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Birds at Play

Updated: Mar 3

I’m excited to finally share this project! I’m creating a mural of local native bird species!

I’m one of 9 artists commissioned by the City of West Palm Beach’s ArtLife Public Art program: 9 Artists 9 Spaces, to create this temporary public work. The theme is Play! My piece will be called Birds at Play.

I’m creating the imagery for this mural in watercolor in separate panels, then photoshopping them all together to create the mural image. The image will be printed on vinyl wallpaper and installed with a forklift ^-^ the first image here depicts the sketch of the mural. It will be located in the Mandel library, just within the entrance. See below for my sketch!

Here's my plan for the individual paintings:

I will be updating this blog post as the piece progresses. All finished bird paintings will appear here, followed by the final images assembled out of all the parts, then finally I'll add details about the installation and opening and viewing dates and times. This project will be completed in totality sometime this summer. I will update this post weekly as I work on the project. If the Instagram format works best for you I will be updating it regularly with project updates @KimHeiseArt and finally, for those that enjoy reading and getting updates in your inbox I will be doing that bi-monthly via my email newsletter, here

1. The first completed bird piece is Herring Gulls! Several years ago a video of a herring gull perched atop another one mid-flight circulated the internet widely and this piece is my recreation of that silly event! It always makes me giggle to think about so I felt like it had a place in this mural:

2. Purple Gallinule is coming in second! I love their vibrant colors and comically large feet. They are one of my favorite birds to spot.

3. Whistling Ducks! I think they are very striking bird, and I have 2 of them in this mural! The painting is a little bigger than I think is necessary but I'm still pretty satisfied with the way it came out.

4. Whistling Duck (2)! these two birds will be very near each other in proximity on the mural, but I made them each a little too large to fit on one sheet of paper, so I painted them separately. It was hard to decide how to make the neck on this one look natural! I spent a looooot of time pouring over reference photos, but I'm please with where I landed in the end.

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