For the most part, the past few years my work has been non-representational. I am more interested in color, mood and energy rather than a traditional subject matter. I have found it more challenging and satisfying when I experiment with my medium rather than engage in technique centered around a subject. That being said – every now and then I have a bird or two creep in my work. Many ask me what (if any) the symbolism of the bird. Well here it is – the birth of the bird: About 3 1/2 years ago I began having dreams about trees. All kinds of trees. All stages, seasons, etc. The dreams continued for for about a month – so I took it as a sign and begin painting them. I painted about a dozen or so stylized dream “trees” – but was never really satisfied with the product. In real life it was a dreary winter. The trees were dead and every time I looked out my studio door there was this huge skeleton of a tree filled with black birds. I would drive around town and see flocks and flocks of birds in trees. That is initially where the birds came in to play. I began to paint silhouettes of birds in various patterned backgrounds. I had several different variety (a finch, sparrow, grackle, raven, etc) and sizes.
This is a painting I did in 2005 called “Perched on a Hook.” It is a stylized raven perched on a Kandinsky-like circle pattern – which was inspired by a vintage hook rug. When it was finished it really reminded me of traditional “folk art” (not outsider art, think American antique.) There is nothing special about this painting (or any of the birds) other than it being a pretty picture and I really began to experiment with mixing pattern with my usual painterly application. I also discovered the most amazing color of blue along the way.
So that was my speel – Not very exciting. I just wanted to explain why you see some completely different work from me everyonce and awhile. Sometimes I get bored with what I am doing and have to stretch my mind – take it on a little walk of sorts. Maybe I have a split personality? These days I still use the bird in my work – but is has become more of an afterthought.
I also wanted to show you a tattoo (not mine) inspired by “Perched on a Hook”