John James Audubon is the recognized artist of American birds that other bird artists are measured against. For 50 years he drew and painted America's birds. He was known as an authority of ornithology. His wife had been a teacher of George Bird Grinnell who started the Audubon Society.
Audubon's work is done in mixed media mainly employing watercolors, but using pastels to achieve the soft look of feathers. He posed them in natural positions to paint them, unlike other ornithologist of his era that placed them in stiff looking poses. He painted them surrounded by their natural terrain.
His tour de force is The Birds of America folio. The Mobile Museum of Art will display 80 plus prints and paintings in oil and watercolors and some graphite work that includes hand-colored engravings. The exhibition starts 10/14/11 and ends on 1/8/12.
Note: The copyright on the painting has expired. The photo qualifies for the PD-Art tag.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Western Region
John James Audubon: The Making of an American
John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings (Library of America)
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12)