New Ornithology BY Nicole

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John Anderson (Ornithologist and Artist) was born in Kyabram and educated locally, and as a young boy had a fascination with birds, collecting eggs and nests as a pre-teen. His interest in birds was initially stimulated by receiving ‘What Bird is that?’, as a gift from his father when he was about 7 years old.

At the age of 15, John began a 4 year apprenticeship as a potter with Rudi Dybka, working out of studio in Bishop Street, Kyabram. A year after finishing his apprenticeship, he began to explore painting. He continued creating works in ceramics, while increasing his focus on painting. For the most part, he painted birds. Birds also featured in his ceramics – he made sculptures of owls, platters decorated with various bird motifs, and floor and wall tiles and murals adorned with kookaburras, the Tawny Frog Mouth, swans and other birds from the Sunshine Coast region where he lived for 20 years.

After moving back to Kyabram in 1998, John concentrated exclusively on painting. His subject was local birds. In 2009 he bought a property in Merrigum and relocated his studio there. For the last 3 years, John has been working out of his childhood studio – a shed in the backyard – in the family home.

John has exhibited extensively in Queensland at galleries in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, and has appeared on the ‘Colour in Your Life’ art programme on TV. He recently exhibited in Murwillumbah, New South Wales.

More recently he exhibited his ‘New Ornithology’ collection at the Kyabram Town Hall Gallery.
The images in this exhibition were inspired by the birds of the wetland environments in Kyabram district and beyond. The paintings included some of the more elusive species of Freckled Duck and a Cape Baron Goose, and the more common of our native birds: the Crested Grebe, the Cormorant and the Tree Duck.

All John’s artworks are acrylic on canvas with fine design details done in pen. John’s pallet consists of bright, bold colours, often adorned with gold. All artworks are for sale.

Coinciding with his recent exhibition, John held  ‘Waterfowl in the Wetlands’ guided tours at the Kyabram Fauna Park. These were very successful and will be held again in Winter. To keep updated on John’s next exhibitions or ‘Waterfowl in the Wetlands’ tours, go to Kyabram – My Kind of town Facebook page.

To view more of John’ artworks go to or contact John on

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