This series is just showing up, regardless of my intention to stick with one style (i.e. the Cabochons). I can't say it's effortless--it never is-- but these little guys are just flowing out of my brushes. My initial thought was to utilize the contrast of gloss and matte to advance the narrative. THERE'S A NARRATIVE? How very dare you! Wait, hear me out: these arrived in my head about the time I wanted to start reintegrating surrealistic elements into the Cabochon paintings to keep them from getting stale. I started doing really barebones thumbnail sketches in my sketch book, like 4 to a page, sometimes adding a little color or value for direction. Suddenly I was using oil bars (like big oil pastels) to knock in these compositions on canvas, then retrofitting them with a bird. As I flesh them out and make decisions about backgrounds, foci, etc., it seems the birds have something going on in each piece. The raven is summoning the night. The grackle is telling his story of the monsoon season. I guess that's what I get for living in the middle of nowhere with few people around-- I start thinking the birds are chatting me up.
I went ahead and put prices on them, although in truth I'm probably going to show them en masse in July (likely Las Cruces, NM solo show) or August and shouldn't actually part with them yet. In the meantime, I have a solo show coming up in Columbus, Ohio next month, two paintings currently hanging that juried into the Black Range Art Exhibit at the Unsettled Gallery in Las Cruces, NM, and some collaborations brewing. Can't say I'm bored.