Birds of a Feather: Interview with Artist Brandy Barry

By Justin So

Posted April 26, 2018

I was admiring the bird photographs on the Newfoundland Birdwatching Group on Facebook when I stumbled upon Brandy Barry’s redpoll painting that uniquely used a feather as a canvas. The painting was absolutely lovely and clearly showed her enthusiasm for song birds. Brandy shared the redpoll painting on the birdwatching group as she knew the members enjoyed birds as much as she did. She received great response for her work and has since gone on to paint many other beautiful species of birds. In this interview, Brandy shares her inspiration from nature, her admiration of birds, and the importance of art in her life. To see more of Brandy’s work, visit her Facebook Page: Brandy Barry Art.

Redpoll in Cherry blossoms.

Q: Tell me about your art.

A: My art work is mostly realism art, I also like Surrealism art, but I have been focusing on realism art lately. I work with canvas and feathers. The type of paints I use are oils and acrylic.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your artwork?

A: My inspiration comes from nature. I have always had a connection with it and it gives me a feeling of serenity and balance. Nature helps me seek out my perspective of the world and capture its beauty within my artwork.

Teal Jewel of the air.

Q: How did you develop your interest in wildlife? What draws you to paint birds in particular?

A: My interest in wildlife started when I was very young. I would read National Geographic Magazines and became fascinated with how amazing the natural world was. I would explore our forests and trails and see the beauty that we have in Newfoundland. What draws me to paint birds is that they are my favorite animal. I love to observe them and their environment.

Q: Do you have a favourite bird that you paint?

A: My favorite bird to paint is very hard to choose. I would have to choose two types of birds I really like to paint; songbirds and warblers. I like songbirds and warblers best because of how they have to learn each call and song. They have so many. Like the brown thrasher which can have up to 2,000 songs. It’s quite remarkable that they can retain it all.  Also because they are mainly backyard birds and it is nice to be able to hear them as well as watch them all year round. Chickadees’ are one of my favourite to observe.

Yellow rumped warbler in lilacs.

Q: What do you hope people feel when they see your artwork?

A: What I hope people will feel when they see my artwork is inspiration. I hope I capture nature well enough that it will make you want to go out and experience it all for yourself.

Q: Why did you choose to work with feathers?

A: I chose to work with feathers because of two things. One is my love for birds. I use to collect feathers before I started painting them. The other is originality and the uniqueness of painting on a feather. So why not take my love for two hobbies of mine and combine them?

Dreams in the forest.

Q: Each of your paintings depicts an astonishing amount of detail. How long does each piece take you to complete?

A: I started to painting feathers three years ago. It used to take me about a week to complete one. But now with more experience it takes me about two days to complete one.

Q: What role can artwork like yours play in helping people appreciate nature?

A: I think my artwork can show all the wonderful different types of bird species that are out there and I hope they can appreciate the animals that live out in nature.

Bear waterfall.

Q: In addition to wildlife, is there any other subject matter you’d like to explore in the future?

A: Yes, I’d like to explore surrealism landscapes. I am fascinated with the stars. All the possibilities of unknown planets that can sustain life, I imagine what it could look like and hopefully paint some great pieces.

Q: Anything else you’d like for people to know about you or your artwork?

A: I have been painting for thirteen years now. I am also a self taught artist. There have been many times I wanted to quit and just give up all together. I have very bad anxiety. Painting and nature have helped me cope and distress, but if I did not have the encouragement and support from my number one fan, my husband, I would not be giving you this interview. So I would like to thank my husband Jason for Supporting me every step of the way. If you would like to see more of my artwork you can visit my Facebook Page.

Brandy Barry with “Chickadee in Cherry Blossoms”.