new perspective

Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis – now Cinnyris jugularis)

copyright megan spiers
New Perspective by Megan Spiers 2009
Acrylic on Hahnemuhle paper, size 12.5 cm x 22.5 cm
SOLD – private collection, sydney, new south wales

inspiration

Sunbirds are like tiny jewels in tropical far north Queensland.

Dainty yet fierce – one minute, they’re hovering to sip nectary flowers and the next, plucking spiders out of webs.

I watched a pair build – and later, rebuild – their intricate hanging nest under our verandah eaves. Both birds were constantly on the go, returning to the nest every twenty seconds or so to add more plant material, sticky web or feathers. Their commitment to caring for eggs and each other is remarkable.

I designed this artwork with deliberate imbalance of tone and form. The palm frond has structural depth in contrast to light clouds beneath. Interestingly, several visitors to my “Each Bird, Every Song” exhibition thought it might be hanging the wrong way up!

For sunbirds, a new perspective is all about survival. When predators destroy the nest overnight, they don’t give up; they rebuild. Sometimes in an entirely new place.

Try looking at the world upside-down. It might be all the inspiration you need.

artist’s process

  • I achieved the precise point of the bill with a 10/0 brush
  • observing sunbirds in the wild is the best way to appreciate their character, verve and energy