Monday, March 30, 2009

New Goodies for New Ideas

I had a truly great day thrifting yesterday (thanks Lani and Lindsey!!). I found the lovelies above to use as new characters to incorporate in the paintings for my project, The Nest Egg Art Project ( It is a body of work using endangered and extinct birds as my main subjects.

I want to place the birds with a domestically recognizable object. What is more "domestic" than objects from the kitchen? I selected these particular items because they come from a time period (to me) that represents the epitome of a picture perfect happy household. Whether that happiness is true or staged is another aspect that I find intriguing.
I also want to play with my usual wallpapered backgrounds by placing the design over a landscape-inspired ground. I feel this really emphasizes the conflict of indoors vs. outdoors.
Incorporating the endangered and extinct birds within this setting allows me to hint to the viewer that we are the reason for their demise. Loss of habitat is the most common reason for animal endangerment. Our "perfect" homes take the place of theirs.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Deer and Killdeer

This is a 16"x20" pastel sketch of a Killdeer atop a deer. The Killdeer is not an assassin, but rather gets its name by its call - a two-syllabled "kill-dee."

This sketch is a preliminary drawing for a painting which will be done on a most beautiful pre-made wooden panel. I usually build my own canvases but I have had some issues with warping and wanted to try something new. It is a continual experiment...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

3 Baby Chicks Perched on a Hanger

Imagine waking up and finding these little guys in your closet! I keep hoping one day....

Monday, March 16, 2009

I am On a Mission!

I am on a mission to spread art to all corners of the globe, no matter what the gallery size may be! I fell in absolute love when I found this 4 1/2"x3 1/2" mini fancy frame! A mini portrait was needed immediately! So there is no excuse - art should be in your car, your cubicle, adhered to the handlebars of your bicycle!

Magical Meat Carpet

I have done a couple of sketches of this baby Barn Owl and thought it was about time to paint the little guy. As I have mentioned before, I truly enjoy painting raw cuts of meat and it only seemed fitting that the owl should be standing upon a spectacular specimen of meatiness.

Originally, I was going to place both meat and owl on a dinner table with a, you guessed it, wallpaper background but after drawing them on the canvas, the meat turned into a magical carpet that needed to be soaring over a vast stretch of farmland.

Even though the setting is outdoors, I feel that the fresh butcher-cut slab of meat and the highly manicured plots of farmed land convey the same sense of human environmental-manipulation as an intricate wallpaper design.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2 More to Add to the Flock

I have been saving this White Canary for the perfect project and I couldn't think of a better use for him than the xArt group's first project. This band of creative souls consists of myself and 4 fellow Phoenix Art Museum employees. Every month we make a piece of artwork using a common material.

The magnificent wallpaper that I used in the background is March's material. Sandra, the founder (and also the coolest librarian in town) of the xArt group, provided us each with a piece of this vintage treasure. I can't wait to see the others!

This little Red-breasted Flycatcher is a commissioned piece for my friend Bryan (who is also a proud member of the above club). I really enjoyed working on this painting. I've grown attached to this bird but I know he is going to a good home which always makes me feel better.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Micronesian Kingfisher on Gun

Kingfishers are one of my favorite birds. This Micronesian Kingfisher is especially close to my heart. It is extinct in the wild and only survives in zoos. There is a total of 58 of these amazing birds left. I would love to see one of these little guys with my own peepers!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not a Bird!

Believe it or not, I do make non-bird artwork (although I immediately thought about putting a bird on her shoulder). I found the most beautiful photo of a Kalinga woman in an article about the more than 1,000-yr-old tattoo practice in the Philippines. In the photo she is covered from neck down in amazing tattoos. I wanted to take away what the article was focusing on and show her beauty simply as a person.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birds for Carol

This commissioned piece called for a flock of burgundy birds. I would love to know what the second bird from the left is thinking.