nature inspired; bourbon fueled
Bourbon & Birdies is a Florida-based small art business owned by artist Kristen Summers. Kristen is a second-generation Florida native and although she currently lives in Tallahassee, she considers all of Florida, from the beaches to dry prairies, to be her backyard.
Through her whimsical watercolor birds, Kristen strives to promote ecological conservation and inspire environmental stewardship in others.
Kristen's masterful use of color and brush strokes creates beautiful and unique paintings honoring the wildlife and vision of the "real" Florida.
Whether it's the tiny ruby-throated hummingbird or striking great blue heron, each of Kristen's birds has a big personality. Kristen's artwork is inspired by the swamp, the sea, and saw grass prairies of Florida. Her work is wild, passionate, and so very, very, Florida.
Her passion for Florida and the wild spaces in it inspired her to give back to organizations committed to promoting ecological and wildlife conservation. Learn more about Bourbon & Birdies partnerships on the Florida Legacy page.
Why birds? I've always loved birds, so it was natural for me to want to try my hand at painting them. Florida is home to such a diverse population of birds and also hosts a menagerie of migratory birds. Although it is a challenge to capture their expressive personalities in a 2-D format, I find that I am always up for the challenge with a brush in my hand!
When did you start painting? I've always been "artsy" but I never had any formal training in paints or watercolors. I first really started painting in the beginning of 2015. It's been a wild ride since then, but I wouldn't change a second of it!
Where does the bourbon come in? Whenever! My drink of choice is either bourbon on the rocks or a well-made old fashioned. I came up with the name Bourbon & Birdies when I was in a bar with some friends, drinking whiskey, and I loved the alliteration and juxtaposition between bourbon and birdies. The name stuck.
What is your favorite bird? I think all birds are wonderful, by my favorite is the swallow-tailed kite. Watching them soar overhead with their distinct forked tails is just such an incredible experience.
Do you participate in shows where I can see your art? I do! One of my favorite parts of being an artist has been the opportunities that I have had to travel all over the state to participate in shows and festivals and make new friends in new cities.
I have participated in the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival in Tallahassee in 2016 and 2017; the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa as an Emerging Artist in 2017; the Gainesville Indie Flea in 2017, and the DeLand Indie Market in 2017. I have also had my paintings featured at Renditions, an Art Space; Southern Exposure Art Gallery; the LeMoyne Arts Gallery; the Tallahassee Watercolor Society's Brushstrokes Exhibition at City Hall; Juniper Market (St. Augustine, FL); and Black Dog Cafe. In 2018, I was the featured artist for Hearth & Soul's Summer Artist Series.