Julian artist Joe Garcia’s “The Smallest Bird Sings the Sweetest Song” exhibit opens in Santa Ysabel Art Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 3, and will be in the gallery through Jan. 15.
The public will have an opportunity to meet Garcia at an opening reception for his exhibit in the gallery, 30352 Highway 78, from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Garcia, a nationally acclaimed wildlife artist, creates his paintings of birds, with a focus on smaller song birds, in oil and watercolor.
His career as a wildlife painter began about 30 years ago with the construction of a large aviary that would become a habitat for quail. He would go into the aviary and sit with the birds, drawing, painting and photographing them, and eventually learning and depicting each quail type accurately, and his fame as a painter of birds grew.
A native Californian, Garcia grew up on a small ranch near Escondido, where he developed an awareness of wildlife and habitat.
He studied illustration at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and worked as a graphic illustrator before deciding in 1983 to make fine art his primary focus.
His work is featured in major wildlife festivals throughout the country, and in 2010 he was selected to be a judge for the Federal Duck Stamp competition. Garcia is the author of “the Watercolor Bible” and “Mastering the Watercolor Wash,” both published by Northlight Books.
In addition to his wildlife paintings, Garcia is known for his landscape paintings, both plein air and studio, and for watercolor workshops he has taught throughout the United States and in Italy, France, Greece and New Zealand.
He has been a demonstration artist for the PBS series “The Artist’s Workshop,” has been featured in numerous art books and magazines, and has written a major article for “Watercolor Magic.”
In June of 2012, Garcia will teach a workshop in Chicago for the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and in September he will be painting in the Rocky Mountains as the official artist-in-residence in Breckenridge, Colo.
Santa Ysabel Art Gallery is open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call 760-765-1676.