The Art of Elaine Byrd and Ainsley McNeely
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Both Elaine Byrd and Ainsley McNeely enjoy the challenge of capturing the beauty, energy and emotion of the natural world, depicting with incredible accuracy the smallest details of wildlife in their native Alabama.
Elaine was chosen winner of the "Alabama Duck Stamp" competition and placed third in the prestigious "Federal Duck Stamp" competition. She has received numerous awards in other national, state and local contests and has also judged notable state and local contests. Elaine is currently publishing her own limited edition prints under the name "Byrd Art." She specializes in personalized portraits and was commissioned to paint an action portrait of Pete Sampras, the number one world tennis champion at that time. The limited edition prints are hand signed by Pete, one of which was purchased by the Wimbledon Museum of Tennis in Wimbledon, England.
Elaine resided in Mobile, Alabama and was active in the art community, having served on the executive board of the Fine Arts Museum of the South, president of the Mobile Art Association and of the Watercolor and Graphics Arts Society.
Ainsley McNeely has drawn and painted all her life. She originally worked primarily in watercolor and graphite then expanded into oil, pen and ink, pastel, sculpture and more recently casein, frequently mixing media to achieve the desired effect. Her oils use a Victorian color palette, giving them a distinctive feel compared to the contemporary colors used by other artists while her pastels are done on a handmade paper with a unique almost leather-like appearance, giving them an antique ambience.
Best known to the public for the series of colorful posters she designed for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, A.D.E.C.A. and others, her work can be seen in museums, galleries, private and corporate collections in North America, Europe, and Australia. Ainsley's wildlife paintings, sporting art, portraits, figure work and miniatures appear in shows throughout the U.S., winning awards in many competitions including the World Wildlife Art Festival, The Art Show at the Dog Show, the Grand National Art Contest and many others. She designed the 2001-2002 Alabama Duck Stamp, was president of the Alabama Miniature Art Society and was inducted into the UMS-Wright Hall of Fame for Fine Arts. Ainsley gives presentations to various art, conservation and business groups and occasionally teaches workshops. She holds a B.A. in studio art from Florida State University and a master's degree from the University of South Alabama.
Pastels, Realism, Nature
Arts and Humanities
Jagworks, "The Art of Elaine Byrd and Ainsley McNeely" (2012). Libraries Galleries and Outreach History. 21.