Wednesday, May 22, 2013

for the birds......

Recently, I was asked to participate in a fund raiser/auction of unique bird houses.  The idea was that local artists would be given blank pine birdhouses to creatively modify and embellish.  "Of course I will!"  I said when asked, temporarily ignoring the multitude of other pressing tasks I had at hand.  When I received the white primed birdhouse, the panic set in.  What am I going to do with this?
original bird house
How do I make this quirky object a personal artistic statement?  I recalled the cigar boxes that Diebenkorn and Thiebaud had made small paintings on, but this bird house is a three dimensional format that I felt should be a play on a house.  So I turned to a painting I completed last summer titled "front porch" as my inspiration for creating a little historic farmhouse.  But now, I needed to create the other three sides that went with the vignette of the front porch.  More panic ensued.....
front porch    8x10   oil on panel

But like all dedicated artists, you push through your fears of failure until you either arrive at a solution or jump out a window (as my studio is on the first floor, that wasn't going to be much of an option).  How do I handle the shape of the round bird entrance that seemed so arbitrary, especially in the context of a simple farmhouse.  I just made it look like a large circular window - don't ask me how it would have worked architecturally on what would be the second floor.  Since I painted the porch with the strong shadows of the original painting, I felt the other sides needed to maintain the same aspects of full or partial light and shadow direction.
left side (full sun)

right side (partial sun)

I also threw in an old truck on the back elevation - again borrowed from a previous painting of mine titled "Flatbed Ford."  If you look very close, there is also a pie cooling on the rear window sill...
Flatbed Ford   10x10   oil on panel


Celia Blanco said...

Gorgeous work on the house, I love all the details!

Teresa Dominici said...

Excellent bird house,the details are amazing.