In January of 2019, I decided to do another series. I had done the Zodiac signs and
Vintage Seed Packs. This thought, however, proved to be a long journey: I decided to paint all 50 United States official birds and flowers.
The first decision was to go alpha. That gave me a road to stay on and I could check ✅ them off one by one. In between, I continued to paint my usual floral designs, animals, patterns, insects, and anything that comes into my head usually from nature.
Alabama takes flight.
One down, forty-nine to go! Don't worry, I'm not going to post all 50 here but I will send you to where you can see the whole collection at the end of this post.
I did all the "A" states by the end of January, then took a break. These first few were nicely received with Arizona still is one of the most popular in the series.
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If you want to explore the world of state birds and flowers this book on Nature Study Handbook is a must. (hover over the title for more information).
I chronicled my early musings in two blog posts: Painting each State Bird and Flower and
I continued through 2019 ending the year with Missouri. I felt like I was right on track to be able to finish by the end of 2020. I use reference pictures from the public domain, creative commons (with licensing credit), and stock photos; all in reference to both birds and flowers. All of the works are a combination of using a bird and a flower from two different sources and combining them in a deliberate design.
If you are a bird lover, a true "birder", or someone who wants to find out what that "strange bird" you just saw is called this book needs to be in your library. Beautiful, full-color identification pictures arranged for quick access. The National Audubon Society is the most important nonprofit organization whose history is to preserve the environment and teach conservation of bird and nature habitats.
You might have a little one who keeps asking questions about the birds at your backyard feeder. Audubon also has a book for kids available on Amazon.
Lastly, a fun-schooling Journal - Science and Geography paperback. Ages 9 to Adult. Add State Flowers + State Trees.
Click Shop Now to direct to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There is no added cost but I will receive a small commission from your purchase.
I started the year 2020 painting Montana.
This was the first state bird that I did where I did a short video while painting and later in the year (when I got brave enough) I posted it to YouTube.
I was determined to finish the full 50 states by the end of 2020, so I picked up the pace and made sure I was on track to do just that. You will find that the videos got better and better because I learn more and more as I tried my hand at video editing. I had joined a group called Bloggers Traffic Community and I had the support of this group adding traffic to my blog and learning video techniques from fellow bloggers.
By late July I was cranking these out and enjoying the process of video making while I painted each bird and flower of each state. The time-lapse video is fun, and I have found that people were clicking these more often on YouTube and on Pinterest.
Click here to watch Oregon on YouTube.
A little digital music might be just the right thing for relaxing in your favorite chair.
Bird sounds to use during massage, yoga, or daily stretching available from Amazon.
For the serious birder, these binoculars are the perfect addition for the enthusiastic ornithologist. Click the image here. (hover over the title for more information.
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My confidence increased as I worked to finish these by the end of the year. At this point in time, I had my setup for video taking at my easel and I had experimented with several different editors. I settled in on the existing Video Editor on my laptop, while I explore the more sophisticated methods and platforms within my budget.
One more share of a video: Vermont (finished product)
"Flying" to the end, I finished Wyoming the day after Thanksgiving 2020. Ta-Da!!!!
It has been quite an accomplishment. I have limited my social media and sharing until I had completed the entire collection. You can find all 50 states here on my Society6 storefront under "Collections": United States Birds and Flowers.
I also made a Story Pin on Pinterest highlighting my favorites from this collection:
ADDENDUM: January 5, 2021. Since posting this article I have created a full YouTube video that runs through each state bird and flower watercolor. Names of birds and flowers are left out and maybe a chance to see if you (or your child) can name them.
Video: 4 min 15 sec.
Thanks for browsing through the watercolor art which completes the series of
State Birds and Flowers.
Share it, please.
Pin it, please.
Surprisingly, none of my favorite birds (Eagles, Hummingbirds, and Peacocks) are "State Birds" so here are some books about these magnificent birds, large and small that you might like to purchase from Amazon. I get a small commission without any cost to you.
(Click the bird links above, or the image below).
You would think we would know but I hear artists ask this question all the time. I have asked myself this same question.
It's because we want to know that it is complete and it is perfect. Or as perfect as it will be? That leaves open that you could darken that bird's wing, or add a background.
The FINISHED artwork here is from a series: Ohio (Cardinal and Carnation) See society6 collection here: United States Birds and Flowers
I made these images into a "Story Pin" which you can find here on Pinterest.
Pinterest is definitely the go-to platform for sharing art, recipes, travel, inspiration, tech....you name it. Tailwind and Pinterest have changed my viewership and sales.
I recently found another super worthy site: Bloggers Traffic Community.
I was a little apprehensive and unsure of what this was all about. There are a lot of boards and groups. It didn't take long however to have someone from the membership jump in and answer any questions. My blog has never been very active. It's hard to get it off and running (like most business enterprises). You rely on sharing with family and friends. But this community has daily posts for bloggers and website owners helping each other grow their respective sites. I know that if you blog in a certain niche, you will be able to find help getting an audience in that niche, and beyond. I joined the Pinterest/Instagram group and a YouTube group. It didn't take me long to decide to become a member of the BTC Supporters group because it is obvious that the leaders here work very hard to keep this platform rolling. Am I glad I joined? Well, if you saw my traffic numbers you'd be happy with the results, too.
I'll end here with saying that artists never feel they are truly finished. They fix, and change, and start over. I'm 70 years old and not afraid to try new things. I am a firm believer in "you learn something new EVERY DAY". Just do it!
As an artist you are never truly FINISHED.
First post of 2020 !!! Happy New Year!
State #26 in my bird and flower series is Montana. Continuing to paint each state in alphabetical order, I plan on working a bit faster so that I can finish well before the end of the year rather than the two / month pace that I kept in 2019.
Click the image below to link to the print on Society6. Click "Collections" on my storefront to see all the state bird and flower paintings to date.