Julie Zickefoose: Nature Artist & Writer
What do others say about Julie?
Julie's writing is like the song of a Swainson's Thrush: it's utterly natural, it's beautiful, and it climbs to a higher plane. I wish I could write like that.
– Kenn Kaufman, author of Lives of North American Birds and the Kaufman Focus Guide to North American Birds
To watch Julie Zickefoose sketching a bird from life in the field is to see the bird come alive on paper with just a few strokes of her soft pencil. Her watercolors are as soft and lovely and delicate as she is. And her incredibly warm and descriptive writing style never fails – for a variety of reasons – to bring a tear or two to my eyes.
– Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Julie's word pictures are as vivid and eloquent as her art work. When she tells a story, she makes me feel that I'm standing beside her, sharing the experience.
–Lola Oberman, author, Dial "B" for Birder
Julie is a superb artist, a fine zoologist, and a sensitive spirit. Her work reflects all of these things, and through it she often reminds me what us "nature lovers" are here for in the first place.
–John Acorn, star of "Acorn The Nature Nut" nature TV series on Animal Planet and PBS.
As bird watchers we are blessed by the number of fine artists and illustrators that have emerged in the past twenty years. We are equally blessed by the number and variety of those writing about birds. There are even a few artists that write well and a few writers that turn out engaging sketches to illustrate their work. There is no one, however, who has not only mastered but elevated both crafts save for Julie Zickefoose. She brings an artist’s eye to her writing, giving it shadow and layer and complexity and she brings a writer’s eye to her art, giving it passion and humor and the impression that it is always somehow greater than the images it presents. Not since George Sutton have the two arts been so elegantly wed. Long after most of us are gone and forgotten people will be savoring her work. Not to mention that she sings and makes a mean salsa.
–Eirik A.T. Blom, BWD Columnist
In Australia, Julie "Renaissance Woman" Zickefoose might be called "the bee's knees." I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it's very, very positive. Julie writes as well as anyone, paints gorgeous portraits of birds and their habitats, keeps her husband in line (well, most of the time), and has got a pretty good handle on motherhood, midnight wake-up calls notwithstanding. I've never met her but keep tabs from afar. She's the real McCoy.
–Ed Kanze, writer, photographer, Elvisologist, home-brewer, and human being
Julie Zickefoose, one of the country's finest wildlife artists, also writes terrifically well – she's surely one of the classiest stylists working in the field of natural history. With great verve and pure delight, and in absorbing detail, she conveys impeccably accurate information grounded in her own acute observations and in her wide-ranging background in biology. She's especially fine at writing about human-animal encounters, and her essays unfailingly incorporate drama and suspense as they move toward satisfying conclusion."
– Mary Beacom Bowers, former editor, Bird Watcher's Digest
Julie Zickefoose is one of very few bird artists who captures the bird in a two-dimensional illustration. Her style, while unique, is nonetheless clearly reminiscent of that of the great Louis Agassiz Fuertes. The birds created on Julie's easel look just as they do when encountered in nature. There is an undeniable naturalness to all her work, a moment in the lives of her subjects, frozen in time. She sees and portrays birds as they are.
–John Kricher, Professor of Biology, Wheaton College, Massachusetts
Julie draws from a reservoir of knowledge and understanding of birds that, clearly, has been filled by years of careful observation and field study. And it is this rare and unique intimacy that she shares with her birds that infuses her paintings and sketches with such authenticity.
–James Coe, artist, author/illustrator, Golden Field Guide: Eastern Birds
Julie's watercolors are always a fresh response to nature that takes the viewer into her experience. Her art shows intimate observation of her subject matter; I especially admire her drawings that capture, in a spontaneous way, the essence of life.