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A Play on Birds, art exhibit at the Nelson Library

Show by Don Konrad runs until the end of December
Pink Eyed Puddle Jumper, gouache on wood panel by Don Konrad. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by the Nelson Public Library

Don Konrad considers himself a cartoonist at heart.

He’s been sketching and painting since elementary school, taking his inspiration from nature, people and his life experiences. Birders and art-lovers alike will enjoy Konrad’s whimsical bird artwork now on display at the Nelson Public Library.

After many decades of creating art, Konrad still has a sense of wonder about the power of imagination in creating images.

“I’ve always been fascinated and amused by the thought that they come out of the end of a pencil, pen or brush, if you let it,” says Konrad. “Creating the birds as caricatures was fun, but the challenge was giving each one its own personality.”

The illustrations are rendered in casein, an opaque medium, and traditional water colours. They were originally created as part of a collaborative book project, A Play on Birds, between Konrad and his daughter Erica Konrad. After the illustrations were created, Erica provided the corresponding text for the book, like a field guide, but for imaginary birds.

“Whether it’s in the name of the bird itself or truths hidden in the description, these birds harbour secrets on how they connect to other real-world birds — a treasure hunt of sorts,” says Don Konrad.

Konrad has exhibited in many Canadian galleries and other public spaces and currently mentors and tutors in water colour painting at The Narrows Art Retreat in Grohman Narrows.

The show continues until the end of December and copies of the book A Play on Birds will be available to purchase at the library.