In my aviary series, I have observed the movements and expressions of song birds, ravens, crows, and owls of North America. My paintings capture textures like the oiliness of a Raven's wing or the down feel of a Barred Owl's chest. They also capture facial expressions and the body language of a birds's stance.
The birds are removed from their natural environment. They deserve center stage, because they are entertaining performers that exhibit a wide range of emotions. It is vital that these somewhat mundane and overlooked creatures are elevated to the realm of importance.
The backgrounds complement the mood of the bird with color, texture, and pattern. The various metal leafs I use in my work are a reminder of wealth and status, while also reflecting what is around them. Sometimes I apply plaster to build up interesting textures for the leaf to lay on. The patterns I use are derived from old damask patterns. The colors I use accentuate the mood, from joyful to mysterious.