Meet the Master Artist at Birds In Art - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Meet the Master Artist at Birds In Art


by Cami Mountain

MARSHFIELD (WAOW) -- The exhibit that put Wausau's Woodson Art Museum on the art world map is back for the thirty-fourth year.  Meet this year's Birds In Art Master Artist.

Born in Scotland, 1928, John Busby always knew art would play a role in his life.  His passion started in school.

"We had an extraordinary teacher who made us use or imaginations rather than draw from anything and I could invent all sorts of things."

He can draw anything you ask, but animals are his forte.  As a child, his focus turned to birds when his family moved to the countryside.

"You see all these birds coming into the garden and that was fascinating."

As a young adult, Busby entered a prestigious Scottish art school.  After graduation, he was asked to join the staff and taught there for more than thirty years.  A natural born teacher, he can't help but explain his work even to this day.

Busby's work is taken from real life.  Sitting seaside bird watching, his eye captures the movement of the bird and the wind.  His memory captures the way he felt at that moment.  That memory,  illustrated on canvas, never taken from a photograph.

"I don't try to make it look exactly as I saw, It's what I remember. I want it to be like I remembered."

His work, deliberate.   Every stroke, meant to make your eyes dance across the canvas.  It's work many can't do.  Busby, literally, draws the wind.  Something you can't see, only feel.

"You can sense the wind, action on the bird and unless you understand the wind you can't really draw flying birds."

Busby's illustrations have been in more than thirty books.  Now, he's honored as the thirty-first Master Wildlife Artist.

"It's a bit of a shock at first because I never considered, I don't paint for medals. I just paint what I enjoy painting but's it a very great honor to be thought of in this way. I just carry on doing what I do."

The Birds in Art exhibit is free to the public and remains open at the Woodson until Mid-November.

Online Reporter:  Cami Mountain

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