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Meet Ren Burke of Bird In Hand Studio in Fort Collins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ren Burke.

Ren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. My family was clued in pretty early when I was found painting the wall next to my crib with the contents of my diaper. Happily, I soon moved on to more traditional media and was always considered one of the “artsy kids” in school.

I was so fortunate to have spent the majority of my early life in Colorado. The state’s wild places fed my interest in the natural world, which also informed my burgeoning creativity. After an abrupt move to central Pennsylvania at age 11, I knew that I belonged in Colorado and that I’d be back as soon as I could. Twelve years later, after graduating from the confusingly-named Indiana University of Pennsylvania with my BFA, I headed back west to the place that I still considered home.

Over the ensuing years, I’ve worked in a variety of arts-related fields, from a bronze sculpture foundry to a high-end gallery and doing my artwork on the side. In 2015, I finally committed to making my art career a priority, and I haven’t looked back.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Easy? No… it’s been quite the rollercoaster full of ups and downs, but that’s what makes the trip more fulfilling! Having a career in the arts is an act of bravery, which is what I often tell myself when faced with challenges (and there are many). To be completely honest, I believe my biggest struggle is my own self-doubt surrounding my art. I can handle criticism from others. In fact, I welcome it as it helps my creative growth. It’s that whispering uncertainty that I wrestle with more often than not.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
I started Bird In Hand Studio as a way to showcase the wide variety of artwork that I create. I’m a painter, printmaker, sculptor and public artist. Regardless of the medium, the natural world, and animal life, in particular, is a central theme. An earlier academic interest in zoology and the natural world has translated into my aesthetic language. The rawness and honesty of nature is refreshing to me, filling me with a constant sense of wonder.

My paintings and murals are generally bright and colorful; my block prints bold and graphic. I render my animal subjects in a playful manner, some with an underlying current of drama and tension. This contradictory aspect alludes to the unpredictable essence of the wild and our place on the outside looking in.

I’m proud to call myself a successful artist, having been in business for a decade now. I’ve been building my portfolio over the years and have achieved several goals that I put forth for myself, including large-scale murals and children’s book illustration. I am represented by Trimble Court Artisans in Fort Collins.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’ve got several project ideas that are currently in development. Some are in more concrete stages, such as a children’s book that I’m planning to write and illustrate. I’m also focusing more on my murals. I love working big, and the walls are always an exciting challenge.


  • Murals: $1,000 – $15,000
  • Gallery-scale paintings: $150 – $5,000
  • Printmaking (block or digital): $50 – $1,500
  • Sculptures: $85 – $150

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jafe Parsons, Lamont Jones

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