Birds are a consistent representation in my paintings, but while I focus on the plights of birds, their struggles, and the trials they experience as a result of human interaction, the work is not about birds. My work is heavily invested in empathy, as both a way for my own ability to process what feels like the general indifference of the world around me, and as a way to try to communicate the importance to the viewer of expressing empathy for not only our kind but those that are quite unlike us.
I have been heavily involved in avian imagery for five years now, and it will always be a critical lens to how the work is developed. Something I am beginning to tap into, however, and plan to investigate further in my visual research, is the understanding that the choice of illustrating birds is somewhat arbitrary. Birds are Mother Nature’s saints in my eyes, but they represent a greater whole.
Vladimir Nabokov wrote about his passion for butterflies, “I discovered in nature the nonutilitarian delights that I sought in art. Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception.” This realization, that birds are not the whole of my artistic identity but just one of what could be many means of discussing an empathetic view towards the life around us, is something that has started to manifest in illustrating other creatures—squirrels, chipmunks, hares…
The development of my works is a duality of a meditative method coupled with a process driven style. I use the gradual accumulation of marks and a layering of information to imbue scientific formalities with layers of both entrapment and freedom. There is no determining what experiences will have a permanent impact and what scars will refuse to fade, so every idea and action is pivotal and conjointly precious. No one work develops linearly, rather they grow from a beginning unto itself and with varying intermediates in between finally resting upon an end, as in life.