garden variety

A dozen of these paintings were in a solo exhibition October, 2016, at Farley's Coffee on Potrero Hill, S.F.


click images to see enlargement

Garden #1Garden #1
2019, watercolor and colored pencil on paper 4" x 4"
nfs

 

Bird #4 (Garden Variety series)Bird #4
2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 5" x 9"

(photographic reference not known)

sold

 

Bird #13Bird #13
2010, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 9" x 5"
$350.00 US (sale pending)

(photographic reference: Anna's Hummingbird by Bert Katzung, used with permission, www.astronomy-images.com)

Notes: there's an interesting science video on hummingbird (and dog) tongues - http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201105276


 

Caterpillar #1 (Garden Variety series)Caterpillar #1
2009, wax, oil, mixed media on panel, 2" x 4"

(photographic reference not known)

$250.00 US

 

Bird #8 (Garden Variety series)Bird #8
2009, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 5" x 9"

(photo. reference: Anna's Hummingbird by Bert Katzung, used with permission, www.astronomy-images.com)

sold

 

Bird #2Bird #2
2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 9" x 5"

(photographic reference not known)

$350.00 US

 

Bird #2

Nest #2
2009, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 4" x 4"

nfs

 

Bird #17 American Goldfinch
2010, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 4" x 4"

(photograph reference from fotosearch.com 19818853)

sold

(custom framed archival copy available, $200)

 

Bird #1 & Bird HouseBird #1 & Bird House
2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on birch panel, (in two parts), Bird: 5" x 9" & Bird House: 2.5" x 4"

(photographic references not known)

sold

 

Bird #5Bird #5
2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 9" x 5"

(photographic reference: Boreal owl, aegolis funereus, by Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, used with permission, image # 1388020, www.Bugwood.org)

sold

 

Nest #1 (Garden Variety series)Nest #1
2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 5" x 9"

(photographic reference not known)

sold

(an enlarged, waxed and framed copy is available for sale)


Bee #1Bee #1 2008, beeswax, oil, mixed media on panel, 9" x 5"

$250.00 US (sale pending)

 

Birds #7

Birds #7 2009, beeswax, oil, gold leaf mixed media on panel, 14" x 11"

On display at SomArts during ArtSpan Open Studios, Oct.12 through Nov. 2, 2019

(red cardinals in flight, reference photographs by R.W. Scott, www.gregscott.com; used with permission)

From Nov. 17, 2019, on display (opening reception Nov. 17) at Mantra Wines, Novato, CA

Professionally framed by David Fallis

 

Bee #2Bee #2 2000,beeswax, oil, gold leaf mixed media on panel, 9" x 5"

My first time incorporating gold leaf into this series, and I love the way it reflects the warmth of honey here!

sold

 

Bees #3Bees #3
2008, beeswax, oil, gold leaf mixed media on panel, 5" x 9"

$375.00 US


 

Artist statement about this series

During one of our family trips to the U.K., I happened to catch a glimpse of a few gorgeous images of wild birds that were on a page from a tossed-out newspaper. At around that time, our newly-planted garden in San Francisco had begun to fill with its own wild occupants and visitors (one morning, as I stepped outside, a green snake and I surprised each other!). As soon as possible after we returned home, I began to paint the birds and my Garden Variety series began.

These fragile mixed media works incorporate layers of decorative Italian or Japanese origami papers, which look much like wallpaper, suggesting an element of humans, and of the indoors.  I place them within layers of beeswax encaustic on wood panels, and then paint the main images in oil.  Finally I add pen and ink or colored pencil touches, after the paint has cured, which takes months.

With an awareness of our own species' domination of its home planet, and upon learning of Colony Collapse Disorder and other threats to critical animal species, my psyche added depictions of a broken tree branch, empty nests or thickets, holes in tree trunks, altered honeycomb, or ephemeral, disappearing bird houses, in an attempt to convey the increasing fragility of wild habitats.

Beeswax smells great when it's heated for application, and lends a mysterious quality to the finished imagery, as it tends to pull the oil paint into its surface.  I find all of these qualities very appealing.


The miniature bird house at the bottom of "Bird #1 & Bird House" was a cardboard craft multiple. I covered it with gold leaf and bird feathers (given to me by a neighbor who raises various gorgeous birds), and I added words that I associate with domesticity, which I'd cut out of newspapers. I then placed two real, unfertilized finch eggs (from the same neighbor) inside its tiny doorway. These are nested into a soft dog-hair and dryer-lint bedding, and held in place by a small screen of taupe gauze ribbon.

Like many artists using beeswax, I am preoccupied with nature's efficient use of hexagons.  Honeycombs are first to come to mind for many of us, as are snowflakes, the six bonded carbons forming the benzene ring, and perhaps now the recently discovered hexagonal structures in space (re: Saturn). "The six carbon atoms form a perfectly regular hexagon. All of the carbon-carbon bonds have exactly the same lengths - somewhere between single and double bonds. There are delocalized [sic] electrons above and below the plane of the ring, which makes benzene particularly stable." pp. 232-236 of Linus Pauling's "General Chemistry"

I always appreciate assistance identifying any photographic references, so that I can add credit. Thank you!

The feathers in Nest #2 are real; I found them near an abandoned nest in a park near my studio.

Please note all prices are USD, and do not show CA state sales tax, which will be added at time of sale


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