Talking with friends, I learned my quilted bird paintings contain intriguing dualities. First is a tension between natural & geometric forms.
Another is solidness & transparency. When I started Raven at Home, I planned to let a little pattern show through. Gradually I was drawn to an increasingly transparent raven. Most parts of the bird are white lines interrupting the quilt pattern. Artist friend Antonia Gottesman urged me to leave the eye empty--keeping attention dispersed over the whole picture.
Looking at Flicker, photographer friend Michael Sterne asked why I put a recognizable bird over a grid. I suggested that all worthy human design comes from the inspiration of living things. Here's a direct link between quilt design & the beauty of birds.
Another duality is art & mathematics. Antonia, math wizard as well as artist, loves to find mathematics & art together. I'm the daughter of an electrical engineer & once received a pin from the Mathematical Association of America. Maybe unconsciously all quilt-makers love this.
Transparency suggests another duality--existence & non-existence. Patterns & birds move into & out of being across the page. This creates a feeling of time, enhanced by activity. The raven is alert & nearly sways on his branch. The pelican flies over water. The flicker bursts into upward flight. The kingfisher watches for prey, poised to dive.
I love to twist to our thought process, so we sense for an instant alternatives to what we perceive. I hope these paintings stimulate some juicy questions about what is real. I hope they increase delight in how beautiful birds live independent of our beliefs, & yet entwined.
At Sebastopol Gallery, 150 North Main, through May 30 (www.sebastopol-gallery.com).