.

"Beach Bums" Black-footed Penguins, watercolor © Beatrice Bork 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Workshop, Aug. 1

I had a wonderful time conducting a 3 hour workshop at the Hunterdon Art Museum (HAM) in Clinton this passed Saturday. It is a charming place! The class was limited to 8 students. I gave an introductory talk, the class painted, and we then went inside to do a little critique—after more than 2 and a half hours outside it was nice to get out of the sun. The students had a great foundation (as most have already taken classes at HAM). I am now looking forward to teaching a full semester in the fall, where we can really get into more detailed process of painting wildlife.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bird geek

Birding is a pastime I really enjoy, it not only inspires my painting, but also can be exciting. Nothing perks up an outing more than identifying a bird that I haven't seen in a long time, or a new behavior, or better yet something totally brand new. I think the appeal is sort of in the same realm as collectables, only I end up with some photos, observations/memories and some sketches if I get a long enough look.

All you need to start with is a bird book, and keen vision and/or binoculars. Be warned, it can be addictive, and accessories are abundant... Hiking boots, hats, cargo pants and/or vests and backpacks—to hold more books, birding lists, pencils, sun tan lotion, bug lotion, better and more expensive binoculars (with harness as to not strain your neck), cameras with monster zoom lenses, scopes, tripods, tape recorders, flash lights, and night vision accessories, and more! Result: an outfit that gives a fashion designer the heebee-jeebees, and a chiropractors dream patient.

Personally, I stay as lightweight as possible, I'm more into the observation than actually keeping a life list. I carry mini-bins, a point and shoot (with a great zoom), a sketch book, pencil and portable watercolor set, which all fits into a small backpack and, if I remember, bird book--as small as possible.

Friday, June 19, 2009

flashback, 2001

I thought it might be interesting to look back at some noteworthy happenings, that occurred prior to my blog (especially when I'm not sure what topic to take on next). I thought I would start with the Society of Animal Artists, of which I became a member of in 2001. I am currently a signature member and very pleased to be in the company of such wonderful artists. The group was founded in 1960, and serves in promoting excellence in animal art, and has members from around the world. The membership has given me some great opportunities to display work in wonderful venues and museums throughout the country.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Artists' Gallery group (of which I am a member) participated in the "Bucks County Designer House & Garden" event, the closing day was also May 31st. The group created a gallery atmosphere at the Café as well as lending our works to the interior designers that decorated the estate. Cailen Ascher Design used a few of our works in her design room in the "Victorian House" including my giclée print "Parallels". All in all it was a quite an experience to see the transformation of the estate and all for a great cause, benefiting Doylestown Hospital and Village Improvement Association of Doylestown Community Projects.

"Parallels" © Beatrice Bork (left), Interior room (right) photo courtesy Cailen Ascher Design

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Connections" ends...

We had a great show at Artists' Gallery, and capped it off with a little "coffee and conversation". It's the first time I had done this at the close of a show, and enjoyed it very much. Usually when a show ends you just take home the paintings that are left and move on, but this gave us one more opportunity to talk to some folks who didn't make it out to the opening, and talk to those picking up pieces they bought during the show.

Because I have representation at this gallery, I am able to continuously show work, so I moved four of the pieces into the rotation of artwork in the second and third rooms. I am working on new pieces that I hope to have ready for the next rotation in July.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some thoughts on art education...

I conducted workshops during the two day Hunterdon County Teen Arts Festival last week. There were a lot of talented teens from middle and high schools in the area, who participated in an array of workshops, critiques and showed-off their Art, Music, and Theatrical abilities. Teen Arts was special to me when I was in high school as well—I had my first painting displayed in a museum because of the program. I was blessed to have great art classes and teachers throughout my education.

The lack of arts education in most schools these days really saddens me, there are so many talented students who would get so much from the kinds of courses that I was able to attend. The Arts build character, self-awareness, self-expression and imagination. Balanced education to me is not Academics only, it's like overworking one side of the brain without paying attention to the other. Creativity and imagination must be nurtured, not only to build our culture, but also our progress, you can't invent things if you cannot imagine them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Buying Art

Buying an original painting can be a great experience for both the buyer and the artist. While we know the artist needs to make a living, a sale does go deeper than a simple retail transaction. Their thoughts, ideas and feelings are in the piece, it is not a mass produced item it is personal. When someone makes a connection with a painting it is just as fulfilling emotionally to the artist.

I have been painting for over 20 years now, and have known some collectors since the beginning of my career. It is so heartwarming to me when someone tells me how one of my pieces has touched them; remembering a loved one, or a childhood memory or just simply grabbed their attention and they still enjoy it years later. It is so inspirational, it really gives you the urge to paint! So, if you see a work of art that really grabs you, please mention it to the artist.

Painting: "Moment of Solitude" watercolor © Beatrice Bork

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vista and Canyon

I really had fun working on these Burmese Mountain dogs! Vista, still a bit of a puppy, and Canyon are both big, energetic, lovable dogs. I don't often take on commissions, but working with pets seems to offer a fulfillment that is enjoyable. Getting to know the pets and what they mean to their owners, then being able to create a work of art that will bring a lasting joy means a lot to me. I had a pet bird, Okie, who was the subject of many sketches, drawings and a few paintings, they evoke nice memories.

Painting: "Vista and Canyon" © Beatrice Bork 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Well, the show opened May 9th, and it was a nice opening! It was a relaxing evening with friends, family and some new faces. A bit of nerves at the start of the event, one hopes the art is as enjoyable to the viewer as it was for you to create them... a glass of wine helps there, lol. Based on the reactions, the evening went well, a couple were sold before the opening even started!

There is something special about having my latest work framed and hanging on display, I don't usually get to see all of them together like that, there's not that much space in the studio... it's a nice overall look at what I've been doing over the last few months.

Painting: "Busy as a Bee" © Beatrice Bork 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hanging a show...

I spent some time yesterday hanging my paintings for the exhibit opening this Friday. All artists seem to approach this differently, some sketch every detail of their display and others simply bring what they want to show and figure it out when they get there. I generally will have a rough idea, but don't plan too much. After 20-ish years of hanging shows, it seems that if I plan less, I won't be as stressed if things don't work out exactly as I thought. My strategy was to just lean the paintings along the wall, look at the groupings and re-arrange until they all worked well together, I am pleased with the results.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Artists' Gallery

I am a member of Artists' Gallery, a co-op gallery in Lambertville, NJ. We meet the 1st Monday of the month to discuss gallery business, which happened to be tonight. I joined a couple of years ago, and have found it an enjoyable experience. Members are juried in, and display work in the gallery 10 months a year, with a duo feature exhibit once a year. I joined up with Joe Kazimierczyk for our exhibit, "Connections" May 8 – May 31, with an opening reception this Saturday, May 9, from 6 to 9:00pm — all are welcome! I'm working on final preparations this week, and am looking forward to getting final details completed, paintings hung, and then capping off the week with a celebratory opening.

Friday, May 1, 2009

One week to go...time to update my website

My next show opens on May 8 and time is ticking away! So the plan was to update my website prior to the show, and am pretty happy with the outcome. The website has six new paintings that will be exhibited for the first time, as well as an updated design. The website changes were a bit of a challenge, it took some time to find the right colors, and I'm happy with the addition of artwork on some of the pages, it really helped make it a bit more friendly. I also really like the "pop" I get with the green text here and there.

The exhibit "Connections" will be in Lambertville, NJ where I will have a mix of local (to central NJ) and exotic animals featured in the show. The watercolor here is a female Black-throated Mango, there are 17 different species of hummingbirds in Trinidad and Tobago.

"Black-throated Mango" watercolor © Beatrice Bork, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trinidad in the news

The President is in Trinidad for the 5th Summit of the Americas, and I wanted to share what a big fan I am of the island! I won The Don Eckelberry Scholarship award in 2004, and have since had many wonderful experiences in Trinidad, and am constantly being inspired by it. The wildlife, the people, the culture, the climate and the food (Doubles for breakfast is one of many, delights)! During my first trip, I spent the majority of time at Asa Wright Nature Center, and was blown away by the amount of bird-life, butterflies and a variety of other animals there. I saw over 100 new species of bird during my first trip to that beautiful island. There is far too much to put on a single blog entry, so expect much more to come...

Photos: Purple Honeycreeper (top) and "89" Butterfly © Beatrice Bork

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dreams of Spring

I thought it might be nice to post the process of this painting from sketch, mid-way and completed. Although this is simplified to 3 steps, I think the process is evident. I actually begin with several sketches of what I'm intending, and then work on making a cleaner and tighter version. When I get what I think is the right placement and accuracy (1) I transfer it onto my watercolor surface and begin to paint (2). In this case I worked on keeping some of the surface of the paper free from any paint, for the snow, and carefully built the layers of watercolor until I reached the desired effect and finished painting (3).

"Dreams of Spring" © Beatrice Bork 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One month to go...

It's one month until the opening of my next show. This show will feature Joe Kazimierczyk as well as myself. Joe and I both share a love of outdoors, and thus the show is called "Connections", he will be exhibiting landscapes, and I will have my animal paintings. It will be at Artists' Gallery, in Lambertville, New Jersey through the month of May.

The postcards arrived last week, and the reality of having less and less time is getting apparent. Today's plan is to work on framing and, of course, continue to paint (this will be the basic plan for everyday leading up until hanging the show).

The watercolor, Dreams of Spring, which I posted here is a of an Eastern Bluebird. I equate bluebirds to one of the early signs of spring, although I do occasionally see them through the winter. This piece was done in March, the painting reflects my thoughts that this is that last big snow before spring—its a heavy wet snow that will probably melt fast.

To find out more information on the exhibit go to: Artists' Gallery

"Dreams of Spring" © Beatrice Bork, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Well, here I am, finally after much talk saying a blog could be a good idea. It's a little daunting to see a blank box and have to start writing something, where to start... A brief intro.: I am an artist, specializing in animals and work mostly with watercolor. Being that I am more of a visually oriented person, I wasn't sure how good I'd be at this, but I thought it could be fun, and might be a nice addition to the formality of the web site gallery. I'll be posting images, sharing stories and hopefully having some interactive dialogue... I'm currently working on paintings for a new exhibit in May, and will share more about that in the days to come.

detail of "Surveyor" © 2008 Beatrice Bork.