I first discovered Ryan O'Rourke
's work at the Hartford Art School Faculty show. At the time we were both adjunct professors—so I was surprised I had not seen his work before. His hand-painted birdhouses are nothing short of fantastical. Rumor has it that Ryan's grandfather would build these birdhouses by hand and then give them to Ryan. After he had acquired the equivalent of a small birdie housing project Ryan decided to paint one of them—one turned into many. Ryan often makes custom birdhouses on commission as well. The one shown on the top right was actually made for my other friend Ryan (coincidence?) as a present for his wife Jessica.
Besides making birdhouses and teaching, Ryan works as a freelance illustrator. Some of his clients include: The Wall Street Journal, The Hartford Courant, The L.A. Weekly, Travel and Leisure, Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe and PBS. He is also finishing up the illustration for a children's book called, "One Big Rain," which should be available soon!
Ryan's website is filled with a plethora of illustrations and birdhouses—I highly recommend a visit!
Given my weakness for hand-rendered type, how could I not love his work?