The Memory of Birdsong
A childhood roaming waterways where tall grasses grew inspired Birdsong. Red-wing blackbirds trilling in the springtime. Showy males, swaying high atop bending reeds, flashing their scarlet badges.
I created this painting for my show at Hughes Gallery, opening January 18th. For more info inquire: Barbara, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many red-wing blackbirds populated the early stages of this large oil painting, Birdsong.
I made them dominate the blazing sky, singing towards the light. For weeks, I lovingly painted life into their gleaming black feathered bodies.
Painting my memories of red-wing blackbirds, filling the air with vibrant sound.
Painting and thinking about how I hardly see them anymore.
And I am not the only one. According to this article on All About Birds, birds are vanishing from the sky.
The longer I painted, the more I thought about those boisterous birds and their songs.
Thinking about blue jays, cardinals, flickers and mockingbirds. Common as the neighbors in my youth. Bright colored shapes darting among sun dappled leaves. Everywhere, birds.
Birds are falling from the sky.
Picking up my palette knife, I started scraping out the smaller birds in the distance. Then painted over them with the sky color. Made them disappear into paint, into time.
One by one, I painted them out until only the largest one remained in the foreground.
I hung the painting on the wall and thought some more. For a couple of months.
Thinking of the hours I put into that one bird. Thinking about the Light.
Sensing the painting would be stronger as the essence of birds.
So I painted over the last bird, and it too became a memory.
Only the light remains. The light of hope.
And the memory of birdsong.