Surreal Animal Portraits Expertly Painted on Wild Turkey Feathers

If you thought painting bird feathers was difficult, wait till you check out this super-talented artist who paints on bird feathers. That’s right, Connecticut-based Brenda Lyons paints the most stunning animal portraits using moulted turkey feathers as a canvas, as a part of her ongoing series called ‘Painted Feathers’.

I seriously appreciate the kind of work Brenda does, because I can’t even hold something so delicate without eventually destroying it. And to actually apply acrylic paints directly on these feathers to create something so beautiful – it just blows my mind.


Photo: Brenda Lyons

Brenda is multi-talented – she is an artist, illustrator and jewelry maker with a passion for birds of prey. As a child, she spent hours admiring the works of the famous ornithologist and painter, John James Audubon. This long-held interest is definitely reflected in her art today – most of her feather paintings feature falcons, hawks, owls and other birds.


Photo: Brenda Lyons

She’s also a big fan of fantasy worlds, so apart from birds, coyotes and horses, she also paints fantastical creatures like dragons and phoenixes. She sometimes uses watercolor, ink and graphite that truly maker her art ‘pop’.


Photo: Brenda Lyons

“Two forces have always influenced me – a love of the natural world, and a constant sense of wanderlust,” said Brenda. “As a child, I lost myself in books and imagined travelling to those places – both real and imaginary. I loved reading books about animals and spent hours looking through books with the paintings of John James Audubon. I always loved the personality he gave his birds while creating naturalistic ornithological paintings.”


Photo: Brenda Lyons

“Other artists who inspired me include the illustrators Peter Parnall, Arthur Rackham and Susan Seddon-Boulet,” she added. “I’ve always loved birds of prey, and this passion continues to influence my art today, where I combine falcons, hawks and owls within the worlds in my imagination to create fantastical realms and creatures.”


Photo: Brenda Lyons

As a result of her love of travelling, Brenda studied art and illustration at various colleges around the world. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from Rocky Mountain College in Montana. She then went on to study at the National University of Ireland in Galway and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, where she received her M.F.A degree.


Photo: Brenda Lyons

Brenda now lives in her hometown, but her desire to explore continues to fuel her inspiration for her art. “I am still searching for new worlds within the world we live in,” she said.

Source: Falcon Moon via My Modern Met

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