HERONS CALENDAR ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2015
One of the great joys of living in the Skagit Valley is the opportunity given to us for watching the many birds that either reside or migrate through the region. One of our favorite birds to observe is the great blue heron. The close proximity to the river, and the many sloughs, channels, irrigation ditches and marshy areas provides excellent habitat for this pterodactyl-like bird. We enjoy seeing them in full flight (with the audible woosh of their big wings) or while standing patiently on the hunt for food. We are fortunate and very thankful that living in here has allowed us many such occasions to watch these big, magnificent birds. I was thus inspired to use a heron as the central design for a painting which I intend to function as a calendar. The heron design was influenced by Northwest Coast Indian and Celtic art and its resemblance to a dragon is a reference to the heron’s prehistoric past. I again turned to the Celtic Revival entrelac designs of Archibald Knox as inspiration for the cruciform border surrounding the central heron. The design in the lower corners is adapted from the Desborough Mirror, a Celtic bronze mirror dating from the period just before the Roman invasion of Britain and now housed in the British Museum. 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.