I gaze at the black and white plumage of an eider duck on my laptop background. I look at my daily planner and see the red head of a woodpecker. I turn around and on my wall I see a poster swimming in bright colors and shapes of animals and plants galore. These are all works of one my absolute favorite artists, Charley Harper.
Charley Harper is known for his modern interpretations of animals, especially birds. I discovered his art while working for Gorman Heritage Farm near Cincinnati, his hometown. He did a series of posters for Gorman Heritage Farm and its parent organization, the Cincinnati Nature Center. I fell in love with the sharp lines, simple details, engaging colors, and diversity he put into each of his images. Even with such minimal detail I could tell what each species was. His designs challenge the imagination but not in a completely abstract way.
Charley also designed posters for the National Park Service and Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. He illustrated the Golden Book of Biology too. Prints, mugs, and other knick knacks with his artwork on it can be viewed and purchased at http://www.charleyharperartstudio.com. I have a wish list a mile long there!
I want to show you a small sampling of his artwork here so you can fall in love with his art as I have. His art speaks to the interconnectedness of nature, the beauty of each living thing, and a belief that nature inspires art and vice versa.
**All images are work done by Charley Harper. Please give him his due!