Copyright 2008-2018 L M Grimes. Powered by Blogger.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Thank you for visiting the Bouncing Back blog. The art you see on these pages is career #2 for me. I was once a literary agent, working in New York, to promote authors and sell their rights world wide. That first career was fun, interesting and stressful. I loved it but I'm not sorry to be an artist and bringing beautiful things to my friends, family, and to you.

The tee shirt above is a premium you may choose for a $225 contribution to the cause. What is that cause? Preserving feathers from companion birds means that birds don't have to suffer violence to contribute feathers to fashion. It's a new way of looking at feathers in fashion and art! I have developed a way to process with molted feathers and make them look as good as new. How good, you ask?
Premium #1 for just $5.00 donation!!!

That's right, just a small donation will earn you a nearly perfect peacock plume ready for your own attempt at Feather Rishi for your friends, family and perhaps one day for your own fans. I want to cover the world with beautiful feathers. Feathers on every surface is my idea of proper decor. I think feathers offer more possibilities than paint and conventional color. The only way this will work is if lots of people are making Feather Rishi, not just me. That's why for a bigger donation you will get the feather AND an introductory lesson. For $95, you get the lesson and FIVE feathers ready for art. This is a chance you won't often see. For years I've been developing scores of feathers for use in art. I've but aside only five to share with you at this time. Since many of my feather rishi artifacts are made with a single feather, this is an opportunity you can't beat.

Here's the complete premium list for now, but please don't forget to see the actual mockups of the prototype Vulturine tee shirts, please visit the GoFundMe site. I invite and welcome your comments, donations and feedback.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vulturine is Born


I'm pleased you're here. Vulturine is an apparel line that uses Feather Rishi (ree' shee) images. The feathers are always molted and freely given. I've created a new list of tee shirts for style conscious people who know how to emphasize their looks with body tees and dresses. 

Vulturine on GoFundMe where you can see the new collection

Below is the back of Black Lagoon

In the days ahead please watch this blog for more news about Feather Rishi and the new fashion label I've called Vulturine. Vulturine means "of or pertaining to vultures" which I hope you will find interesting. Vultures are not for everyone, maybe Vulturine will change that..

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween

Tut Spider
Sure, I want you to buy my calendar Follow Lewis Mark's board Figurative Feathers Calendar 2015 on Pinterest., but more important to me is having as many people see it as possible. The image above is of course, October. I want people to see the texture and detail you can see in feather art. They are real feathers, but molted. That means no bird was treated badly. The bird simply lost its feather seasonally and I found it. Sometimes people give me or lend me feathers from their collection. I do my best to be sure none of the birds was harmed.

The pictures I take of the plumes are then used in art to make fabrics, products, apparel, artworks. I'm especially excited about my future scarf business. By this time next year I will have received and hopefully sold my first inventory of luxurious, fine silk scarves.

Please look at my work and like it if you do. Buy it if you want to show support for a dream of saving the birds from extinction and destruction.

On a cheery note, it is Halloween and I hope you, your friends, family and loved ones have a happy one.

Copyright 2014 L M Grimes

Monday, October 27, 2014

Christmas is coming at Feather Rishi

Figurative Feathers Calendar 2014

Hello and welcome to Feather Rishi, a safer, saner way to protect avian life from unnecessary death. My first foray into representational art was with The Feathered Om.

After the introduction of the Oms, I started working on the 2015 calendar which took almost a year to finish. The Oms had taken most of the foregoing summer.
Where am I going with Feather Rishi? Is it contemporary and abstract or is it figurative? Actually it is both. My plan is to use feathers everywhere, in places where no one ever thought of for plumes.
Halloween 2014 is upon us and I am pleased to share one page from the calendar. First above you saw the cover. This image, of course, is October 2015.
Tut SpiderBuy:
A salute to the Egyptian rishi that inspired me, this image is 100% feather art. Anyone who says feathers cannot be eco-friendly has not been paying attention to Feather Rishi.

Copyright 2014 L M Grimes

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Art Prints, Prices and Figurative Art

Bird of Paradise
My first figurative Feather Rishi was Bird of Paradise. Until I built this it was all abstract.  Then I thought about the birds that take flight and I realized that everything is possible. It all starts with a feather. The feather inspires the work. Sometimes it's figurative and sometimes abstract.

For comparison, I borrow this image:
Peacock in Flight
Thanks for this great shared photo. Please provide photographer credit. Thank you.

My most recent work is the Figurative Feathers Calendar. It's all feather art from the cover to December. I'd love to know what you think.
Nekbet from October 2015
It's all feather art.

Copyright 2011-14 L M Grimes

Monday, September 29, 2014

Privacy on Public Computers

Jasmine wears Traviata, an all-silk scarf that will be available spring 2015

Privacy is a big concern on the web. Passwords, for instance, are pretty much essential to access any site. As a student, I frequently have to use public computers at many locations. That means someone was using the computer before me and and someone else will soon use it after. I often sit down at a computer and find that the person before me forgot to log out. If they checked their email, I can open their window sometimes by a simple click on the browser history. That will give me access to that person's email inbox and all their email files with a few simple mouse clicks.

I've always been "careful" meaning, I log off, restart the computer and thought that was all I needed to do to protect my private browsing. This year I became aware of private browsing. At least a couple browsers . The link is for Google Chrome for PC, It will give you a setting choice for private windows that don't record your history. That seems like a good idea but it's not a perfect fix.

Student computers at schools and libraries are arranged so that when they are restarted, supposedly everything from the previous user is dumped and it's reset without any history. The dirty little secret of Internet browsers today is that they save history to the cloud. That means, if you don't use the private browsing feature and just use the ordinary windows, history will survive a reboot of the computer. What that meant in practice is I was able to access my history a couple weeks after I had used a computer. This freaked me out because someone could simply create a typo and my browser address that I recently visited would spring up.

Is that concerning? It's up to you to decide. What you can do to defeat this is clear your browser history every time you use a public computer and then restart the machine when you leave.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Macaw Madness

Macaw Blizzard is 100cm X 100cm, pure silk Taby, hand-finished luxury!

“soft, silky, nice against the skin, delicate, gorgeous colors (especially in the sunlight), almost afraid to play with it! But play we we squealed and laughed like a bunch of school girls! [I saw one of the neighbors come out to watch us. haha] I can hardly wait to see your Fall lineup and I can hardly wait for my girls to each pick one out.”
That quote is from a recent contest winner who was awarded the Macaw Blizzard, a silk scarf sample of what I plan to import from India. I call it Macaw Blizzard to celebrate Rocky, a Macaw resident of a friend’s parrot rescue. Her blizzard of multi-colored feathers molt seasonally and she donates them willingly.

Rocky, a female Harlequin Macaw is one of my frequent donors.

Let’s stop stealing feathers from birds. Their molts and modern printing are all we need to appreciate their generous gifts.

I was introduced to macro-photography by Ian Cummings, a fine professional photographer, and a professor at Cuyamaca College, where I am persistently enrolled. Professor Cummings showed us the basics. In my case, I had to study photography from the basement. I had never snapped before his introductory class taught me the fundamentals. Little did I suspect that photography could be more than a passing breeze in my life.

My education has been good to me. The lack of initiative I had as a youngster is finally balanced by my obsession with my schooling today. I want to thank more than Ian Cummings. Timothy Buckles “the Coach” of graphic design at CC taught a holistic approach to design. If you look at my life, art has always been present, but as an observer. Now I’m the artist. Cummings and Professor George Dowden helped me to master Photoshop. And Diane Kew was such an inspiration when she showed me her art which was brilliant. It helped to give me confidence I might discover a style of my own.

It’s exciting to change careers. Scary, of course. I am so grateful to live in a time and place that permit people to pursue their dreams. This is just a handful of the pictures I received of women who sent me pictures. I want to thank the women wearing Macaw Blizzard. You're trailblazers in fashion. Thank you for supporting Feather Rishi and for your contributions to the better lives of birds. We are conserving feathers and creating a legacy. So thank you all. Now back to it.

Browse other gifts from Zazzle.

Copyright 2014 L M Grimes

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fourth of July 2014

Golden Patriot
"I soar through the air with the greatest of ease teasing the wind with my feathers and song. I am a bird. You probably thought of that first unless you're a big fan of Superman and we all know he doesn't have feathers. And birds don't have super powers. They are fragile creatures closely related to the reptiles from which they descended. Science claims birds have limbic brains which means they barely think thoughts and are entirely reactive."

Birds are mostly an uncomplaining lot, except for Guinea Fowl, Peafowl and chickens. Their language is not understood by humans although most animals know the call of the predators among them. They are satisfied with a dish of water and they can eat a few seeds and call it a meal. In the case of carnivores, maybe just a shred of meat will get them through the day.

When humans fill the air with their smoke and fumes, birds stay aloft as long as they can hoping to avoid the fate of the canaries once used as gas detectors in mines and construction sites. Birds help where they can.

Understand the picture above was made with the molted feathers of the noble Golden pheasant. It was turned into art to celebrate the beauty birds give freely. Here it is meant to commemorate the Fourth of July, America's Independence Day. Have a happy Fourth of July!

Consider saving the feathers you see, for one day they will be rare and wonderful. Save feathers for feather rishi and perhaps for posterity where people one day will marvel that such wonders flew freely.

Copyright 2014 L.M. Grimes

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

White Peacock Flurry

My love of nature derives from my childhood in Alaska which came to a jarring close when I moved at fifteen to Las Vegas. There I cut my chops as a busboy, a writer and editor. My only qualifications were a childhood spent as the extra secretary in my parents' import export business. I fell in love with more than the landscape. Tying lures for fly fishing brought me close to feathers.

Later I would learn you could obtain feathers from a molt, but I'm getting ahead of myself. In Las Vegas one of my best friends worked with a costume team. They created the fabulous confections for the showgirls and dancers featured in production spectacles on the Strip. The feathers that got used in those shows were fantastic. When a show was closing the costumes, feathers and all, were piled up in a heap and burned. Sometimes it was hundreds of thousands worth of stuff. The IRS might send an agent to certify the assets were destroyed. They were otherwise highly salable items. If the producers were taking a full write-off they wanted to make certain the stuff got destroyed. To think that an animal grew those glorious plumes, probably got killed in the harvest, and then burned. Too tragic.
Macaw Blizzard is coming!

That is why I think my process will attract crowd-funding. The conservation of molted feathers will have a long-term benefit of protecting avian species. It will be good for both the goose and the gander.

I know there are other artists working with feathers, but if you compare, I think you will agree the precision and choices in my technique are unique.

Why would I need funding from the crowd? It is for the validation that people care about feather rishi. Starting a new business in 2014 is a daunting prospect. I'm going to need a lot of help to reach out and find new molted feathers and to process them. Potentially millions of feathers should be recorded for feather rishi. The images will provide a vast historical record while enabling artists and designers access to the digital files for their artwork. I am still a college student. I hope I've had a great idea, but in time if a crowd of people give me the money to fund it I will have confirmation that people believe in the need and want to help fill it. And maybe then I will make a difference with my art.

This underlying scarf is called Fourth of July. You can get prints at Fine Art America. Happy Memorial Day. As I think about the soldiers who have died, I can't help but think of the birds that have died for mankind's pursuit of beauty and fashion. Feather Rishi ends all that. With modern photography and printing methods you can employ molted feathers and accomplish all the effect of the real thing. This should transform fashion and art.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Coming for Easter?

Birds, specifically chicks and Easter seem to go together well. Bird species are disappearing despite attempts to rescue them. Not all species are resilient. But if we are careful, we can rescue their feather images.

I've professed the beauty and fashion choices presented by the individual feather. I basically used three designs and hardly more feathers in designing products for The Feathered Om. Art like this has given me a stable platform to demonstrate that feathers are suitable for iconography.

Why is that important? Some call it graphic design. Only a test in time will reveal if work is art. That has been proven with classic artists who have risen to the top. I am a new artist in the general scheme of things. My MFA is still a gleam in my eye as I aspire to exhibit in larger quarters.

Copyright 2014 L.M. Grimes

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Breath and Flight

Goose feather

Turkey feather

A shocking thing about birds is that we are not their only enemy. The hardship of living in the wild world around them is fraught with perils and overrun with predators. So many species have become extinct it gives mankind a greater mandate to preserve everything that is avian.

Obviously, it's easy to see that people don't care about the air they themselves breathe. How can we help the birds? Perhaps their greatest threat is the air they breathe and in which they soar. Hopefully in time we can figure out how to keep the air quality safer for our planet and the creatures on it. Historically birds have been used in mines to predict poor air conditions for the miners working there. When the canaries start to die it probably means carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide levels are unacceptable. In recent events we have seen masses of species dying due to chemical exposures from spills and oversights.

How can we defend their air when that same air quality is causing humans problems?

I am protecting the images of their feathers. I try to know the origin of every feather I use in my art. My goal as an artist is to never harm a bird in acquiring its feather. But what of a bird whose feathers became available to me because it was killed by a predator? I'm torn here.  What is my responsibility?

The goose feather shown here has not been prepared for art. I discovered it near my neighbor's geese. It was not molting season. My other neighbors recently had predation too. Their flock of turkeys was attacked ironically on Thanksgiving. They were decimated by coyotes. The turkey feather seen here was salvaged from the massacre that was routine among the animal kingdom. The entire flock was taken, but one was saved. Would I be justified to take feathers like these and use them in my art?

How would it make you feel if you acquired an artwork that used a feather known to come from a kill? Would it change your opinion of the art?

It brings to mind predators and their rare feathers. My proposed museum of all feathers desires to include every feather known. Yet in the U.S. only native Americans have access to the sacred feathers like hawk and eagle. I only need to use them briefly to photograph them with a small setup and my macro camera.

I want to photograph every feather known and I hope to approach zoos and conservatories to borrow their molted feathers for posterity.

Lately I added to my feather textiles catalog. I hope you enjoy fabric designs that cater to designers, quilters, wallpaper, gift wrap and decals.

Copyright 2014 L.M. Grimes

Friday, January 10, 2014

Smart Art

In Forrest Gump a feather lofts noiselessly back and forth on the wind across the screen and slowly makes its way to the ground. The executives who believed in Grooms’ book were forced to champion that film for decades before it was brilliantly executed. Keep this metaphor in mind as you consider what I do in a struggle to put  the feather on a pedestal. This may seem a practically weightless and not very serious endeavor but it's not. I save the molted feathers of companion birds and photograph them with a macro-lens.

I study the plume for hours looking for what is distinctive and amazing in it. Part of its virtue is that no bird was ever harmed in its acquisition. After the study, I will eventually design with that feather. I might use it in a work of art or in a fabric or product design. I find that each feather can be used in myriad ways when creating images. I might make an example of decorative art, sometimes repeating only one, sometimes using several in a pattern that is original. I call my art feather rishi.

Molted feathers are lovely until you really look at them closely. Then you notice their flaws. Often they’ve been trampled by another animal, sometimes tasted by one. Insects and other things attack them and the damage can be extensive. The feathers I use in rishis have been repaired by me. My macro-photography will capture the image that is there and then I reconstruct it. I use my acquired skill (Photoshop) and a bucket of patience and take apart the plume in a myriad of proprietary ways, turning a raw “diamond in the rough” into a faceted, polished and gleaming jewel. The process can take upwards of thirty hours or more, in order to capture the perfection my observations have revealed to be the best attributes that feather can present. 

When I am done preparing the feather, I have a finished digital painting, a true artifact that is utterly unique because they don’t naturally “fall” that way, but on the bird they look that way. Therein, is my "art" and the paint with which I then make more art.

Obviously I work with feathers. I  have  passionate ideas and skills. I’m a brand new student following a track for the MFA, just six years into my studies, and my art technique, something I actually invented in school under the encouragement and guidance of caring professors, has been around only a couple years.

Many species of birds have been driven to the very brink or into extinction. A good amount of the damage was done by the fashion industry. Birds molt at least every year. Those molted feathers are considered trash by most observers but in my view they are a treasure. What if they were rescued and preserved? That is what I am doing. Eventually I hope to create an international database of every feather known. This institution would save for posterity a finite library of plumes in digitized form. It would then forever be available to artists like me and to the general and professional groups who might have use for it.

Thank you for reading this blog and considering feather rishi.