Kiley Busko

Sioux Falls

About The Artist

My interest in birds began in my twenties while I was living in an industrial area in Minneapolis. Surrounded by high-rises and concrete, I was beginning to feel alienated from the natural environment, until one day on a walk around my neighborhood I had stumbled upon a Great Blue Heron rookery on the Mississippi River. I was in awe that amongst the congestion and noise of the city was an entire community of these beautiful creatures with their slender necks and expansive wings. While watching them collect sticks for their nests, feed their young and catch fish, I began to wonder how many other species of birds lived in my neighborhood without me ever noticing.
Shortly after this experience, I began painting the birds I found in ornithology books and in nature with watercolor paints. As I was learning how to identify birds by their calls and colorations, I was also discovering my love for watercolors. The diversity of the medium allows for both precision and spontaneity in which I try to merge within my paintings. I use quick bold brush strokes with large fluid washes to create a sense of movement and time. The use of negative space and abstraction in my work allows for the viewer to interpret what they are seeing. I also enjoy creating texture and depth by using salt, granulating watercolor paints and intentionally creating watercolor blooms. I am inspired by the beauty and freedom of birds and try to capture their unique personalities in my expressive paintings.

Samples of Work