Virginia is an illustrator and biologist with a strong interest in birds: her bookshelves are full of field guides, her master’s thesis was on bird behavior, and her sketchbooks are brimming with sketches of birds. She earned an MFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Virginia has a versatile style that makes use of a variety of media: watercolor, gouache, graphite, ink, and digital painting. Her illustrations are inspired by study of the natural world and are often infused with a sense of humor. She also incorporates fantasy in her art by creating short stories and illustrations that feature intelligent, cloak-wearing, magical songbirds as characters in a fantastical North American forest setting. She acknowledges real bird biology and behavior (with fictional flourishes) in these stories, providing entertainment and education for readers.
Virginia admires the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s collaborative attitude that brings together artists, scientists, and the public in a way that ultimately celebrates and protects avian biodiversity. She says, “Being a Bartels Science Illustation Intern has been an incredible experience that has allowed me to refine my skills at drawing birds while contributing to the Lab’s programs.”
The Evolution of Bird Migration, Living Bird, Spring 2017
30 Years of Project FeederWatch, Living Bird, Winter 2017