Just off the Easel
24x20 as yet untitled, collage on panel
I recently did the head of a peacock and sent it up to Juxtapose Gallery in NJ, they sold it within a week. Then someone said they would like to see me do more of the body of the peacock in order to show the famous feathers. My very first tattoo was of a peacock, because of my love of Art Nouveau. So I set out to do a more complete peacock and this is what I came up with.
I enjoyed incorporating some book pages and wrapping paper in the black/white/gray area in the lower right. I also incorporated some printed material concerning birds, migration patterns and their coloring, throughout the background. I enjoy hiding papers with relationship to the subject matter in all of my work, the longer you linger, the more meaning you will find hidden in the layers of torn paper.
Making small feathers is slow going, the yellow area took the most time but I am very pleased with it. In order to make this simplified area look believable, I used what I call "directional ripping" I tore the pieces and glued them in the direction of the 3-D shape, changing the size and angle as I wrapped around the shape of the back.
Creating the famous feathers was indeed fun, I used a variety of blues and dark blues to create the "eye" in the feather. Several of them were created with nursery book pages from that old book my father gave me from my childhood, published in 1971. This is a little bit of personal history woven into the feathers of one of my favorite Art Nouveau icons.