Why Birds? the Wings of My Inspiration

In the vibrant setting of my art studio, where colors dance, and feathers take flight, I often find myself fielding questions from curious guests. “Why birds?” they ask, or the classic, “You must really like birds.” (this is sometimes uttered a little sarcastically)

Little do they know, I’m not just a bird enthusiast — I’m a full-fledged bird nerd. In fact, some cheeky friends have nicknamed my feathered creations Murty Birdies.

© Nancy Murty | Mr. and Mrs. | 8×10 in | oil on linen | sold

The roots of my avian artistry trace back to the rolling hills of the Southern Tier region in New York State, where weekends with my grandparents unfolded like a magical tale. It was during one of those visits that my sister and I, in a moment every adult dreads, uttered the infamous words, “I’m bored!” In response, Grandma, armed with the wisdom of a seasoned kindergarten teacher, bestowed upon us a stack of paper and an eclectic array of odd colored pencils, urging us to capture the birds at the feeder.

Little did I know, that seemingly simple act would set the stage for a lifelong love affair with both art and birds. As I sketched and painted those feathered visitors, a flame was ignited within me — a passion that has burned brightly ever since

Holding a Common Yellow-Throat at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory.
Feeding a Black-Capped Chickadee at Mendon Ponds Park.

Through the years, my love for birds has become a conduit, connecting me not only to the avian world but also to my grandfather and father. It’s been a journey of discovery, learning about diverse bird varieties and their melodies and even venturing into the realm of bird conservation by volunteering at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory. Along the way, I’ve forged new friendships that flutter like colorful wings in the vast sky of my life.

Now that I’ve shared a snippet of my story, I’m eager to hear yours. What sparked your passion for your hobbies or interests? Who introduced you to that activity that brings you boundless joy and serenity? Whether it’s golf, music, knitting, quilting, reading, computers, or any other passion that paints your life with vibrant strokes, share your story in the comments below.

Let’s unravel the tales that make our passions soar


Similar Posts


  1. Stefani Tadio says:

    My mom taught my sister and me to craft for as long as I can remember. During our early years, she was a stay-at-home mom and taught us to bake, knit, crochet and needlepoint. My sister is a wonderful knitter and to this day, Mom crochets daily. I never stopped doing needlework from then on. After needlepoint, I went through a cross stitch phase, working with smaller and smaller thread count. Then I found paper embroidery. I’ve made thousands of things, and am not one iota even close to being board.

    Both of our grandmothers were quite crafty and especially loved quilting. A whole bunch of years back, Gretchen and I made a full size quilt for each of our parents. My paternal grandmother was the school’s head lunch lady and also did catering. Gretchen and I helped her make favors sometimes. My most vivid memory is Granny teaching us to make hollyhock dolls.

    Whoa. I just felt a big hug from my family. Thanks for that, Nancy!

    1. Nancy Murty says:

      Love that you felt a big hug from your family. It’s so nice when that happens!

  2. Love your story about your birds and why you paint them! It is so true that what we get introduced to and grow a passion for as a child is carried into our art. Thanks for sharing about your grandmother! What sweet memories to have.

  3. Kathleen Perricelli says:

    Thank you for sharing the beginnings of your beautiful art. I guess my mother’s love of birds is the reason for mine. I love to watch them out at the feeder. I was so drawn to your art the first time we walked into your studio at the Hungerford.
    – Kathy P.

    1. Nancy Murty says:

      It sure is fun to watch them at the feeder, especially this time of year as many return for the warmer months. A common love of birds has become a great way to connect with people. Thanks for the comment, Kathy.

  4. Bill Welcher says:

    I enrolled at Cornell University in 1962 and when I got to 1965 my advisor realized that I was going to be short credit hours in the category of sciences, so I said to myself- ” Guess I will take Ornithology. I now could graduate in 1966 and I now had a hobby for life!! I was hooked after my first field trip. I even went to Montana for ten days about 15 years ago to pick up 28 new species to add to my life list. I also have a passion for trees. Birds and trees certainly are connected. Love the picture you painted of the male Northern Oriole!! I bought for my wife’s 60th birthday. Love your work- Bill Welcher- Canandaigua N.Y.

    1. Hi Bill, I’m so glad you shared this! It’s hard to express just how much your message means to me and I’m overjoyed to know your story. What a trip that must have been to Montana. Thank you for reaching out and I hope we get to share bird stories someday.

      A little bit about choosing the name for the painting, “Curry Favor.” Curry was my paternal Grandmother’s maiden name, and the Redbud tree always held a special place in her heart as a symbol of her childhood home in Indiana. My Grandfather tried to grow one for her, but the climate was too harsh in the Southern Tier region of New York. The first spring at our current house, I was so excited to see a Redbud tree, and every spring when it blooms is extra special as I think of her and home. My paternal Grandmother is the one that nurtured my art and love of birds, and so I named the painting in her honor.

  5. Janie Rossetti says:

    As a self-taught seamstress, I taught myself to sew when I was 11. I have sewed many clothes and gowns for my children and myself. I came to quilting many years ago as a way of making matching quilts for my girls. My love of quilting was reignited when I saw your quilt Harvest Spice. I still use that quilt during the Fall. I enjoyed making that quilt so much that I purchased your quilt Harvest Home, but I never made it. My love of quilting was reignited when I retired 2 years ago. Believe it or not, but I am right now making that Harvest Home quilt. Thank you so much for your beautiful designs. For now, I am enjoying quilting. I hope to add painting watercolors to my hobbies soon. I love your oil paintings of birds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *