Drawn to Birds: A Naturalist's Sketchbook
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About the Author
Jenny deFouw Geuder is an artist and educator from Michigan. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Art Education (and she minored in English). She has always loved nature and being outdoors. She especially loves gardening and hiking, and over time, began sketching the objects she discovered outside. She bought a bird feeder, and she was charmed by the many visitors. That one bird feeder grew to two, four, and now about eight--along with multiple bird baths! As she immersed herself in bird watching, she started fine-tuning her garden by introducing native plants that benefited birds and other wildlife.
By day, Jenny has taught art at the middle-school level for 16 years. Each year, she includes an art lesson and project based on the famous prints of John James Audubon. Jenny emulated this work at home, and she began painting her backyard finds, everything from leaves and flowers to birds. This soon became one of her favorite pastimes. She loves observing, and she found herself constantly learning more about the subjects of her paintings. To record those discoveries, she started taking notes about her observations. That process led naturally to this sketchbook, her debut book. She has also continued her own artistic interests in commissioned work and personal topics. She primarily works in watercolor, but she also enjoys oils, ceramics, and graphite.
Artists are professional observers, who tend to see things in a different way, by focusing on colors and shapes, textures or lines. But a person doesn't need to be a professionally trained artist to observe like one, or to make their own art. In fact, if this project has taught Jenny anything, it's that naturalists are a lot like artists in that they look more closely at the world and recognize all of the diversity that nature has to offer.
Jenny lives in the country with her husband, two small boys, a dog, five cats, a hedgehog, chickens, and occasionally two ponies. She spends most of her summers at a rustic log cabin on a lake in northern Michigan, where she hikes, fishes, and enjoys the natural beauty of the area.