EAGLE ON A PINE ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2022
We are so fortunate to live in a place where bald eagle sightings are a common, if not daily, occurrence. They have such a powerful and regal presence that seeing them is always inspirational. However, what I find thought provoking is the idea that their power is fleeting, relegated to the short period of time when they are at their peak of vitality. If they are fortunate, then future generations of their offspring will carry on after them to dominate the sky. On the other hand, the ancient tree on which they perch may endure for centuries, seeing many individuals come and go over their long lifespan. Who holds then the most power, the eagle or the tree? The same can be asked for those who currently hold powerful positions around the world. This thought, combined with a painting by one of my favorite Edo Period painters, Ito Jakuchu, were the inspiration behind my painting. Jakuchu’s Oak Tree, Eagle, and Monkey and Hiroshige’s Falcon on a Pine Branch with Rising Red Sun were both important sources for my composition. The design for the eagle was influenced by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. In homage to the Japanese Rinpa School, I used a tarashikomi, (“dripping in”) effect, for the pine tree’s branches by allowing wet paint to diffuse over the area. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.