Monday, August 27, 2012

I just returned from a week long artist business boot-camp in Port Townsend.  The program is called ‘EDGE Professional Development’ sponsored by Washington Artist’s Trust.  Fifteen of us were selected from around the state but only three of us were men.  I felt right at home having been far outnumbered by a lot of sisters. One benefit of this boot camp is to have the opportunity to collaborate on joint shows with some of these artists as well as work together creating artworks with feathers and other mediums.  For instance, Kara McGhee paints realistic birds sometimes using interesting lighting effects so a joint show makes sense.  Laurie Fronek 'draws' in 3-d wire sculpture and there may be an opportunity to collaborate on a 'wire-feather' piece.

Artist Trust offers support to artists in many ways: grants, professional development, opportunities like shows, connection with other artists, and fellowships and grants.  And not just visual artists like me but writers and performing artists.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Swallows in Flight #1

I love watching the barn swallows fly and will be sad when they leave in September.  I made this piece in their honor.  They make their home in my barn and I get to watch their young grow up although a local Merlin falcon has been having its way with a few.  The feathers in this piece are from the wing of a Lilac Breasted Roller.

The strikingly colored Lilac Breasted Rollers live in Sub-Sahara Africa.  Their form is close to barn swallows in silhouette—with the forked tail.   I started out drawing silhouettes of the Lilac Breasted Rollers in flight but ended up with swallow shapes since I am closer to these birds.  In the piece, I wanted to highlight the blues of the sky from where the swallows swoop, eat, socialize, catch airborne feathers for their nests, mate, drink from my sprinkler, and frolic.   The small size of the feathers and hence the cutouts was a challenge.