It’s truly something to warble about – The Biggest Week in American Birding has a brand new logo – a colorful, eye-catching design created by wildlife artist Darin Miller.
The logo incorporates five of the species that make this area so spectacular in spring – Kirtland’s Warbler, American Redstart, Mourning Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler and the Black-and-White Warbler.
Miller, a self-taught artist from Fremont, says he was intrigued and excited when approached about creating a logo for the festival.
“I’d known Kenn and Kim Kaufman for a little while,” he said. “Apparently they had been looking at some of my work on the Internet, and then Kim asked if I would do the logo.
“Kim had a decent idea, species-wise of what she wanted, which included species that generally people are going to see when they come to the lakeshore,” Miller said. “We felt it was important to include the Kirtland’s Warbler since we’d been having more and more sightings along the lakeshore in the springs.”
With the concept in mind, Miller went to work on a design. “The idea came together pretty quickly, though it was a challenge as far as foot placement and bird placement,” said Miller. “I tried to balance out the colors – the oranges, yellows, blacks and blues to make it visually balanced.
“It took a little work to squeeze that Black-and-white in there,” he added.
The birds in design were painted from reference photos that Miller – who describes himself as an avid birder and nature lover – had taken himself. “Every single one of the photos I used as a reference was taken at Magee Marsh, which is kind of nice, I think,” he said.
Over the years, Miller’s many trips to Magee Marsh photographing migratory songbirds have inspired a number of paintings, along with a growing knowledge of songs and nesting habitats.
Miller works in a very detailed style of oil painting. He believes painting an animal’s habitat is equally as important as the subject itself and he strives for his work to be as educational as it is decorative.
In addition to donating his time and talent to create the logo artwork for the Biggest Week in American Birding, Miller is donating the original painting of the design to be auctioned during the festival. Proceeds raised from the auction will help support local research, education, and habitat conservation – a cause close to Miller’s heart, as his commitment to natural resources is reflected in more than just his artwork – he is also an active volunteer on many conservation projects in the area.
Miller, a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, has exhibited in numerous gallery and museum shows across the country, including the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. As a recipient of the Don Eckelberry Scholarship Award, he was able to spend some time at the Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad, studying and gathering reference on many of the island’s species.