Why did I want to add Painted Buntings to my Edisto painting? Because the males are brilliant in color – they look like tiny parrots you might see in South America, only they are in South Carolina.

About this Painting

by Sarah Gilbert Fox

Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert fox
Copyright. © 2019 Sarah Gilbert Fox
All rights reserved
  • Title
    • Edisto Island Painting Buntings
  • Size
    • 40” x 30″
  • Medium
    • acrylic
    • oil pastels
    • charcoal
  • Styles
    • contemporary abstract figurative 
    • contemporary abstract expressionism 
    • abstract figurative expressionism
    • contemporary figurative markmaking

To spot the Painted Buntings, look around the bushes and trees that line the houses on the island. Look for wren-sized birds with iridescent colors. (For serious birders, get off the beach and head for the inlets and the marsh woods. Below is a list of just some of the birds we have spotted on Edisto.)

Details in the Painting

detail 4 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail One. Growing up on the island, I spent a lot of time shell hunting and fossil hunting with my Mom. We weren’t allowed to pick sea oats, but sometimes I’d find interesting pieces of driftwood and reeds that always seemed like they could be flowers.  Which is why I painted flowers here.

Driftwood and Reeds became my flower garden on Edisto Island.

detail 2 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Two. Girl wading on Edisto Beach.  The Fish are just beneath the reeds in a low tide. 

Out of range of this, painting, and just down the inlet, are strand-feeding dolphins.

Dolphins are everywhere in the Edisto Island coastal waters, but the best place to see dolphins “strand feeding” is in a deep water creek.  Frampton’s Inlet is the recommended place for this.  We often rent a house called Whitmarsh (for big family gatherings) and Maggie Browns (for when we go as a smaller group), where we spend our lazy days jumping off the docks, swimming and kayaking in the creek, and always, always watching the dolphins. It’s a daily siting to see them slam the fish to the side of the reeds with their bodies (strand feeding) in order to eat.

Detail 1 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Three. Painted Buntings. Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) are related to Cardinals and they’re just about the most parrot-colorful birds you’ll see in the United States. They’re small, like wrens, but full of brilliant colors (well, the males are, anyway!). 

Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) are related to Cardinals.

detail 3 Edisto Island Painted Buntings contemporary abstract figurative expressionism fine art sarah gilbert foxDetail Four. A Painted Bunting on a dog’s back. Painted Buntings don’t really hang out on dogs, but Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibisdo) have been known to – when they aren’t hanging out on cattle. But this painting isn’t about cattle or egrets, so I had to use my imagination.

Cattle Egrets were first spotted in the United States in 1941. They are great migrators.

  • Painted Buntings
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Cattle Egrets
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Osprey
  • Bobolink
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  • Piping Plover
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Bank Swallow
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Lazuli Bunting (rare)
  • Purple Gallinule (rare)
  • Seaside Sparrow
  • Sora
  • Ovenbirds
  • Western Kingbirds
  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Black-necked Stilt

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