“Hummingbird is the spirit of pure joy! She is the messenger of beauty and wonder, and she reminds us to taste the sweet nectar of life.” — Anonymous
Blaire Wheeler’s latest show fluttered into the Shain Gallery this past Friday evening, and we had the opportunity to check out the show the day after the opening. Saturday mornings are always our favorite times to visit some of our favorite art galleries. You’re the most likely to have the gallery all to yourself, and we wanted to have the opportunity to view Blaire’s latest work up close.
I had the honor of interviewing Blaire back in 2020, and I thought I’d share some of the interview along with the stunning new pieces that Blaire has created. The details are exceptional and the gold leaf that is featured is most of Blaire’s work for this show (and previous shows) really allows the birds to pop off the canvas.
If you live in the Charlotte area, this is a must-see show, and I recommend seeing Blaire’s latest body of work up close.
I love hummingbirds, so I loved seeing both your large and smaller works featuring this beautiful bird. When did you first start painting hummingbirds?
I painted the first one many years ago, but took a break for awhile and was focused on more on abstracted pieces. It wasn’t until this past year, I needed something for my own home and decided I wanted two hummingbird panels for my entry. After sharing the panels on instagram it just took off from there and I have been painting hummingbirds ever since.
“Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence.” — Unknown
Do you observe hummingbirds, colors, etc., or get inspiration from photographs etc?
Most of time I look through photographs or books for hummingbird inspiration. I did put up a feeder and have enjoyed getting to observe them in person. They really are fascinating to watch and I get way too excited every time one shows up at my feeder.
I don’t base my paintings completely from life. Although I want there to be detail and realism in the birds, I also don’t want it to look like a photograph. I want there to be a painterly touch, something that can’t be captured by simply taking a photograph. I use texture, composition, or change the color to abstract the subject and give the piece this painterly touch.