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 Judy Bird  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: expressionist still-life, whimsical pets

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Judy Bird
An example of work by Judy Bird
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist:

Judy N. Bird, born November 1953 in San Jose, California, was the youngest of three children and spent most of her adult life in Northern California. Her painting career began in 1980 in Amador County, CA and has continued to grow, becoming her full-time passion and career today in Placerville, where she has her primary residence and studio.

She is most widely known for her Neo-Expressionism, still life, domestic scenes of pets, and eccentric people and whimsical pet portraiture.

Her medium mainly focuses in acrylics for their color attributes and ease. She has a bold use of color, which is enhanced by her strong defining line. This technique became her trademark style. Her artistic background also includes skill and mastery in oils, and broad technical skills with pastels, watercolors, sculptures, and collage.

A graduate of the Union Institute, Sacramento, CA she received her B.A. in Fine Arts. She has 20 plus years of studio art experience and in addition to her successful career as an artist, she has had nine years teaching experience as a private studio art instructor, and four years as a therapeutic art counselor and facilitator.

Her early works were interrupted by the lack of support, financial considerations, and geographical surroundings. The art works were very traditional, depicting landscapes, seascapes, barn scenes, wildlife and figurative art. Although influenced by classical realism of the Renaissance Masters, they did not express her true creativity and artistic freedom. What began her transition of her traditional style to a more abstract one, was the death of her husband, Leonard Charles Bird in 1991, a newlywed after one month, and in 1996, the theft of a large body of her original works. Included in the theft was a piece "Portrait of an Artist's Daughter," a classical oil painting influenced by Rembrandt. Up until the mid 1990s, these works were all signed, Judy Richardson and Judy Richardson-Bird.

In 1989-90, Bird attended a portrait workshop held by artist Frank Covino, which reaffirmed her conflict between a systematic and more abstract approaches to painting and art.

During her college years 1991- 1998 she departed from oil painting and transitioned into abstract expressionism which eventually lead her to her strong use of line and intense use of saturated color as the primary means of demonstrating her mood. "Freedom I," a transitional piece, shows the beginnings of her coming away from the once "traditional" styles and expressing her inner feelings through her art.

During 1997-1998, she was invited to participate in her first International Group Exhibit at the Something Different Fine Art Gallery, Northern, CA - Spirituality Expressed In Art. She then exhibited in the New York International Solo Show with The Stephen Gang Gallery, Chelsea New York curated by Sai Gallery New York, New York and the New York International Group Show 1998 Contemporary Visions II, World Fine Art Gallery New York.

She has received a number of awards for her artwork as well as being showcased in Décor magazine, and listed in Sources. She received her first International Award at the 1998 Art Addiction International Gallery-Femina Project - "We Are Different" Stockholm, Sweden.

Her artist aunt, Carolyn Baugher Massaro, seeing her artistic tendencies, inspired her to find her hidden talents, and unlike Massaro's daunting use of dark moody colors, Bird was inspired to create vibrant colorful paintings that would convey a lively dance of pleasure for the viewer.

Currently her art works are very fresh, spontaneous, lively and filled with vibrant color that reflect her mother's advice: "Use happy colors." Now Bird is able to incorporate her sense of humor and joy into her artwork. Color, personal intensity and humor have given her the freedom and creativity to express herself more openly and broaden her artistic horizons. In the past she has relied on more conservative techniques where now she's more comfortable "breaking the rules" regarding the use of color.

These pieces "Fresh Flowers" (I, II, III, IV, & V) "Glorious High Energy Floral", "Anton Series- Popular Dog Series", truly demonstrate this breaking away from the rule book.

What continues to inspire and influence her art, along with such artists as Peter Max, Matisse, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec, was her aunt's paintings of European cityscapes and street scenes. The "Anton Series" reflects these influences as this character, a wandering dog, travels the French countryside.

In October 2001, Judy was invited to exhibit her pet portraiture. "The Guests", a large acrylic painting revealed her eccentric, mysterious inner qualities, featuring 'high society' ladies and their colorful poodles, part of the "French Waiter Series". This benefit auction, Pet Art 3, was sponsored by the Wallis Foundation to benefit PAWS/LA featuring Honorary Chairpersons, actress Brooke Shields, philanthropist David Bohnett, and celebrity photographer Greg Gorman.

EXHIBITION HISTORY: Regional & National Shows
1997 Chalk It Up To Sacramento, Sacramento, Ca, USA
1997 Old Town Gallery Auburn, California
1997 Firehorse Framing Studio & Fine Art Studio Placerville, California
1997 Favorite Of The Foothills Auburn, California
1997 Allure Gallery Sacramento, California Group Exhibitions
1997 The Ash Can: Sensory Perceptions Carmichael, California
1997 Sol Ceramica: Sol Ceramica Member Show Sacramento, California
1996 New Beginnings Art Gallery: El dorado Hills, USA
1996-97 Spirituality Expressed In Art: Something Different Fine Art Sutter Creek, California USA
1996 ArtQuest St. Louis, Missouri, USA
1995 El Dorado County Placerville, Ca, USA
1991 Greenstone Winery Invitational: Ione, Ca, USA

1998 A Cross-Cultural Portrait Sacramento, California
1997 Allure Gallery: Choices in Rhythm Sacramento, California
1997 Favorites of the Foothills: Auburn, California
1991 Stockton Savings Bank: Jackson, Ca, USA

Auctions For America Sept 11th Fund & American Red Cross
PAWS/LA Pet Art 3

Reid & DaLe and Associates

Art Without Borders an International Artists Forum
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art
Arts Council of Placer County 1998

Decor Magazine-Sources Issue 1997, Originals. Prints and Artist Reproductions
Decor Magazine- Showcase February 1997, Color Plate "Freedom I"
Art Addiction, Publisher, Black and White Plate of "Freedom I"
Trekell Brush Company-Featured Artist-2001-02
EBSQ Magazine, Featured Collector- June 2001
ArtQuest - Featured Artist
Listed in World Artist Registry
Listed in Sources (Decor Magazine)

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