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Katonah Artist Unveils Birds-Eye View Of Westchester's Herons

Katonah Artist Julie Testwuide.
Katonah Artist Julie Testwuide. Photo Credit: Submitted
Julie Testwuide's "Great Blue Heron of Bedford" series is showing at Oak & Oil in Katonah.
Julie Testwuide's "Great Blue Heron of Bedford" series is showing at Oak & Oil in Katonah. Photo Credit: Submitted

KATONAH, N.Y. -- Bedford's blue herons are getting their 15 minutes of fame -- and then some -- thanks to local artist and photographer Julie Testwuide .

A Katonah resident, Testwuide said she's surrounded by a sanctuary where she has cameras ready at a moment's notice to capture the wildlife around her. She has spent the past few months on the Beaver Dam River and the rookery on Route 121 photographing the nests of eagles, wrens, robins and swallows.

She planted herself in these locales, she said, telephoto lens in hand, waiting patiently for the parents to deliver the catch to the newborn babies. "I was enamored of these graceful, four-foot tall birds as they soared, danced, stood guard and delivered food to their young," explained Testwuide. "These birds will continue to grace our streams and ponds for years to come."

In her newest exhibit, "Great Blue Heron of Bedford," showing at Katonah's Oak & Oil Gallery, she concentrates on a series of images from her time at the rookery. A preview reception will be held Friday, July 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Her process with this particular project involved printing her work on fine art watercolor paper using desaturated color and techniques that make the images appear painterly, resembling lithographs. She then framed them in both traditional frames as well as aged mushroom wood in an effort to resemble the trees that host the 22 nests she discovered on Bedford's Old Post Road.

Testwuide’s varied body of work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the U.S. and Europe. She is well known in Westchester for her large format equine pieces, many of which have been exhibited in local galleries, restaurants and shops.

Down the road, she said, she might do another show featuring some of the other birds and nests she found in the area. And look for a book called "American Porch Life" that has been 20 years in the making.

For more information, go to www.juliearts.com/ .

Oak & Oil is at 89 Katonah Ave., Katonah, (914) 232-8100.

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