Abel Contemporary Gallery,
524 East Main St. Stoughton, WI
June 3rd - July 17th, 2022
My submissions for the group show The Aviary include screen prints and paper sculptures. Lately I've been creating a good deal of bird art and I'm a bit surprised because I've deliberately focused on landscape for years. Some of this new emphasis comes from my keen interest in getting into the Birds in Art show in Wausau at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum. Two of the pieces in The Aviary have been or will be in the Woodson show. I have been fascinated by birds since my childhood however and while other kids assembled car, boat, and war machine models my mom bought me bird models. I've always been interested in natural history and in animal behavior so animals and landscape as inseparable components of ecosystems makes perfect sense. Reading bird behavior has made me aware of many things in my surroundings including the presence of other animals, people, and shifts in the weather. Here the focus is birds and in each case I try to animate still shapes or objects with life energy, my constant goal in making art.
You may be interested to know that the print Super Hero was made possible by my constructing the paper model of the peregrine. I didn't have my own photographs of a peregrine in the position I wanted nor at the right angle. So I studied material I could find on the web to construct my model and positioned that so I could draw it and get the forms and features correctly rendered in my drawing. I ultimately altered the sculpture in the interest of varying it from the print but the sculpture was essential for me in creating a sense of volume and appropriate feather pattern placement. My gut tells me I'll revisit the sculpture and make the next version more like the print. I like the idea of the bird as a living missile.