76.2cm X 121.92cm, oil on canvas, sold
This painting is about happiness and pure joy. Look at the birds just flying free, together and full of joy with not a care in the world. Many of my paintings have birds tucked here and there often signifying freedom. This painting fully depicts the feeling of liberty, doing things spontaneously and with great abandon. These birds dance in a line, but the line is topsy-turvy. They tumble through the air like the acrobats that they are.
I have appreciated and spent a lot of time looking at birds throughout my life. How they move and sing, where and how they sit and eat, their type, and noting how each one has their own personality. I have had the privilege of being able to hold wild birds in my hands. It was a delight to enjoy the lightness and fragility of these living joyful flowers that come directly down from heaven.
When I first drew birds as a child, they looked very simple. They were just V shaped things hanging in the air. Slowly, over time, this changed with the eventual result seen in this painting. Each bird I paint can be an expression of a mood, whether that is mine or the bird’s. I show their individuality in the bird’s eyes, body posture, or the shape and tilt of the head.
In my opinion, long practice is without fail, the only way to reach satisfaction in any of the arts. Practice is not a waste of time. It is a great mental challenge that requires full concentration, similar to meditation. The end result represents time spent and infuses the artwork with the pent up energy of practice. The energy of the artist does not cease until no one looks at the painting or it is destroyed. This concept is similar to the Indian cultural view towards top performing artists. Audiences flock to see a well-known elderly dancer still on stage. He or she is not necessarily as quick and perfect in executing steps but infuses the performance with the energy of experience.
My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.