Finished version(start of the flu), of Five Birds
I finished this piece in my last week at Anderson Ranch this past January. I was there to teach and work on my own art for three weeks in the glorious winter that is Snowmass, Colorado. I was vaguely aware of the fact that I was developing a cough and my joints were starting to ache, but, since I had already been sick with a cold and sinusitis for the past two weeks, I didn't pay much attention. Things weren't going well as I adhered the pieces to the panel, shifting ever so slightly as I went to but them down. The bird caught in the man's hand was too low, so I had to peel his body back up, re-cut it to make the body bigger, and then add wings to cover up where I had pulled it up. In the process, I lost the big bird's hands and had to remake them, and as well, somehow the beak went from being small and sweet to large and threatening. Even the three birds in the trees seemed now to be alarmed rather than interested. And for some, flu connected reason, I thought the legs should be walking instead of standing still. The image went from being welcoming and sweet to dark and threatening. But it was done, glued down, and there was nothing more I could do. I cleaned up, wobbled to my room on aching legs, and finally admitted to myself that I was coming down with the flu, realizing Five Birds
had become an accurate representation of what the world had become for me.
First (pre-flu) unfinished version of 5 birds
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