Painted Feather Images

Circulating email contains a series of photographs depicting wonderfully detailed feather paintings (Full commentary below).

Photographs and the paintings they depict are genuine


Subject: FW: I Wonder How Long It Takes To Paint a Feather”

This is awesome!

Paintings by Julie Thompson. A number of other feather painting photographs included in the original email have been omitted from this example.

Detailed Analysis:
This collection of photographs of painted feathers circulates via email and is also a popular blog and forum topic. Some have suggested that the images are not photographs of genuine paintings but instead were created in a digital image program such as Photoshop.

However, although the feather paintings shown in the photographs are certainly extraordinary, they are perfectly real. They are the work of talented artist, Julie Thompson. The feather painting photographs were apparently taken from Julie Thompson’s website and circulated via email without the permission or knowledge of the artist. Unfortunately, the email does not include the name of the artist, so she does not receive the credit she deserves for her work. A statement on the artist’s website notes:

NOTE TO SEARCHERS: If you have received an email with Painted Feathers in it and have been searching for their origins, this is it! I have no idea who began that email, or why it would be sent without a link or name. You will find those feathers from the email within this site, and so many others… welcome!

Many wonderful feather paintings, including those in the email, are available for viewing on Julie Thompson’s website. The artist explains:

I began painting feathers back in 1990, purely as a means of putting to use all the broad sturdy wing feathers that my mother’s peacocks would shed. I had never seen this done before, but knowing the bonding properties of acrylic paint, I thought it was a feasable experiment. I began with simple subject matters like pictographs and still-lifes, but soon that grew to a very broad range of subject matter.

The feather paintings also feature in a video clip of folk singer Gordon Lightfoot’s song “Cherokee Bend”.

Last updated: 15th October 2008
First published: 15th October 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Featherlady Studio: The wildlife art of Northwest artist Julie Thompson
About the Artist
Cherokee Bend – Gordon Lightfoot V54

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