Over 112 artists were selected to be included in this year's Birds in Art exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum. Thirty-three of those hail from outside the United States.
"Well there's nothing else in the world like Birds in Art. In this genre, this is the event" Dutch artist Ewoud de Groot told Newsline 9.
The Dutchman was one of many artists from outside the country who made the voyage to Wausau for the opening weekend festivities.
Traveling around the world for his love of painting is nothing new to de Groot, who is one of four artists from the Netherlands with a piece of artwork in the exhibit. His submission this year is a large oil painting of a Trumpeter Swan. He discovered the bird while visiting a snow-covered Yellowstone National Park, a sight he says he won't soon forget.
"The sky mirrors the shadow, and that was something that really grabbed me and I was thinking, I have to do something with it, so that was the starting point actually of this painting" he said.
Swedish watercolor painter Peter Elfman is one of four Swedes honored with a place in this year's display. Elfman too found inspiration during the winter months for his 2011 submission. His painting presents a garden bird from his backyard bird feeder he used as a model during last year's particularly cold winter.
Elfman says that though some artwork takes considerable time to construct, in watercolor it's not how long it takes to paint that is difficult, but the persistence to keep trying when elements of a painting don't work out.
"I like to splash the colors out and let the water do the work. Maybe five pieces are bad, but the sixth is very good, so when you paint with watercolor you must throw a lot away" he said.
Birds in Art contains the work of a number of people dubbed by the exhibit as Master Artists. Their work is featured annually in the exhibit, saving the artist the time and stress of the selective admission process.
Chris Bacon, a Canadian painter who makes the trip to Wausau every year is one of those select individuals. And though he is guaranteed a spot in the show, that doesn't mean he takes it easy when working. His acrylic painting featured in this year's presentation contrasts the simple beauty of water with the detail needed in his featured bird.
"This piece took about four months to make" he said standing in front of his painting, "it took me almost into the summer to get it completed."
Birds in Art at the Woodson Art Museum, 700 North 12th St., Wausau, is on display now through Nov. 13 and is free to the public.