Charley Harper Birds

Well, if you have read any of the other posts in this blog, I am pretty sure that you have picked up on the fact that I am a bird enthusiast with a capital E. I love to see my winged friends in their own habitats but I also love art with birds. The kids gave me a book for Christmas that actually fills two passions: my love of birds and my love of the artist Charley Harper. Oh my goodness I love this book! Charley Harper’s Birds and Words is one of my very favorite gifts of all time.

Charley Harper's Birds and Words
Charles Harper’s Birds and Words (Anniversary Edition)
(paid link)

Not only is it filled with the artwork of Charles Harper but it also has his own words describing the birds in the images. Turns out that Mr. Harper had a very unique style to his art and that is what fans like myself love but he was pretty darned witty with his writing skills, too.

Charley Harper Illustrated More Than Birds

Fans of the 1950s deco style of decorating are very familiar with Charley Harper and his unique way of portraying mostly wildlife. I like the other animals that he drew but I particularly like his renditions of birds. I loved them even before I got all caught up in watching the birds in my backyard. So, the kids hit the target right in the center of the bulls eye when they found this book to give to me as a gift!

Harper did much of his work in his home studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. He relates in the book that he tried to actually get out among the feathered creatures to get a better idea of how to paint them but he found that instead he was tripping over rocks and other ground debris which then caused the birds to fly away. So, he invested in a few field guides to get his inspiration for his bird paintings. Ford Motor Company commissioned his work to include in a publication of theirs called Ford TimesĀ during the 1950s. Readers could order his wildlife paintings that were printed in a silk screen process. The American public quickly fell in love with the artist’s work and a partnership remained between the car company and Harper for something like 30 years.

Charley Harper Quote:
I could never get close enough to count the feathers so I counted the wings instead.

The book shows many of the images that he created for Ford Times that pertained to birds along with some others that he did in his 60 year career. I love all of them for the original interpretation and the witty way that he describes the bird in each image. He included a section on birds that vanished from the American landscape and comments on the human cause of the extinction of those feathered creatures.

If you have a person in your family or a friend who loves birds, then I can highly recommend this book with Charley Harper illustrations and his descriptions of each as something to give to them as a gift. I am sure they will love it as much as I do mine. Thank you so much Terry and Carla! You always get the coolest gifts for me and I hope you know how very much I appreciate the thought you give to each one.

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Beverly Owens

Bev has been decorating rooms and homes since she was a little kid, starting with her own bedroom. She loves to share ideas for decorating different rooms in the home along with some outstanding products that she finds from time to time.

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