2020 Keynote: The Art of Identification
In the same way that poetry conveys rich meaning in just a few words, the illustrations in a field guide need to give maximum information in minimum space. Tracing his own artistic development through sketches and paintings, David discusses the unique requirements and challenges of illustrating for a field guide.
The Sibley Guide to Birds, published in 2000, was the realization of a lifelong dream for David Allen Sibley, who began painting birds when he was seven years old and has continued painting them for over three decades. The Sibley Guide to Birds contains over 6,600 original illustrations by Sibley, now recognized as America's leading
ornithologist/illustrator. David Allen Sibley is the preeminent brand in American birding, and everywhere he goes, hundreds of fellow birders come out to meet him for his inventive presentations and lectures.
The Sibley Guide to Birds became the fastest-selling bird book in history, earning Sibley the moniker "the Beatle of birding" among the press. Stories about Sibley have run in The New York Times, Audubon, Time, and Science, and the author has appeared on ABC World News Tonight and on NPR;s Science Friday and The Connection. David Allen Sibley has been called the heir apparent to John James Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson, and his long-awaited guidebook immediately became the gold standard for bird identification when it was published. Used by millions of birders, from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide is now the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The second edition (published in March 2014) builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and an elegant new design.
DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY is the author and illustrator of the series of successful guides to nature that bear his name, including the New York Times best seller The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed art and articles to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and wrote and illustrated a syndicated column for The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.