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Sue Shane

An avid bird lover, Shane is dedicated to capturing the essence of birds in art, and then using her artwork to further education on, the appreciation of, and the conservation of wildlife.

Some thirty years ago, Shane truly fell in love with nature, and began her journey to expand her connection to the world around us. She sought out compelling – and sometimes unusual – opportunities to interact directly with the animals nearby, and this often meant volunteering through animal shelters and conservations. Shane often helped out banding hawks, or caring for sick, injured, or orphaned birds and animals.

“Hands-on direct interaction is dirty, hard work: though rewarding in its own right,” she says. “Contributing to this important work is an honor and a privilege not to be taken lightly, but oh, what a thrill it is to hold a Red-tailed Hawk in your hands, feel the warmth of its body, smell its soft and tangy feathers, look into its eyes, and then let it go soar up and away: back to its own world.”

Over time, Shane’s work expanded to include monitoring species of concern, such as Piping Plovers or Great Blue Herons. This prolonged observation of many bird species led to a deeper and more intimate understanding of bird’s physique: not just feather color and pattern, but body structure and size, along wing configuration.

            While painting seems like the next logical step in this progression of connecting to nature, at the time Shane had next to no artistic experience. While always creatively inclined, Shane had never before picked up a paintbrush. A chance encounter gave Shane the push she needed to take the leap and begin using her brush to spread awareness about the conservational needs of wild life.

            Shane’s watercolors are concise, and the eye is drawn directly to her subject: the bird. Frequently placed upon a white backdrop, Shane’s birds are anatomical marvels. Shane’s sensitivity to detail coupled with her unique knowledge of birds’ stances, attitudes, and habitats make her watercolors compelling. Her paintings also serve to highlight the bird’s unique adaptations and mechanisms, such as the shape of its beak or the length of its leg, which help it survive and thrive.

            Clean and crisp, Shane’s work is full of movement and life. A longtime member of the Maine Audubon, Shane wants to use her art to spread the word about wildlife conservation.