The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Birds on Paper – Paula Swisher

Birds on Paper is a series of drawings by Paula Swisher. While the title is technically correct, the ‘Paper’ part doesn’t fully describe the medium. The paper is the pages of textbooks, preferably ones with graphs.

We’ve all doodled in the margins, maybe even “enhanced” a picture, but Ms Swisher’s work takes it up a notch.

Reminiscent of natural history text illustrations, it feels appropriate, especially as the figure often takes cues from the page it’s drawn upon.

Paula Swisher is currently a professor of Communication Design at Kutztown University […] She enjoys straddling the two worlds of the creative and the technical. The hand-drawn mark, grid-based design, and info graphics are all things that keep her excited.


She has a few different collections and collaborations up at her website, but Birds is my favorite.

S is for Sparrow

Blue Ink Pen Implementation

Silhouette Juxtaposition

The Normal Cardinal

More of Paula Swisher’s work at

One response to “Birds on Paper – Paula Swisher

  1. texastom46 June 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Beautiful art here! With ground being pages from textbooks or graphs, I was reminded of some Native American artist I ran across while on a recent to New Mexico. I found an artist (apparently reviving as tradition going back to the 19th century) of doing drawings and paintings on ledger paper. Here is a link in case you want to see what I am talking about: If you are really interested in learning more about this, just Google “Native American ledger art” and you’ll find a lot of links with further background.

    Anyway, am enjoying your blog! (I have my own art blog (also WordPress) in case you’d ever want to visit it. Just put “Tom Webber Portraits” in a search engine.

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