Susan Willemse

Susan Willemse

Location: Australia

I photograph Australian birds with my husband and paint them using acrylics and airbrushing on stretched canvases. More about the artwork I create and some of our photography can be seen at


Art Australian Birds

This artwork shows Australian birds photographed in Australia by S. Willemse. They are created using acrylic paints and airbrushing onto stretched canvas.

Eastern Rosella reflections “Eastern Rosella reflections”

Eastern Rosella reflections show the local Eastern Rosellas here in Canberra, Australia having an evening drink, their reflections showing in the calm waters. This artwork is 100cm X 50cm x 3.5cm and is done with acrylics and airbrushing on stretched canvas.

Cockatiels “Cockatiels”

Cockatiels show three cockatiels in a relaxed preening position. These birds are probably some of the better known crested birds of Australia as they make excellent pets. This artwork is 76cm x 38cm x 3.5cm and is available for purchase.

Crested Pigeon “Crested Pigeon”

Yes, even some of the pigeons are crested in Australia. These birds are gentle birds that use wing flaps to communicate. This artwork is 36cm x 35.5cm x 3.5cm and can be viewed on my website.

Three Galahs “Three Galahs”

There is a saying in Australia "Don't be a Galah". These silly birds are a stunning pink and soft grey, they have a gentle voice as opposed to some of the other cockatoos. These three were relaxing in the gum tree outside our cottage. This artwork is 60cm x 51cm x 3.5cm.

Cormorants: Dancing in the rain “Cormorants: Dancing in the rain”

Cormorants dive for fish to eat, often whole, then they spread their wings to dry out and they do this even if it is raining. This artwork is 76cm x 51cm x 3.5cm.

"Hope" Rainbow Lorikeet “"Hope" Rainbow Lorikeet”

"Hope" Rainbow lorikeet was created as Art therapy for severe pain aka CRPS. I tried to show that one could fly towards the light and keep going. I believe in Healing arts, mindfulness, wellness and neuroplasticity after this experience. I want everyone in pain to know there is Hope! Susan

King Parrots “King Parrots”

King parrots are gorgeous birds. The male is crimson red and the lady olive green. "Wild" birds often arrive to feed in private gardens much to the delight of their owners here in Australia. King parrots is 60.5cm x 46cm x 3.5cm and is available for purchase.

Swans “Swans”

Black swans are native to Australia and are the official emblem of Western Australia. They carry their cygnets around on their backs and get quite territorial at these times. This artwork is 90cm x 60cm x 1.5cm and shows water reflections as well. If you hold a feather to the light and turn it slowly you will see different colors reflected, this is what I have tried to show in this painting, the curly feathers being very attractive to the other swan's mate.

Pardalotes “Pardalotes”

Pardalotes are small birds (approximately 10cm) and hard to photograph as they move quickly as well. It is my husband that took the photographs to reference for this artwork. Thus the artwork is 41cm x 30.5cm x 3.5cm and the birds depicted are larger than life.

Ducks “Ducks”

These are Pacific black ducks and this artwork is large 152cm x 76cm x 3.5cm. I have shown these ducks in lifelike poses using copper tones, but have taken artistic liberty to color their environment because although Australia has blue sky- duck ponds and wetlands are not always blue.

Magpies “Magpies”

Magpies are Australia's singing birds, they are dressed in black and white and are highly intelligent as well. They also don't mind "swooping" Australians but I have never met a nasty magpie myself. The males have white on their backs, the female lighter grey and the babies grey all over. This artwork is 50cm x 50cm x 1.5cm. I would recommend downloading a app to hear these birds sing, they are common backyard birds.

Crimson Rosellas: Father and son “Crimson Rosellas: Father and son”

Crimson Rosella's are a stunning red color, the young having green feathers when young for camouflage.This changes as they moult and grow older. This artwork is 51cm x 40cm x 3.5cm.

Grumpy Kookaburra “Grumpy Kookaburra”

Kookaburras are known as Australia's "laughing kookaburras", they sound similar to hyenas (to me) in Africa, but this one was not amused being photographed and turned his back to us. They like to pinch food from picnic spots in Australia. This artwork is 45.5cm x 46cm x 3.5cm.

New Holland honeyeaters “New Holland honeyeaters”

New Holland honeyeaters are dainty little nectar feeders with a great deal of character. They are often found on native plants and thus Botanical gardens are a good place to see them. This artwork is 61cm x 30cm x 3.5cm.

Pelicans “Pelicans”

Yes, I know Pelicans are found everywhere but often when you find them their size and environment allow you to pause in time and appreciate a lot more than the birds themselves. You may even notice the sunset. Anyone who has seen them gulp down a whole fish will enjoy this artwork. Pelicans is 76cm x 61cm x 1.5cm and is available for purchase.

Rural Sparrows “Rural Sparrows”

Sparrows are also called house sparrows and they are found in urban dwellings and shopping car parks. Finding this family of rural sparrows in a hedge was therefore special. The size of this artwork is 30cm x 60cm x 3.5cm. The photograph of this family can be seen on my website.

Bathing Rosellas “Bathing Rosellas”

This artwork shows two Crimson Rosellas having a bath in a pool of water. There was lots of splashing from these half submerged Australian parrots and so happy were they that they did not even notice us. A magic moment! 50cm x 70cm x 1.5cm. Framed.

Sulphur- crested Cockatoo: Is anyone home? “Sulphur- crested Cockatoo: Is anyone home?”

This artwork shows typical Cockatoo behavior in the Australian bush, you see these birds tend to investigate suitable nesting hollows in gum trees to raise their chicks and occasionally they are occupied already leading to a flutter of feathers and a screech. Quite spooky. 70cm x 50cm x 1.5cm. Framed.

Starling “Starling”

Although Starlings are not native to Australia they are seen here. This little bird was standing in a pool of golden water, the feathers showing amazing blues and purples on the edge of a muddy bank. 61cm x 61cm x 3.5cm.

Mr. and Mrs. Emu “Mr. and Mrs. Emu”

Emus are one of Australia's favorite large flightless birds, the Cassowary being another. They have gorgeous round fire eyes and make deep throated sounds. Here the Dad looks scruffier with bushy eyes because he is the guardian of the chicks that hatch from emerald green eggs. The blue Australian sky and red-orange desert sand is shown in the background. 51cm 61cm x 3.5cm.

Baillon's Crake “Baillon's Crake”

Baillon's Crake are small Australian birds that run with heads down in wetlands amongst the reeds, thus this artwork has a Xanadu color. 91cm x 46cm x 3.5cm.

Galah reflection: Precious water “Galah reflection: Precious water”

An artist is often influenced by environmental factors, this was my reaction to hearing about Cape Town, South Africa severe water shortages. When we arrived in Australia it was at the end of a 10 year drought and seeing wild cockatoos drinking water and knowing their survival depended on this water made me realise that water is indeed more precious than gold. The reflection of this delightful girl (the females have red eyes after a certain age) was perfectly mirrored in the water, indeed the only ripples were created by her putting her whole head into the water. 61cm x 61cm x 3.5cm.

Finches “Finches”

Finches are delightful little grass seed eaters, this artwork shows three Diamond-firetail finches in different postures with their triangular red beaks and gorgeous feathers. 40cm x 50cm x 1.5cm. Framed.

Bindubi babies “Bindubi babies”

Bindubi babies show a pair of Sulphur-crested cockatoos (they pair for life) in their gum tree nest hollow with light reflected off their feathers. As they live on the side of a road I have watched these birds for over 11 years and each year they raise a chick there. They also return to the same nest each year and sometimes twice a year so they are definitely special. 46cm x 61cm x 3.5cm.

Tawny Frogmouth “Tawny Frogmouth”

Tawny Frogmouths are extremely camouflaged Australian birds that even pose as branches, thus even when you see one you are never sure it is a bird until it opens its eye. This is a small portrait of one that did and was not a branch! 30cm x 25cm x 1.5cm.

Seagulls “Seagulls”

Seagulls show two seagulls going for a walk. 35cm x 35cm x 3.5cm.

Noisy Miner “Noisy Miner”

Noisy Miners are small gregarious native Australian birds that like to be social in a flock and yes they can be quite vocal on occasion. They are sometimes mistaken for Indian Mynas. 36cm x 35,5cm x 3.5cm

Red Robin “Red Robin”

Red Robins are everyone's favorite winter birds because their red chests glow in the cold. This little Robin was photographed in a forest. 25cm x 20cm x 1.5cm.

Flock Sulphur Cockatoos “Flock Sulphur Cockatoos”

This artwork was created with Sulphur-crested Cockatoo feathers, acrylics, and airbrush. We have a trampoline for our cockatoos (it is safer for them than the ground) and these were photographed with other wild cockatoos to obtain the comical postures of these birds. They are fun, loud birds that are very social and are one of Australias most iconic birds. They like to chew, so need lots of tree branches or they are labeled destructive. They are also known by local people as "white ghosts" their feathers being pure white if they have not been in the mud. Being one of our most favourite birds, they were chosen as our logo on our geocaching pathtag and copyright. 91cm x 90cm x 3.5cm.

Yellow Robin “Yellow Robin”

This little Yellow Robin was so close to us we could almost touch it. It landed on a branch sideways while we were photographing eagles and allowed only one photograph before it flew off but it was a encounter that will always be remembered in the morning mist. A magical moment. 30cm x 30cm x 3.5cm.

Brown Falcon “Brown Falcon”

This artwork gifted to my husband shows the bird that did not fly away! He sat and watched my husband posing beautifully and stayed long enough for me to catch up and see him too. Again a precious moment with a precious bird, something that every birder appreciates and that I tried to capture in the artwork. The reason he sat so still was probably because there had been a kangaroo cull on the nature reserve the night before. 61cm x 45cm x 3.5cm.

Gang- gang girl eating Hawthorn berries “Gang- gang girl eating Hawthorn berries”

This artwork shows a Gang- gang Cockatoo eating Hawthorn berries using her feet as eating utensils, she was not going anywhere till she finished. We found her after a long geocache hike and it was with effort we managed to hold the camera still to photograph her. They are gentle birds with voices that sound like old tree branches, the female being grey and the male having red head feathers, their beaks seem very large when they are looking straight at you. They are Canberra's bird emblem. 51cm x 40cm x 3.5cm.

Egret “Egret”

This Egret was standing on a log by the waters edge with reeds surrounding it and a turtle further down the log. They have elegant curving necks. 60cm x 30cm x 1.5cm. Framed.

Fairy- wrens “Fairy- wrens”

Fairy- wrens are dainty little birds with tails that point skywards, the Superb Fairy- wren here in Canberra has a brilliant blue on the dominant male, juvenile males have not developed this brilliant blue yet. I have shown them hopping amongst the clovers as that is how we saw them, the female is brown with orange eyeshadow. 31cm x 26cm x 3.5cm.

Kookaburras “Kookaburras”

Four Laughing Kookaburras are shown on a tree branch with the purple mountains in the background, the golden yellow grass in the foreground and the blue sky so typical of Canberra, Australia. 76cm x 50cm x 3.5cm.

Rainbow Lorikeet in Fig tree “Rainbow Lorikeet in Fig tree”

Rainbow Lorikeets are brightly colored Australian parrots that have red, yellow, blue and green feathers however they are surprisingly difficult to see while eating figs in a fig tree. They are cheeky birds hiding behind the leaves. 46cm x 46cm x 3.5cm.

Crimson Rosellas “Crimson Rosellas”

This artwork shows five smaller than life Crimson Rosellas on branches with palm tree leaves. The younger birds have green feathers for camouflage and the adults are a stunning red. They were photographed in a fern gully. 76cm x 61cm 3.5cm.

Yellow- tailed Black cockatoos “Yellow- tailed Black cockatoos”

This picture shows a family of Black cockatoos reaction to their pine forest being harvested. They eat the pine nuts and grubs from these forest trees. The male has pink eyeshadow and a darker bill and the female white eyeshadow with a lighter bill. They have a very distinct sound. 61cm x 60cm x 3.5cm.

"Party boy" Gang- gang “"Party boy" Gang- gang”

This is a male Gang-gang Cockatoo having a party in the gum trees. The little tuft of feathers on his head are just plain cute and they have no idea how comical they look when they are acting so serious. This one was investigation a tree nest and showing off to his female partner, sadly the tree was cut down when we returned later but we will always remember him dancing around and showing off in his prime color costume. 60cm x 30cm x 3.5cm.

Sunset Corellas “Sunset Corellas”

Corellas are playful Cockatoos, they often swing upside down on the telephone or power lines. A flock of these birds passed through one evening during a back burn with the sunset on their feathers it was a fun hour photographing them. They were playing with pine nuts and holding each other's feet with some nips in between. The pecking order was established by sunset when they flew off to roost. 120cm x 40cm x 1.5cm.

Red- rumped Parakeet “Red- rumped Parakeet”

Red-rumped parakeets are not red, the only red to be found on them are their rumps, the rest of them range from green, brown to yellow. They appear almost shiny as they hide in the grass that they feed on and it is quite possible to suddenly have a flock of them fly off from within one meter of your feet without them
being seen beforehand. This little one paused to give us one look before flying off the barbed wire fence. 40cm x 30cm x 3.5cm. Framed.

Collage “Collage”

This is one of the first Australian bird artworks that I painted. I painted all my most favorite birds from that summer along with lilies that I grew and some fig leaves because it is the fig tree that attracted many of these birds into our garden. Of note is the single white "domestic" pigeon that arrived and lived on our rooftop for a while, he was the wildest bird of them all! 76cm x 61cm x 3.5cm.

Cockatoos, Galahs and LBJs “Cockatoos, Galahs and LBJs”

This large artwork shows a typical Australian bush scene, with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Pink and pale grey Galahs and LBJs, that is Little Brown Jobs or the nickname Australian's give to those hard to identify little brown birds often seen in the periphery of your eyesight. I have tried to capture the gum tree leaves, red sand and blue sky that is quite mystical here. 152cm x 76cm x 3.5cm.

Robins in spring blossoms “Robins in spring blossoms”

This artwork shows two Red Robins, a male and female flying off a branch covered with pink spring blossoms. 60cm x 30cm x 1.5cm.

Witoogies “Witoogies”

Witoogies is the Afrikaans name given to White-eyes, these small birds are seen in Africa, Australia, and Asia and are also known as Silver-eyes. The artist's surname is Afrikaans but these birds were photographed in Australia. I have chosen this title as Africa was where I first saw these delightful birds. They are painted larger than life- the artwork being 46cm x 92cm x 3.5cm and the birds being 10-12cm in real life. I hope you enjoy these little-feathered friends as I do, they are certainly full of personality and tend to stay in groups as well.

Wedge-tailed Eagles: Learning to fly “Wedge-tailed Eagles: Learning to fly”

This artwork shows our special place at the Eagle Nest. We watched these two young birds grow up from 1-week old chicks over several months. It was amazing to watch them and I tried to create these special moments in this artwork, they are playful birds, Mom is very protective, we were often watching them through the mist. Other smaller birds live at this nest as well but they were too far away to identify.This artwork is 61cm x 76cm x 3.5cm and was created with acrylic and airbrush on stretched canvas.We respect all nature and were very careful not to disturb these magnificent wild birds while photographing them as we feel this was a unique privilege. I hope you enjoy this artwork as much as I did researching it.

Spinebill on Kangaroo Paw “Spinebill on Kangaroo Paw”

Spinebills are small Australian birds that feed on the nectar of native plants. Kangaroo Paw is a native Australian plant so called because of its appearance. Watching these birds in Kangaroo Paws results in multicolor flashes of movement, a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in the sun. I have tried to capture this moment on this canvas and show the delicate balance between plant and bird in nature.

A couple of Gang-gangs “A couple of Gang-gangs”

Gang-gangs are gentle natured Cockatoos found in Australia. These two are a pair the male having a red hairdo and the female being slightly larger. They are comical birds with voices like creaking branches and they were photographed together in Canberra, Australia's Capital City perching in a Gum tree. This artwork is framed with a handcrafted Victorian Ash floating frame sourced from Australia.