Monday, January 4, 2016

Put a Bird on It: A 2015 Art Review

Snow is falling softly here as I write today.  It seems a good time to take stalk of a bumper year for me in terms of career opportunities.
January will always mark an important time for me as it was 3 years ago this month that my work was first exhibited in the Lower Mainland in an emerging artist group show.  It was a great success all around when I not only got into the show but also sold the piece that was submitted.  Three years in and I have shown many more times, learning a lot about what is and is not possible at this stage.
Of course things are always changing, so I continue to challenge what appears possible.
I don't think that 2016 will be any different in that respect.
As for 2015, my impression of the year overall harkens back to the title of this post.  My bird obsession was not obvious to me until the last few months of this year.  But as the last three pieces I've made have had a bird in them (the new one I'm working on now adding a fourth) I feel it is safe to say I'm in a bit of a "bird phase."  
I know for sure that after this current piece is done I will make at least one more piece with a bird as a focal point.  I haven't intellectualized this too much as of yet.  I think it stems from nature as inspiration and birds being the wildlife that I am exposed to the most on a daily basis.  We live in a forested mountain area so birds are all around us.  Plumage is also very beautiful to paint and stitch.
There is much folklore and many myths attached to certain birds. I don't think of these animal's appearance in my work to be coincidence.  There will not be a time that I will be done with birds as subject matter since I made no concious effort to study them or use them exclusively as a muse.  I assume that they will flit in and out of my work forever.  Only time can tell.  But what a pleasure to sit with these creatures and come to know them in such an intimate way.
To stitch, study colour and gesture, it forms a bond.  An understanding of the type of space that they take up in the sky or on a branch.   It is a sincere pleasure to observe and depict.

In case you are not familiar with the post title (used in a very tongue and cheek way)  please click through to this Youtube clip of the funny show Portlandia for an explanation.

Wishing you all a very happy new year!       JJ

     flight, 2014

*please click the title of the post to comment or read past posts*

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