Tuesday, November 8, 2011
(Small)Fox with Hummingbird 2011
When I start a piece I start it from an abstract painting. Before any images, I have worked on that painting until I think it's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen. In this case, I thought this little painting especially the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen. I loved the surface, with its multiple cracks allowing the intense colors underneath to come through. I had a vague idea of son and sky, but only a vague idea. I didn’t know if it would end up being horizontal or vertical. I like the painting either way.
When I began to form the story, I was working with new media; photographs on ink jet transparencies, which allow the colors behind the photos to show through. I was working with transparencies of two animals. One was a little hummingbird we found on the ground outside one of our large, plate glass windows. The colors that made up its body were vibrant and it had a long, slender beak, so unlike most of the birds I photograph. The other animal was a fox corpse I had photographed in Virginia several years ago. He had been hit on the busy road near the school I was teaching at, died, and then been dragged into the bush by crows. I had seen crows circling around when I was out on a run, went to investigate, and found the fox. I didn't have my camera so I went home for it and came back as quickly as I could to photograph. I returned over the weeks to take pictures until his bones and hide were too widely scattered to make much sense. In the painting, I liked that the animals are still alive, the fox ready to snap up the little hummingbird at the first chance he gets. And since it is my world, the hummingbird will always stay just out of his reach, safe from predators and plate glass windows