Brilliant colors and intense attention to detail abound in the paintings and sculptures at this year's Birds in Art exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum.
But what you can't see on display are the back stories that accompany each piece of artwork.
"I've been hunting and fishing and bird watching and turning stones over for crayfish ever since I've been able to do it" featured artist Paul Rhymer told Newsline 9. "I was raised with that, and so those kinds of things have always been part of my life."
Rhymer has a bronzed life-sized owl sculpture on display in the gallery. The intriguing piece nests atop a basalt column and is one of the first pieces of artwork visitors to Birds In Art see when entering the exhibit.
The life-long interest and appreciation of nature that Rhymer depends on is echoed in the artwork of Jim Bortz. The Pennsylvania native paints with extreme devotion to detail. But according to Bortz the time and skill needed to focus so greatly on detail comes at a price.
"That's one of my strong points and one of my weak points" he said standing in front of his painting on display. "I paint nearly photographic. I'm constantly conscious of that" Bortz said.
Bortz' painting of a Pennsylvania lake commands attention. It's use of detail in capturing flicks of sunlight on the water as two birds fly by captures amazement in the realistic depiction.
"I like to be adventurous with my work so it doesn't look like anything I've seen before" Bortz said.
Now in its 36th year, Birds In Art is a free exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum, 700 North 12th St., Wausau. The exhibit displaying artwork of 112 artists from 11 countries is on display through Nov. 13.