WA L K
Down Climber, 12 x 16 inches, acrylic on linen.
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203 Racine Drive, 910-799-9883, EclipseArtisanBoutique.com
Cotton Exchange, 311 North Front Street
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PAIR of does was grazing on his son-in-law’s cotton
farm late one evening. The scene is now a
gallery wrapped oil hung in Starbuck’s studio,
a painting he calls “Girl’s Happy Hour.”
“I never make it up, all of my pieces come
from something emotional that I’ve con-nected
to,” Starbuck says.
“Down Climber” is a painting of a nuthatch that caught
Starbuck’s attention; it’s the only bird able to climb headfirst
down a tree. “Little Miss Bluebill” is of a lesser scaup bluebill
that was taking a swim in the pond when David and Michelle
visited Duke Gardens.
Earlier paintings that detail every hair and feather with
acrylics hang on the wall just outside the bedroom his grand-daughters
use when they visit. It’s a wall full of discovery for
young girls. There’s a bunny sitting in a marsh, a painting of
the family dog, and birds in trees.
A transition to oil paints gave Starbuck freedom to expand
to impressionistic style — true art, he says, instead of an
“It’s creating the illusion,” Starbuck says. “You see what’s
there without me pointing to exactly what’s there. I paint
enough to where your mind will gravitate to it versus me giv-ing
you the complete script.”
His home studio is filled with more recent works, all oil
paintings, many of which are nearing completion.
“I had a mentor say once you finish a piece don’t touch it
anymore, and another mentor say a painting is not done
until it’s sold,” he says.
The Cape buffalo, also called black death, is known to have
killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa.
Starbuck is working on a 48-by-36-inch painting of the beast.
“My granddaughters come in here and they look at it and
they say ‘moo.’ The mountain lion on the wall up there, I
painted that mountain lion with the perspective of it getting
ready to take you out and they look at it and say ‘meow,‘ kitty
cat,’” Starbuck laughs.