Now Loebel-Fried is selling one of her original pieces for the book, “Reuniting,” to raise funds for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s mission to improve the understanding and protection of birds.
Loebel-Fried said the idea for the book took shape while she lived on Midway Atoll for five weeks, volunteering to census nesting albatrosses. Albatrosses take turns incubating their egg, with one partner sometimes spending weeks at sea to hunt before returning.
Her intimate portrait, "Reuniting," captures the moment when the mates reunite, sitting together and preening each other gently.
“I was so fortunate to be in the middle of the primary nesting grounds for Laysan Albatrosses, and lucky to be in such close proximity with these amazing creatures,” she said. “The albatrosses were beautiful, their dances and vocalizations riveting, and their tenderness with one another very moving. I was inspired to create a compelling story and art that would also teach about albatrosses, their lives and the threats to their future.” “My process of creating art always begins with research,” Loebel-Fried said. “I sketched and photographed the albatrosses, then developed the drawing incorporating plants and other elements that are a part of the albatross world.”
When the drawing was ready, she transferred it to a rubber block, carved away all areas other than the lines, and then rolled black ink onto the surface. After placing the printing paper onto the inked block, she rubbed the paper into the ink and then “pulled the print.” After drying the print, she brought the image to life with watercolor pencils and washes of ink.