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Sunday, October 15, 2017


A late bloomer describes me. I was in my 50s before I discovered my passion for making art. My family kept birds in aviaries. I participated in avian societies, rescues, and had surprising success for a novice. Breeding birds was pretty easy but husbanding them was not. Peafowl with their legendary tails were gentle, easy to keep, amiable. They had intelligence, but we’ll get to that later. Chickens, pheasants, and other game birds, molted feathers seasonally. This bounty drops over a few weeks around late spring and early summer.


Until I got to art classes in college, my molted feather collection had no reason. Challenged to use them as the subjects of art, I discovered this process was favorable to birds. I found that industry was mutilating and slaughtering birds to steal their feathers. By disrupting that practice with a revolution that respects birds this art brings life, not destruction.


The first challenge was the feather. It was wrinkled, soiled yet you could see all of its former beauty. The feather, once photographed, is imported into Photoshop where my graphic design and painting training are put to work. People ask. Do I manipulate the colors? Come on. Let’s say you’re in a space ship at the controls. Are you not going to try the acceleration? Photoshop may be the greatest friend the avian world has ever known. I love every feather and treat them each with the loving attention I would pay to every work of art.