January, 2016 to August, 2016 John Costin: The Birds of Florida
A resident of Ybor City (Tampa), FL, John pursues an interest capturing in visual form the rich and diverse bird life and other subjects of his home state. With a background in contemporary art, he creates life size images of birds that explore nuances indigenous to that species. "Through my art I strive to capture and personify birds, enriching the viewer’s perception of this particular form of wildlife which they may rarely have an opportunity to intimately experience…….” Working in the etching medium, he creates complex and colorful images of birds, botanicals and other subjects that enrich the viewers’ perception.
While attending the University of South Florida he studied Intaglio art that piqued his interest in etching and continues to this day. It is a way of combining graphics, painting, sculpture, and engineering into one art form. Starting with a polished plate of copper, the image is directly etched by hand on the plate as if it were a canvas. This process takes from 6-8 weeks to complete. These plates are then skillfully wiped down with ink by hand, and then printed on high quality rag paper. Afterwards these printed images are hand painted with oil paints for rich color quality and subtle nuances of detail, making each piece unique.
The medium has an extremely large range of possibilities, giving many directions for his imagination to explore. The visual qualities are very enticing: colors ranging from subtle to intense, black tones going from delicate to velvety black, textures that are limited only by one’s imagination, and lines that range from needle thin to broad and bold.
John has been a professional artist since 1979, exhibiting in numerous shows and winning awards throughout the south. His work can be found in collections at Eckerd College, Ferman Motor Car Company, General Motors Corporation, Shutts & Bowen, Tampa Bay History Center, Bankers Insurance, State Library of Florida, University of Miami, Raymond James Financial, Inc., Tampa Museum of Art, and the Polk Museum of Art to name a few. He currently is creating a book of his etchings depicting the large birds of Florida. The book is registered with the Library of Congress.