William Barnard

I am a vertebrate ecologist and have taught at Norwich University for 40 years. I am primarily an ornithologist but have studied fish, turtles, and freshwater sponges as well. My research interests have been the natural history of the Gray Jay, a rare bird found in the forests of the Northeast Kingdom. I am a licensed bird bander and have banded about 20,000 birds over the 42 years living in Northfield. My other area of expertise is the study of blood parasites in birds.

For 50 years, I have been engaged in field biology. The beginnings of my interest in art are reflected in the pages of my field notes. Nearly every page has a quick sketch of a plant, butterfly, or a displaying bird. These sketches were done to document specific traits or characteristics of the object to enable me to identify them when I returned to the office. In retrospect, I believe I was training myself to note greater detail.

I began carving spoons for Christmas gifts a number of years ago and soon moved on to birds and fish. I found myself spending more time painting these carvings than actually creating  them. So in 2008 I pulled out a canvas and did my first flat painting. I still find myself dabbling in a variety of media (watercolor, acrylic, pen/ink, woodcarving) and have not settled down to any single medium. Most recently, I acquired a wood detailer and began to add more detail to my bird and fish carving. I generally spend the winters carving and shift to painting with the appearance of the flowers in the Spring.

I recently retired from Norwich University and spend most days in the shop painting, carving, or making end tables that I paint with various scenes and designs. I look forward to expanding my efforts in this new period of my life.