Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trinidad, part 1: For the Birds!

As some of you may know, my main introduction to Trinidad came after I won the Don Eckelberry award. My first trip in 2005 really inspired me, I focused on the nature in and around the Asa Wright Nature Center (AWNC), and only got a glimpse of the culture there. Since then I've been experienced a bit more and would like to share some of my thoughts on why I am drawn to the country comprised of two islands, Trinidad and Tobago.

First, the birds! Trinidad and Tobago are just fantastic, it's one of the easiest places to bird watch, they have more species of bird per square mile than any other country in the world!

If you stay at AWNC, you could see over 25 different species of bird from their veranda before you eat breakfast! My first trip I arrived at night, so I didn't really see that much on the drive up from the airport, but I can't express the overwhelming feeling of awe when I opened the door of my room in the morning! Birds of all kinds of colors, thick green leaves blowing in the tropical balmy breezes, vines and flowers, lizards, butterflies... to be honest I almost felt like crying I was so overwhelmed, instead I went right back in the room and immediately dug out my binoculars, camera, bird guide and sketch book and pencil... I thought I don't care what kind of geek I look like, I'm not going to miss anything! When I got to the veranda, I saw that I was not alone, I was among the bird geeks, and felt right at home... we were all pointing out different birds, sipping the organic AWNC home grown coffee, asking "what is that?", and there among people of different nationalities I felt right at home. I saw around 100 new bird species on that trip alone.

I've been going back to Trinidad as frequently as I can ever since, visiting Tobago as well. I just arrived back, and I have a plethora of materials for possible new paintings, the hardest part is deciding what to do first.

T&T Bird Facts:
  • There are over 450 birds (including both migratory and residents) in Trinidad and Tobago
  • There are 17 species of hummingbirds recorded between both islands: 16 in Trinidad and a different one in Tobago called the White tailed Sabrewing

Photo © Beatrice Bork, White-necked Jacobin and Purple Honeycreeper at a nectar feeder at AWNC

Monday, January 25, 2010

Artists' Gallery is Moving!

Artists' Gallery will be open at it's current Coryell Street loction through Feb 14, closed the last 2 weeks in February. Friday, March 5, we are re-opening at our new location at 18 Bridge Street - just a few blocks from our current location in Lambertville, NJ. The Artists' Gallery is a c0-op gallery, my "home base", we're all very excited about our new location.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A look back at 2009

During 2009 I ended up making the Artist's Gallery my "home-base" in Lambertville, NJ. It is a co-op gallery that I've been a member of for the last 3 years, and I'm enjoying the experience. A co-op is a little more of a hands-on experience than a standard gallery, the artists are entirely responsible for running the gallery. Along with having a personal investment in the place, I also enjoy interacting with the (no more than) 18 members at our establishment. This is also a unique place in that we jury to accept new members, and we like to keep the art diverse and of high quality. Each artist is featured once a year in a duo show.

I also was able to show my work in other venues in NJ: Lambertville, Hopewell, Princeton, and in PA: Jamison and Philadelphia, a Society of Animal Artists show in Colorado, and new representation at Robert Paul Galleries in Stowe, VT. Over the last couple of years I haven't entered as many juried shows and concentrated more on painting, and getting enough work to actually show in more venues, which is something I plan to continue into 2010.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those that came to the galleries and shows, checked out my website, and hope those that brought a piece home are enjoying the work as much as I enjoyed painting them. I also want to thank those behind the scenes that work on setting up the shows and their efforts to help make these events such memorable experiences.

I'm eager to see what 2010 brings, I'm starting the year traveling to one of my favorite places, Trinidad! The island and it's rainforest are always an inspiration for me! I'm planning on creating new works from these inspirations for the May duo show at the Artists' Gallery with my friend Paul Grecian (a new member). We are both nature and animal enthusiasts, and I'm looking forward to seeing the gallery go wild!

"Looking Back" House Sparrow © Beatrice Bork