NORTHERN FLICKER ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2019
We live in a special place when it comes to watching birds. A birder’s paradise, the Skagit Valley is rich in avian life, and they provide endless fun for locals and visitors alike. Although I have many favorites among them, including majestic eagles and graceful swans, the birds I enjoy seeing the most are Northern Flickers. They are the royalty of our backyard feeders: when one, or even a pair, comes to visit, we just have to stop what we are doing and watch them until they leave. Such big, spectacular birds can’t go unnoticed, and all of the other birds quickly give way to them. They inspired me to create a painting, and this is the result. The design for the flicker was inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. For the spruce tree I used a tarashikomi effect, inspired by the works of Rinpa School painters like Ogata Korin and Sakai Hoitsu. The background pattern of flicker tailfeathers was inspired by designs on Japanese textiles, especially kimono. 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.