Though I haven’t had formal art training, art projects have always been a part of my life, year-after-year. When I was in grade school, I entered and won Dubuque County (Iowa) Fire Prevention Poster Contests, and through high school years, I sketched birds in my rural environment as a pastime and hobby. When I went on to college, I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Iowa Natural History Museum where I helped students prepare small birds and mammals for exhibition. Preparing museum “study skins”, and actual mounts, were an important way to discover the anatomical make-up of birds, which were our primary focus in the laboratory. Understanding that anatomy was important for later work.
The museum background set the stage for my painting—I like to think of many of my painted illustrations as, simply, studies. They are snapshots, of sorts. Nothing really fancy, but just a wooded scene, a bird, or a combination of the two.
Phillip M. Pollock