Cairns are an artificial pile of stones often erected as landmarks. Some mark a path or a burial site. They can commemorate any sort of event, from the site of a battle to a place where a basket of eggs was dropped. Each of The Birds in this series represents an important moment in my life that I want to remember—whether it was good or bad. They are life lessons that I’m sharing with you. They are my cairns.
I use birds as a canvas or skeleton for my life experiences. I chose birds because they are familiar to us all. They build nests, some fly, some sing. They are resilient and colorful. My goal was to chose birds with the qualities and color of the feeling I was experiencing. However, life and its decisive moments occasionally bow to the practical. I spend hours drawing and that gives me a lot of time to think but sometimes I get hungry. My favorite cereal is Lucky Charms, so occasionally yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers will find their way onto the paper.
The Birds are one of a kind pastel drawings and my intent is to push the medium of pastel and pencil to the point that it takes on an expressive, painterly quality. In paint, you can be explosive. The medium is wet and can be textured. But drawing with pastels is a controlled, dry medium. For this series, I choose bold colors and did all of the creating, thinking, and drawing on the paper. I’m working to create dry paintings.
I’m really a story teller. But I draw my stories rather than speak or write them.