Reimagining the Band-Tailed Pigeon

Artist Harry Campbell challenges himself with a new subject.

Books, eyeglasses, old cameras, industry, architecture—these are the types of objects and themes often found in Harry Campbell’s geometric illustrations of abstract concepts. Organic subjects are a relatively new focus for the Maryland-based artist, whose work, created with a tablet, a stylus, and a computer, is inspired by Picasso and other late 19th and early 20th century painters.

“For me, it’s necessary to constantly explore and take risks, not go with something that’s comfortable,” he says. “I like Audubon’s Band-tailed Pigeon because there are two of them; they’re a couple, like mirror images. I liked having that balance with the branches and the leaves. So I took the birds almost as they were drawn by Audubon and reworked the composition, making a ball out of the branches, like a cage.”

Now that he’s using plants and animals in his art, Campbell, who likes to hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and recently did a bike tour in Death Valley, plans to head outdoors more and use his modern tech to sketch like the old-time naturalists.

See all of John James Audubon’s Birds of America.