In the Audubon Tradition Exhibition
About John Charles Pitcher
For over forty-five years John Charles Pitcher has expressed his love for birds and the natural world through his sketches and paintings. His success in capturing the sense of a place and likeness of his subjects reveals not only his mastery of technique but also his passion and knowledge as a naturalist. An artist since childhood, he further developed his observational and artistic skills as a young man in Alaska where he studied and painted birds for twelve years; teaching bird identification classes and leading bird tours for the Anchorage Audubon Society. As a guest naturalist on
John eventually settled in the beautiful historic town of Dorset, Vermont with his artist wife Sue Westin, where they maintain their WESTIN-PITCHER Fine Art Studios along the shores of the Dorset Marsh.
John has painted and explored the vastness of Alaska, canoed the wilderness waters of Ontario’s Missinaibi River, the George River in Nunavik, and sketched the migrating caribou herds in the Lake Kamestastin region of northern Labrador but he continues to be amazed and inspired by the diversity and beauty found in his own backyard!
As a Distinguished Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, he exhibits in museums and fine art galleries both domestic and abroad. John has works in the permanent collections of the Woodson Art Museum, The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Anchorage Museum, University of Alaska Museum, Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and the Laumeister Collection and private collections.
THE PRIBILOF EXPERIENCEs
Acrylic and Oil on hardboard
24 X 36
The foggy isles of Alaska’s Pribilof Islands provide summer homes for uniquely adapted sea birds. Alaska! – Is a “bucket-list item for many hard-core birders, as some of these birds are found nowhere else in the world other than within the squally limits of the Bering Sea and southwest Alaska. If you dream of Crested and Parakeet Auklets, Red-legged Kittiwakes and Red-faced Cormorants, consider visiting the bird cliffs of St. Paul Island – a place where dreams and experiences are combined along mist-shrouded cliffs.
A MURDER OF CROWS
Acrylic on hardboard
21.5 X 35″ image size
A “murder of crows” is the collective noun used to describe a flock of crows – usually alive! When I sketched these crows, left dead in a field, I knew they were not just dead — they were murdered! I intuitively portrayed one bird still alive, hoping to add emotion and empathy to this painted narrative of a crime scene. The empty shotgun shell, belly-up Blue Jay, dying crows and the hidden wing of a Barred Owl all give evidence to their fatal encounter with a “hunter” attracted to crows and jays mobbing a day-roosting owl. While the painting is a reminder of all Man’s crimes against nature it is also a statement of the tragic beauty that exists throughout nature; symbolized here with the emergence of spring crocuses amongst the dead.
Challengers on the Chilkat
Acrylic on hardboard
32 X 56″ image size
A 48,000-acre preserve encompasses a vast valley along the famous Chilkat River flats near Haines, Alaska. In the summer the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is home to hundreds of nesting Bald Eagles, but come fall and winter a late salmon run and warming waters that percolate into the Chilkat, attract the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles! I recall a day in November when I counted some 2000 eagles feeding, fighting and resting along a six-mile stretch of the river. On the rocky riverbanks, eagles challenged one another for the choicest of salmon – while competing with the ever-present magpies, gulls and ravens.