Song Birds, Ribbons of Blackbirds and the Doppler Affect

A blizzard blew in 12 inches of snow, creating a flurry of bird activity at the songbirds first of storm

Within a short time, the dominant Red Winged Blackbirds took over the feeders, leaving the songbirds out on a blackbirds move in

We’d kept the songbirds fed all winter, and here it was, a  major winter storm, with their food source unavailable, and bitterly cold!  I wondered how much feed it would take to have enough for any bird that showed up, and scattered 30 more pounds of seed (20 pounds already out) in ten raised bed boxes, and within minutes, there were ten boxes of Red Winged boxes of bb

The sounds of their wings thrill.  They take flight all at once, the wingbeats fading in and out like the doppler affect when a train going by, a f-f-f-d-d-d-dddddddddd-d-d-f then as they disappear.IMG_1628

The Blackbirds quickly became most interested in the ground seed in boxes.  The songbirds returned and populated the feeders!
The joy of it built up until it was a sort of ecstatic energy, that ultimately led to painting, following the ribbons of movement.  IMG_1656



In the studio: Six windows of birds, six – six foot paintings (The Bird Ribbons Series) are on the walls, another storm, fresh snow, more bird seed, and a spotted dog – bird movement seen and felt.IMG_1677



Back to Tree Skeletons and Monotones

It’s shocking to be back in the Midwest.  The north wind blows through wool layers, the trees are bare and there are only the palest hues.  There’s been one hoary frost, that reminds me of winter’s beauty.

february 1, 2010 023Usually cold weather elicits a warm palette in the studio for balance, but right now, maybe just in the transition, it feels insincere.  The monotones are reflected in the studio.

IMG_1710A trip to the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, offered a quick transformation.  Walking into the building is to be enveloped within a many hued white sculpture.  As always, spending time in front of William Baziotes’ Crescent,  reaches deeply into the warmth of being.  The tag describing it, is pure nourishment for a cold February day.,

IMG_3285The next morning, a little shadow and light feels like a visual ballet.

IMG_2708The beach is the barest memory…

Vignette - Shore Bird Study 8x12



The Relationship between What is Seen, and What Happens

When I’m working in abstraction, there’s a natural move towards a color, a mark, and then a sort of conversation ensues that carries the piece to completion.  After the a day’s work, it’s common to see in the paintings what’s in the forefront for me experientially.  Until now, unless it’s referenced in a title, I’ve never recorded it.  Creating this photo journal is causing me to take a more formal look at the relationship between what is seen, and what is created.

It’s just guesswork though, who knows really where paintings come from.


jan 21  2008 053





The Warmth of the Sun

While the colors on the gulf are pale to intense blues, sand and shells, the warmth of the sun shows up.





Work Surface

While staying on the Gulf of Mexico, the studio is made from a 4×8 piece of plywood strung up outside.  IMG_0705

The Sun Drenched Series started here, and dried on a clothesline:Blog Image for Sun Drenched



The Poetry of Fish Bones

Fish bones:  stripped bare the delicate balance of life, delicately orchestrated, their perfect grace most often drifts unseen to the ocean floor.IMG_0696





Red Tide

Red Tide prevails here. The sea concocts toxins first felt in the lungs when winds blow towards shore. The ocean turns yellowish green and the birds all move from the water to the beach. Several days later, remains of the affected underworld are tossed out on the shore. The creative process begins…