Virginia is an illustrator and biologist with a strong interest in birds. With a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech, an MS in Biology from the College of William and Mary College, and an MFA in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Virginia brought a depth of scientific understanding and technical ability to her work as a Bartels Science Illustrator. 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 appreciated the collaborative attitude that brings together artists, scientists, and the public at the Lab to celebrate and protect birds, and this allowed her the opportunity to create a wide variety of illustrations for several Lab projects as well as for graduate students. She designed posters and materials for BirdSleuth, created digital graphics for the NestWatch app, graphics for membership premiums, infographics and illustrations for Living Bird, and even painted warbles decoys in accurate, lifelike plumage for a graduate student’s research project.
The Evolution of Bird Migration, Living Bird, Spring 2017
30 Years of Project FeederWatch, Living Bird, Winter 2017