In the intimate space of an animal

small icon paintings of animals

Before the pandemic, I was working on large paper cast sculptures. In the midst of the pandemic, the expansiveness of the large pieces no longer felt comfortable. Instead, I felt compelled to work more intimately and am working on small paintings with the focus upon animal imagery. It is through this imagery I am finding a way into more intimate spaces and the comfort small spaces afford to the inhabitant. 

With these paintings, I feel the need to create frames functioning more as dwelling rather than frames – often five sided-frames suggesting the icon of a house. These constructions demand a different concentration and skill than typical framing of a painting. For me the icon house lends a kind of sacredness to the subject, hopefully. Two weeks ago, I went to the Syracuse zoo to draw the giraffes and was struck by the giraffe Parker who stood looking at me – as if in his tracks – for 20 minutes. I had not noticed such concentrated gaze from Parker in earlier visits before the pandemic. In this project, I want to explore how the animals react to the return of the public; first through drawing and then through studio interpretation as paintings.

Dreaming of flying, 8×6, oil and gold leaf composite on oil
The one who saw the sky, 8×6″ oil and gold leaf composite on panels
The one who didn’t fight, oil and gold leaf composite on panels
I did what I had to do, 10×6 oil and gold leaf composite on panels
In the intimate space of a bird, 10×5 oil and gold leaf composite on panels