Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Painted Feathers

Update 4/2:
Go here for another post featuring Julie Thompson's art.

Update 3/26
: See below for several updates -- we now know the source of these feathers.

These have finally made their way to my Inbox - they have been making the rounds via e-mail and blogs for a little while, and they are far more beautiful and unusual than most of the things that make the rounds.

They appeared under the heading Ispeshul Painted Feathers. Aren't they beautiful? They represent some extremely deft work, either with a brush on the delicate feathers or with a digital brush on a digital canvas - I am not sure which. I have been Googling "painted feathers" aggressively, and am (so far) no closer to learning where these come from. Instead, I find only a cyber trail of where these have been before - different blogs and forums, mostly.

Does anyone know:

* Where these come from? Update 3/26: We now know. Check out Featherlady Studio -- the link is provided by an anonymous reader.

* Whether they indeed exist outside of the digital world? Are they a graphic arts hoax (though they are so beautiful that I would not mind if they were), or is some talented artist actually painting feathers? Update 3/26: these feathers, it turns out, are no hoax. They are the hand-crafted and careful work of Julie Thompson, an Alaskan artist.

* The meaning of the word or name "ispeshul"?

Update 3/26:
In fact, it would seem that there are a number of artists doing handpainted feathers - a craft that we knew nothing about until just now but that delights and astonishes us. For example, visit Painted Feather for a gallery of feathers painted in a quite different style. That web gallery offers a quotation from an Apache holy woman, which leaves us with much need for thought and pondering --

"To look through the eye of the feather would take me to that place of vision where I can see what's real and what's not."

Comments, anyone, on that quote -- either on its meaning or on applying such a quote to hand-painted feathers?


Anonymous said...

Hey -
You can check:


You need to search on 'hand painting on feathers' - that's where I found this site and it contains at least one of the feathers going around under the title Ispeshul Painted Feathers but I didn't check for the others.

Dante's Heart said...

Thank you, Anonymous!

That is definitely the source. Featherlady Studio. For our readers, here is a quote from the site:

"Pacific Northwest artist Julie Thompson has been creating her intricate paintings on naturally-molted peacock feathers since 1990. Her first markets were along the cruise ship route in the southeast of Alaska, her home state - in such towns as Ketchikan and Skagway. Since then her style has grown and representation has spread to many galleries, in several states, on both coasts. These unique works of art have found homes in collections across the US and Canada as well as in Germany, Ireland, and Japan."

I'm delighted to find that the artist is from my own native Northwest. What incredible work these feathers are - and handpainted!