This Art is for the Birds!

The Rock, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”

The Link, Winter 2018
| by Josie Newman |

Wildlife artist Ron Plaizier’s fascination with birds began when he was a small child and has only grown throughout the years.

“There are such a variety of birds, from the large soaring eagle to the small hummingbirds, that they’re a welcome and colourful addition to any nature painting,” says the Marmora based painter and woodcarver. He has produced approximately 150 acrylic paintings in the past 20 years, most of which feature birds. “I do paint other wildlife too such as black bears and rabbits and will paint more forms of wildlife in the future.”

“Plaizier began his artistic journey as a wood and soapstone carver 30 years ago…”

Plaizier began his artistic journey as a wood and soapstone carver 30 years ago but stopped carving because of his reaction to the dust. Most of his woodcarvings were of birds, too. His inspiration for some of these pieces came from birds of prey displays at local fairs. He has won numerous awards for his entries in wildfowl carving competitions.

Inspiration for his paintings has evolved largely from his hobbies of hiking and camping in the Frontenac area north of Kingston, where he sees a lot of birds such as loons, ducks and herons. More recently, he and his wife, Judy, have attended the annual bird migration in Long Point, Prince Edward County, where Ron has spotted a number of warblers, orioles and American redstarts which are also featured in his paintings.

He takes pictures of the birds and landscapes first and then bases his painting on the photographs. He paints on either canvas or mason board.

The subject for his painting The Rock, which features a pair of puffins, comes from his recent trip to Newfoundland, while the inspiration for some of his paintings of birds of prey, such as the golden eagle in Intense Outlook, comes from his travels to Acadia National Park in Maine and to the Canadian Raptor Conservancy near Port Stanley on Lake Erie.

Gatekeeper – Barn Owl was selected by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) for their National Art Portfolio in 2018. 750 limited edition prints will be auctioned in various retail outlets across Canada and online by DUC. Ron’s inspiration behind this painting comes from an afternoon of studying and photographing birds of prey at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. To add an element of interest to this composition, Ron decided to add the weather-worn and rusty gate to offer a contrast to the soft curves and shapes of the owl. He also wanted to show how nature and man can coexist in harmony. The fleur-de-lys was a little symbolic tip of his hat to his Quebec heritage.

Intense Outlook, acrylic on canvas, 14” x 11.”

Ron is also an active member of Artists for Conservation which endorses wildlife and conservation of their habitats.

Originally from the Chateauguay Valley in Quebec, he attributes his creative tendency to his mother, a soapstone carver who also did needlework and egg etchings. “She always encouraged my creative drive and would buy me clay or get me sketch pads.”

Since recently retiring from his job as Chief Information Officer with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Plaizier has had more time to travel and paint.

Ron’s paintings are featured in The Algonquin Art Gallery in Algonquin Park, Quinn’s of Tweed Fine Art Gallery in Tweed, Select Art Galleries in Newmarket and in his own art gallery adjacent to his home at 263 Marble Point Road in Marmora. To view more of Ron’s art, visit

Josie Newman, a previous full-time journalist who now works freelance, is a lifelong writer and lover of the arts. She lives in Oshawa, in an older house surrounded by antiques, plants and cats.

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