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.