James Rivington Pyne in BIRD – A Maine Art Show

James Rivington Pyne by Ric Kasini Kadour

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Sandpipers, terns, green longtails, pelicans, crows, and many other birds make up the volary of James Rivington Pyne’s sculpture. This self-taught artist is known for an attentiveness that captures the subtle gestures, stance, or temperament of his avian subjects while preserving and honoring the natural quirkiness of birds. His Stilt Sandpiper teeters on its long legs; Tern goofily flocks; and White Speckled Bird, Wings Up struts his pretty wings and long beak.

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“I try to capture, in birds for instance, either the subject’s extreme stillness (a heron fishing) or its opposite,” said Pyne. “I find the best way to express a bird’s edginess on a limb or briskness in flight is by rough, almost blurred outlines, similar to a sketch, rather than smooth finishes.”

After a career teaching English in the Philadelphia public school system, Pyne turned summertime residency in Maine into a full-time home. He began making sculpture out of driftwood and graduated to epoxies, plaster, casting stone, wood and bronze. His composite sculptures demonstrate a deep understanding of modeling, building, and craft.

“My work is stylized but the subject is never unrecognizable. A source of inspiration for me are the 18th Century animal miscellanies depicting creatures drawn by artists whose sole knowledge of their subjects came, not from actual sighting but from hearsay, folklore, and in some cases a desire to amuse or terrify.”

James has several pieces in the show BIRD, as well as a wonderful collection at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.  You can see it in person or on-line on his Artist Page.


BIRD will be at Maine Art Shows until September 7th. Come visit any day from 11-5 or view the entire show on-line at BIRD.

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