This is one of my most favorite art pieces! It was no doubt challenging and I found myself living with the bird day and night. I had pictures, drawings, you name it, and it just was a great piece to do. My friends who commissioned me to do it, I kept in touch with throughout the carving and sent emails containing updates along the way.
Often I have people to ask me how do I do what I do. The picture above is how it all starts. It is messy. There are pictures scattered everywhere. Sometimes I find feathers. Always I use a skin of the actual bird for colors and feather shapes. But beyond that, it is a real shot in the dark to use a mount or something that has already been preformed. I will go to places in Memphis that have the proper permits for birds such as the University of Memphis or the Pink Palace museum or other places that have specimens of the birds. But before I go there, it is always something I begin with in my mind.
I will draw. I will get pictures. I will research. I will think. I will dream. I will do a clay model sometimes. And yes, I will ask God what is it that God intends for what I am about to do. That part really tends to flow throughout my art projects especially those that are complicated. And this owl certainly fit the bill.
But it is messy when it starts.