YELLOW FLAGS BY THE POND ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2019
All around the area we have been seeing yellow flags blooming. A type of wild iris, yellow flags are a well-loved early summer wildflower. This is especially so in Europe. The problem is that these beautiful irises are an invasive species here. This leads to the question of how to eradicate a plant that so many hikers love to see. Yellow flags inhabit wetlands and have a tendency to choke out native plants found there. One plant they out-muscle is the cattail, which is itself at times considered an invasive species, especially to many farmers who irrigate their fields. So, it comes down to which plants are more important, which plants should be eradicated, and who should decide. Regardless, they inspired me to create a painting showing this interaction. The overall composition of the irises was based on the works of the Japanese Rinpa School painters. Ogata Korin’s Irises six-panel folding screen was extremely helpful in creating my painting. The design for the red-winged blackbird was inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. 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.