|8" x 11"|
if there's one painting subject i fancy myself pretty good at, it's birds. my mom was a wildlife artist and amateur ornithologist, and i watched her tenaciously as a child. she could paint birds, carve birds into scrimshaw, name all the birds she saw, by their feathers or by their call. so when i left the nest and came into my own as a painter, i used to paint them lots, probably because it came most naturally. my favorite was to paint them larger than life so their presence dominated a room, to give them the kind of detail, with the sheen of individual feathers and the glistening beaks, that you felt so close, privy to something the human eye rarely sees in person. i hung those paintings all over portland and they sold like hotcakes. as of late, i've taken a break, so this little sleepy fledgling from my backyard is the first bird i've painted in a while. you see, this is what happened: i started seeing bird art everywhere. i was over-inundated. don't get me wrong: i love birds. but i love them in person too darn much to allow them to become cliche. let's just say this: i'm extremely phobic of being just like everyone else. so i switched, and started painting landscapes of urban decay. well, wouldn't you know it, before i knew it, i started seeing urban-friggin-landscapes everywhere too. it's a struggle to be original in a world full of creativity and innovation. so i gave up, and decided what the heck: it's okay to be one in a sea of many, blending in amidst the chaos. i soak up the world like a sponge, i filter the info like a whale's baleen, and spit it back out like a geoduck. it works for me. in the words of jim jarmusch: "nothing is original."