Nine years ago I began a permanent sabbatical from twenty years of making non-commissioned portraits. I circled back to my first love, birds. Back in the early 70′s I stomped around the Oakland hills land Marin county looking for hawks and owls, but found mostly poison oak…

David Tomb in Borneo on the Kitabatagan River

David Tomb in Borneo on the Kitabatagan River

My work is inspired by birding trips near and far. Spending time in the field, in habitat and finding and studying birds coupled with research is the foundation for my work. With access to ornithology departments such as Cal Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York I can freely research and carefully draw bird skins (stuffed specimens). I use these studies as the basis for more developed complex works.

The scale of the bird images are life size and the resulting exhibitions are accompanied with live plant installations and sound loops with motion sensors. The art, the moist soil, the plants, and the sounds help transport the viewer into another world.

The recent body of work is of endemic birds from the Philippines. I went to the Island of Mindanao in early 2010 with a group of friends to see the iconic and critically endangered Philippine Eagle.

In late 2009 we co-founded an organization: Jeepney Projects Worldwide – Art for Conservation. We partner with local conservation groups to raise awareness and money for specific conservation projects. Our current project is to help save the Philippine Eagle from extinction and to foster conservation for its key/obligate habitat.

I currently live in San Francisco with my son Mitchell and wife Susan.