"The Bird Whisperer" - mixed media on cradled hardboard. 12" x 12" , ready to hang. Available on Artfinder.
A return to my irresistible girls and their birds as I prepare for the upcoming "Art & Soul" event here in SoFlo. Whenever I paint one of these lovelies, it is like visiting an old friend, catching up on life and dallying awhile in a wonderland. These girls have stories to tell. But mostly, it's those chatty birds who are causing trouble.
The birds have been talking to me lately. An osprey in a tree near our lake, looking at me as I admired him through my binoculars. "I see you," he said. "I see YOU," I replied. A pair of ducks who kept me company for 90 minutes while I mulched and trimmed the front yard. They stayed within six feet of me the entire time, moving when I moved. "Alms? Alms for the ducks?" they asked in unison. A pair of moor hens, beaks brightly lit with mating season red, high-tailing it over to the shore of our back yard to grab a morsel as I inspected our fruit trees. "We're eating for five now," the male said. The female just laughed. A lone female duck waits for me outside the garage door, her feet slapping the pavement as she scurries over when the door raises. "Treats! Treats!" she exclaims. "Only in the back yard," I reply with a whisper. "Now shoo! Go out back before you get run over, silly." And one more pair of ducks stalking the corner of 13th St and 95th Ave. When our evening walk takes us by their turf, they come flying in like a squadron of awkward winged boats, landing with a thump at our feet and walking along side of us for awhile. I think these two are shaking down all passersby for food. Apparently, some ducks have formed gangs. Beware!
Still reading along in Clear Seeing Place. The chapter on slowness was just two pages long, yet I read it four times. "Art is the intensification of slowness. There is rich poetry in antispeed." Rutenberg praises long lines and delays - "forced interruptions". And then this: "Real awareness doesn't come in long dial tones of looking, but in the moments of clarity when the eye is halted and restarted..." I am using heavy traffic, check out lines and being put on hold as reasons to pause and look around, observing. Interruptions when I am in the studio usually irritate me beyond reason. This week, I am embracing the fractured studio time by noticing what happens when I walk away and come back. Magic, so far. Rebooting my view by stopping and restarting changes the whole perspective. Instead of seeking gracefulness in the process, I am embracing the clumsy, as Rutenberg recommends. Who knows? Maybe a whole new genre of CLUMSY ART will emerge? In the meantime, the ducks are tapping on the back door again...
Jen Walls and her imaJENation