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, Don 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 Conrad.
“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 watercolours. 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 Korad.
Korad has exhibited in many Canadian galleries and other public spaces and currently mentors and tutors in watercolour 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 Nelson Library.