Saturday, April 25, 2009

Love Me

I can't seem to get enough of peregrine falcon chicks! This little guy, entitled Love Me, is painted directly onto a mounted piece of vintage wallpaper.

For me, wallpaper is the epitome of "home". It represents civilization, life, and humanness. It is taking a space and making it a permanent area to live.

I had a fantastic art teacher, Ms. Sylvestri, who referred to setting up our work space at the beginning of each class as "building our nest". "When you get your nests set up, come to me with questions", she would say.

I have never really put the two together until just now, but decorating your personal space with wallpaper or any other means of personalization in order to make a more comfortable environment for you and your family is just that - building a nest.

Placing the subject (a bird) in an environment that it does not belong (a home) has been an extremely enticing juxtaposition to me. With every painting I try to gain a greater understanding of this comparison. Animal vs. man and wild vs. civilization are extremely overwhelming topics when looking at the entire picture. I'll just have to take it bite by bite instead.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Peregrine Falcon Chick

This is a pastel and charcoal sketch of a peregrine falcon chick. This particular species has had a rocky past but thankfully now has a promising future.

The use of the pestiside, DDT, caused a rapid decline in the peregrine falcon population. DDT caused thinning of eggshells which resulted in the eggs breaking during incubation.

Once listed as endangered, the american peregrine falcon has made a recovery and in 1999 was taken off of the endangered species list.

I found a great quote in the most fantastic book, Peregrine Falcons by Candace Savage, "The peregrine is a bird with a naturally long life. But sensitive, high-level predators such as peregrines feed at the top of the food chain, and so have served as bellwethers to alert us to the invisible contamination of our world. It is because we have lost large numbers of raptors, including peregrines, that we discovered the progressive poisoning of our food chains by chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides."