RED TAIL SOARING ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2020-21
This is an exciting time of year as the Skagit Valley is welcoming many migrating bird species. Of them, none are as dramatic as the raptors. Eagles, hawks, owls, and the like are moving north from their winter homes to re-position themselves for the approaching spring and summer months. I always loved the raptor migration while living by Neah Bay as a large number of birds were funneled by the Straits of Juan de Fuca to congregate at Cape Flattery. This would give them a chance to rest up before making the dangerous and difficult journey across the water to Vancouver Island. The most common raptor seen, however, was the Red-tailed Hawk, whose daily observances could often number in the hundreds. Our advanced biology class would visit Bahokus Peak and the Waatch Valley as we observed and counted these raptors. Sometimes the weather would not cooperate, but we always enjoyed our “day out” watching for the birds. Recently seeing Red-tailed Hawks reminded me of the fun we had and inspired this painting. I chose to use a lot of reflective paints for this (copper, bronze & gold) to show how “flashy" these beautiful birds appear to me. The design for the hawk was inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions while the swirling clouds were influenced by the Celtic Revival entrelac of Archibald Knox. 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.