Ornament #3 – Bushtit in Carmine Pink
This is another piece in my “Ornament” series, which combines birds with baubles leafed in precious metals. These baubles are not intended to objectively represent bird feeders, houses, or nests; rather, they function as whimsical, glittering perches for my favorite songbirds, emphasizing the very ornamental nature of the subjects themselves. The use of non-objective color here also heightens the effect. Bushtits are one of my favorite songbirds; they are active, noisy, and almost painfully tiny and precious. They are, however, a dull and uninspiring grey color, so my use of luminous carmine pink forces the viewer to take a very different look at an otherwise familiar bird. The orientation of the painting on the diagonal, as a “diamond” also contributes to the gem-like quality of the subject.
My paintings have long focused on birds and animals disassociated from their natural habitats and presented, not as common animals, but as objects of reverence, as icons. The “Ornament” series represents the latest evolution of that style, with the gold leaf handily suggesting the spirituality of nature.