Beautiful Rustic Portraits of New Zealand Birds Created on RecycledTimber


Photo Credit: John Jepson/Etsy

A New Zealand-based artist John Jepson of Kanuka Glen Art draws beautiful portraits of native birds using chalk, colored pencils and charcoal on blocks of recycled wood that’s found in the countryside surrounding his home.

Jepson says his inspiration came from a “passion for native bird life and a rural country lifestyle.”


He explained to felt, “It’s inspired by a place on our property in the New Zealand countryside where I discovered a beautiful hidden gully of native trees and plants. The gully is an island of serenity in amongst acres of scrub and incredibly spikey weeds. The tall Kanuka trees there are the most prevalent plants in this gully and they attract a wide range of native birds to the cool shelter that they create. I find a lot of peace in this place. . . The birds I create for you represent a number of the birds that do visit me in my gully, and also some of the birds I dream of enticing in one day.”

Jepson truly makes the New Zealand bellbirds, kiwi, and tui come to life with his colorful, gestural marks on the timber boards.

His choice of materials, and works of art, also come from a desire to reduce waste. He explained, “The world’s resources are finite, yet somehow, we as a species keep mass producing more and more stuff cheaper and cheaper. Everything’s designed to either go out of fashion quickly or break at a predetermined moment. It’s all madness and it bothers me greatly. My artwork is a reflection of the way I choose to reject the norm. If something is broken, I’ll try my best to fix it; if it can’t be fixed then I’ll think of something else it could be used for. My canvases are all made from wood that can no longer be used for anything else, and I take pride in breathing new life into each one.”