I guess it started out with this large collage.
I am always on the lookout for texts/books with a natural history slant, and a particularly fruitful visit to the Kane county flea market garnered me quite a few treasures… so I started out with a collage from parts of an antique birding book, then thought perhaps I could use those wing diagrams that I found years ago, so I dug them up and made a silkscreen of them and included those as well. And that lead me to thinking of nests and eggs and spending way too much time looking at a field guide to bird’s eggs and evaluating their different patterns and how they are made. So of course, I had to stop and make a screen of those as well. Fast-forward and here is the result.
Nature Ephemera: Flycatcher Fossil Fungus
Well as it frequently happens, one piece leads to another. Sometimes its preplanned and logical, but sometimes its merely not wanting to waste the rest of the palette you've mixed or that screen that's loaded with ink and will just go to waste, so why not put it on…. (she thinks as she looks at all the potentially eligible projects/problems/prospects on the wall…) that one. I found two potential recipients. And so that's how these two what I like to call “peripheral pieces” were started….
And there they stayed for weeks, with countless options being considered for the center/focal point. An actual nest and egg were an obvious choice-sure! That would be fun, and although I have a good collection of both- none of them were a perfect fit. So- they hung there bugging me.
Then I did an acetone transfer onto an old page for another piece, and perhaps it was the palette of the old page that seemed to lend itself to the colors of my unfinished panels…or? But anyway it hit me that this could be the solution. . …and as soon as I tried a very old birding illustration on that page- that was it.
"Tree Swallows on a Wire"
So not only did they provide the focal points for these two, it spurred me on to other pieces. I greedily went thru pages of this old book, selecting birds not only for their beauty- but getting sucked into reading about their habitats and behaviors… not really what I should be doing with a big deadline looming on the horizon! But those passions fueled these small ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and were the perfect solution for me to use more of that bird imagery- and my feather collection- on a small scale….
I totally enjoy playing around with pure abstraction of color and pattern- but it is just not enough for me. I am compelled time and again to incorporate examples from nature that relate…. and if it leads to hours perusing birding guides, then so be it. I guess I am really am a wannabe naturalist with an artistic bent. I plan on continuing this birding series further…Stay tuned...