Johanna Hildebrandt Series: Bountiful Birds

Johanna Hildebrandt's paintings feature many creatures none more magnificent than the Australian bird life which comes in an amazing array of shapes, sizes and colours and are a feast for an artist to indulge in. If you missed the previous post in this series please click here.

The highly intelligent and delinquent cockatoos are always a special treat to see and Johanna has beautifully placed them in their wonderland as shown below.

Cockatoos 1988, 30x22cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Painting Collection of Andrew from the Hunter Valley, NSW)

The cockatoo family come in a great variety, all as cheeky as each other - competing to see which one is the most magnificent. The Palm Cockatoo below is surely the front runner in this parade.

Palm Cockatoo 20x28cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Painting Collection of Andrew from the Hunter Valley, NSW)

Johanna brings into her compositions a magical interpretation of all species of Australian birds against a backdrop of intricate foliage as magnificently display in Emerald Lake below.

Emerald Lake by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit:

Johanna explains: My paintings start in different ways; it might be a colour scheme, a particularly beautiful sunset, or perhaps the observation of birdlife in the treetops. Often the paintings are backlit and the foreground images are layered and silhouetted against a luminous twilight. 1

Andrew's collection is extensive and we will concentrate on that but his sister Catherine also has a Hildebrandt hanging proudly on her wall. The title Wilderness in Bloom says it all - Johanna certainly does create the Australian wilderness in its finest colours, shapes and textures.

Wilderness in Bloom by Johanna Hildebrandt (In the collection of Andrew's sister Catherine)

She also likes to give the more unusual birds a showing as we see with Cassowary who gets to have her portrait done with her chicks and a background of vegetation in keeping with her appearance of not too showy.

Cassowary 1993, 19.5x15.5cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Painting Collection of Andrew from the Hunter Valley, NSW)

But speaking of showy - the Australian lyrebird with its spectacular feather display is always a sight to behold. And again we see Johanna using her love of moonlight to show off this performance and the gorgeous and much loved banksias make a perfect compliment to this ornate featured display.

Lyrebird and Banksia 33x24cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Painting Collection of Andrew from the Hunter Valley, NSW)

Not long after Andrew discovered Johanna his friend Allan (a friend of long standing) also fell in love with her paintings and is the proud owner of five Hildebrandt paintings all of which feature birds. 2

The Lyrebird by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit: Allan's Collection)

These wonderful paintings even more enhanced by the frames. I am sure we would all love a Hildebrandt hanging on one of our walls at home!

Victoria's Riflebird by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit: Allan's Collection)
Preening Egrets by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit: Allan's Collection)

The painting of Bird Life at the Lily Pond shows off once more the startling colour Johanna has used and the exquisite combination of creatures and foliage to create a visual narrative of mystical intrigue.

Bird Life at the Lily Pond by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit: Allan's Collection)

The fifth Hildebrandt owned by Allan is very different in style though still features birds. You will have to wait until the post titled Johanna Hildebrandt Series: The Changing Landscape appears in a few days.

Johanna explains: I was surrounded by vivid colours of exotic birds and parrots, and an abundance of wildlife. In 1980, I picked up my paintbrushes because I was eager to communicate my impressions of these luscious landscapes and its inhabitants. I started painting unselfconsciously, responding honestly to the world around me. For me, creating art is a natural and intimate process which corresponds with the Naive Art movement.1

If you have been reading through all the posts in the Johann Hildebrandt series you would have seen a video where Johanna is painting and explaining the processes she uses in great detail. The painting she is working on in this video is shown below and if you missed the video click on the painting and you will be taken to the video on Youtube.

Eastern Spinebill 36x28cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit:

We will conclude today's showcasing with the Pied Oystercatchers as this painting makes an excellent segue into the next two posts - the first of which which is going to focus on Johanna's love of including water in her paintings and water creatures. The penultimate post in the series is going to show you the changing landscape as Johanna's paintings style evolves to reflect her changing vision and how she expresses this in paint on board.

Pied Oystercatchers 25x30cm by Johanna Hildebrandt (Credit:

© Thank you to Johanna Hildebrandt who kindly gave permission for the images of her works to be shared on AnArt4Life and for providing assistance in the preparation of the posts on her works. All the paintings displayed were created in acrylic paints on canvas. She has had more than 20 Solo Exhibitions in Australia, Japan and Germany and has taken part in many important group shows internationally.

Thank you also to Andrew's sister Catherine and Andrew's friend Allan for providing the images of the Johanna Hildebrandt paintings which they own.

Andrew would also like to give a plug to Clare Farrelly who does such a wonderful and professional job of photographing these paintings so that they can be presented in such a way which is fitting to be showcased on the AnArt4Life blog.

This series of posts on the paintings of Johanna Hildebrandt would not have been possible without the support of Andrew from the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales who so generously wants to share his remarkable collection of paintings by Australian artists with a wider audience. Tomorrow while we have the day off you can look back over the past posts from AnArt4life on Collectors without whom there would be almost nothing to share!

2. Correspondence with Andrew Johns