Friday, July 15, 2011


Wow! I think this may be a record for me.

Lesson learned. There is so much that has happened that now I don't even know where to begin.

I suppose I'll start with a gallery of images showcasing my most recent work and news! Hopefully in the not too distant future, I'll post again and give you guys a recap on my time in Ithaca, NY.

BIRD CONSERVATION: Po'ouli | Palila | Akiapola'au



I officially finished 3 full-color paintings for use in the third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology. If all goes according to plan, these paintings will open each of the 15 chapters in the book. I had set a goal of getting at least 3 of the 15 finished during my internship and I'm proud to have me that goal! The chapters that I covered are BIRD CONSERVATION, POPULATION BIOLOGY and BREEDING BIOLOGY.

For BIRD CONSERVATION, I was asked to paint three Hawaiian species that are critically endangered, one possibly extinct (Po'ouli). Although they are all from Hawaii, they are found on different islands and at different elevations. One of the beauties of art--you can create worlds that don't exist. The bird in middle is called a Palila and relies solely on the Mamane tree to survive. The brilliant yellow flowers belong to the Mamane. The tree in the background is a Koa and the yellow Honeycreeper at the bottom likes to creep along these trees in search of insects. They are sort of the woodpeckers of Hawaii. The Po'ouli at the very top is believed to be extinct. It searches through mosses and lichens for food and is also distant relatives of Honeycreepers.

POPULATION BIOLOGY is represented through several shorebirds. I guess every time I, personally, think of bird population, images of hundreds and hundreds of shorebirds come to mind. I wanted to capture the feeling of seeing birds scattered across a sandy beach bank. This painting consists of Red Knots, Laughing Gulls, a lone Herring Gull, and some Ruddy Turnstones.

So I already posted the painting for the BREEDING BIOLOGY chapter, but I'm posting it again, because at one point, I looked at the finished painting and decided to redo the background and add a few more Tree Swallows flying around the landscape. It was one of those difficult decisions that everyone makes. It's the kind where you know you're not entirely happy with the final result. Changing it is quite a large commitment and time consuming. Do you really want to do it or are you going to settle? I've never said to myself at the end of the day, "Boy am I glad I settled." So, I tackled the daunting task of repainting a piece I had called finished. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I did. Now this is maybe one of my favorites of the work I did for Cornell.


BirdScope is a quarterly publication put out by Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. It covers all sorts of bird news in a very accessible way. The centerfold is the main attraction with a full-color spread. Usually, one of the Bartels interns will create work for the centerfold and I was asked to create illustrations for the upcoming summer issue. These birds are a little sneak peak into a much larger composition. I'm not sure if I can post the layout draft before it's been published. From left to right: Black-backed Woodpecker, Golden-winged Warbler, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Magpie, Stilt Sandpiper.


Recently, Surfrider used my knobby starfish drawing to print on bamboo fiber tanks. They are now available for purchase through their online store! I love the way they came out and the tanks are super comfortable.

You can purchase them HERE.

Well, I think this concludes my most recent work. I'm now heading back west to CALIFORNIA!!!! While all of my adventures have been unique and invaluable, I'm certainly ready to wipe my feet on the familiar and very much missed "Home Sweet Home" doormat.

Once I organize my photos, I'd love to share highlights of Ithaca, NY and the Lab with everyone. I will warn you, a lot of it may be written. I was admittedly terrible at taking photos these past 4 months.

Stay tuned!!!


  1. oooh i LOVE the Po'ouli one you did...

  2. Hi Jane, my name is Reyn and I'm a recent graduate of the science illustration class of 2011. I just wanted to say that your painting of the Hawaiian birds looks fantastic! I'm from Hawaii so your piece piqued my interest. I'll also be going to the Lab of Ornithology this winter, so thanks for sharing some of your experiences.

  3. Thanks, Reyn!

    Let me know if you have any questions about the internship. I'd be happy to talk to you.