Christopher Spiker

Having a natural inclination to paint in watercolours; mixed with a career as a detail/design draftsman and a lifelong love of birds you naturally have some of the key factors that lead to being a bird artist.
In his earlier adult years bird photography dominated his creativity and painting took a back seat until about 1995. Since then Chris increasingly produced more watercolours of birds, landscapes and portraits. And now retired, Chris has finally found freedom to paint his favourite bird subjects- full time.
As a committed watercolourist, Chris also studies the works of other watercolour artists around the world whenever he gets a chance. Such studies satisfy the constant search for personal improvement in techniques, composition and styles.

Chris paints for a few reasons: firstly because he loves painting and drawing per se; secondly because it provides opportunity to be inspired by the subjects he chooses and experience the challenges that arise in creating a new picture; and thirdly to inspire other people to genuinely appreciate our wildlife and work actively for their conservation.

Every painting is a unique composition dependent on the mood to be created (e.g. a Golden Whistler in a winter’s evening light or Western Rosellas perched on a stump in glorious sunshine). Aided by advances in digital photography, fine details can be clearly recognised (e.g. feather structures) and therefore more reliably rendered. Chris is committed to ensuring that his paintings feature birds with postures and settings that are natural and the subjects look comfortable, which is the essence of an attractive portrait of any kind. Chris has always found nature to be full of brilliant colours, intricate structures and patterns as well as fascinatingly full of surprises. Whether it is the variable blues of a Splendid Wren or the subtle, deep dark but colourful nuances in the wing feathers of a black cockatoo, there is a discovery of new factors that occur no matter how often you paint the same subject or walk the same bush track. In recent years Chris’ bird paintings have been predominantly of resident species of Western Australia but particularly the three species of black cockatoos, numerous parrots, and small bush birds including the lovable wrens and inland water birds.

Bird portraits are normally painted on Arches Hot Pressed Paper using the finest professional watercolours and brushes that are currently available in the world. All framing is undertaken by professional picture framers to the highest conservation standards.

Since 2015, a range of paintings have been published as limited edition prints as well as greeting cards and open prints. Chris has original paintings available through three galleries and his work is represented in private Australian and International collections.

8 Settlers Retreat, Margaret River


Please note that many of the studios are private venues and not open to the public outside of the Open Studio's event dates. If you wish to visit a studio at an alternative time please contact the artist directly.