It all started with a meditation with my higher self. She told me that without a core we are all just tools for capitalism. You may have gathered that my soul and I aren’t big fans of capitalism, but unfortunately we need to use it to survive. Without a core we have nothing to give from, nothing to create from. She used not just an apple without a core to illustrate this, but also a sunflower. A sunflower is all core, all center, virtually all seed. Everything blossoms from this center. When we are centered in ourselves we can create, give, and help others because we feel fulfilled.
Images from my meditations as depicted in my book of mirrors. Learn more about the book of mirrors tradition here.
Back in the summer of 2020 I created a couple of bird drawings based on this concept that set me on a new path. One I call Warbler in the Void, which became the logo for Birds for Brains, and one I call Owl Core. It is this latter piece that became the jumping off point for the current drawing/collage series that I call BirdCore. I was finally realizing and embracing who I am as a symbolist artist.
That summer also saw me expanding my use of decorative drawing backgrounds to include collage, and the summer of 2021 had me learning a little bit of botanical drawing via Wendy Hollender's books, mainly apples and pears. I had already been drawing lots of birds, so I thought to combine these elements.
Apples and birds are highly symbolic. Apples tend to symbolize some kind of knowledge, but also fertility/creativity/sexuality. Birds often stand in for the soul itself. What these pieces stand for is simply the prayer for something to fill us, the need to have a core, the longing for our own soul to make itself known in our hearts. Without understanding and feeling deeply committed to what is most important to us we become susceptible to the whims of others, to becoming corporate shills, to abuse. When we are not filled with our own purpose we become tools for whoever wants to use us for good or ill.
Two Crows: colored pencil on decorative paper collage, 2021
Accompanying this art series will be a couple of books. The one available in December will be a small self printed booklet featuring all of the drawings with a set of short poems. I have another story written that needs illustrations, but I’ve barely started on these pieces, so this book will have to come out later. I can clearly see that BirdCore will be inspiring me into 2022.
If you would like to see the show live and in person I will be displaying it outdoors beneath a tent on December 4 and 5 with two other wonderful artists (Janet Fagan and S. Jordan Lee) in the Bryant neighborhood of Seattle (5547 38th Ave NE), and in my dad’s carport in Ballard on December 12 from 10-3 (7035 26th Ave NW). I will also have greeting cards, jewelry, prints, and my self published books for sale for all your holiday needs. There may also be free cookies or popcorn depending on which show you attend.
All works from BirdCore will be listed for sale in my online store soon. If you would like to support this ongoing series feel free to become a patron via Patreon. All monthly payments as a patron count as installments on an original drawing from me to be received one year after your patronage begins. I won’t be offering this particular perk forever, so become a patron today!