"The Procession of Hope and Feathers" spent two months hanging on the mezzanine of R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA - and over a year from concept to execution. The title of this painting was inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson, who spent her life in Amherst, Massachusetts - just a few miles from where I live. The enormous stretcher - 132" x 68" - was built by Twin Brooks in Maine. It was stretched (with my nervous assistance) by R. Michelson Galleries' master framer, Don Robinson.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
- Emily Dickinson
Post with Procession
in the gallery
Four figures and four birds unscroll across an eleven-foot expanse of blue sky and green meadow. Two striped tents anchor the left edge, while a figure with a winged helmet perches on the railing of an elaborate gazebo. The Procession of Hope and Feathers takes its title from a poem by Emily Dickinson. Oil on linen, it is 131" x 68".
A preliminary painting of one of the figures in the mural-sized piece, this masked girl precedes the masked world that followed. Hope and Feathers, oil on cradled wood panel, 12" x 12" x 2".
There is a meditative quality to this painting. The warmth of the sunlight, the soaring birds, the billowy clouds, the dancer's pose. This one features the girl in the red tutu from The Procession of Hope and Feathers, prehistoric-looking pelicans (one of my favorite birds) and Monkey Island in Guanacaste, oddly shaped like the head of a gorilla or monkey. 16" x 16" x 2", oil on wood panel. More...
Costa Rica is a spectacular country, full of natural wonders. The setting is the Pacific Ocean, where mounded islets covered in hairy, gnarly trees are dotted along the coastline. The storks of Costa Rica are often wood storks, ominous in appearance but lovely and graceful in flight. Across the Sea of Time is 16" x 16" x 2", oil on wood.
Guanacaste is the title of this painting, an area of Costa Rica that contains coastlines, waterfalls, volcanic pools, and those small islands that captivated my imagination. The ring-necked magpies came to visit every day, landing next to us to talk and ask for food. They are quite large birds, and very striking in appearance. This is a 16" square oil painting on a cradled wood panel.
I watched a little girl in a sundress race across an expanse of lawn by the sea, and I knew I had to paint her. The inclusion of the striped, peaked tents is a continuation of the theme of a long series of paintings. The title of Life is a Carnival is from a song by The Band. SOLD
Soliloquy is the fifth in my series of 16" square oil paintings. The setting is still Guanacaste, Costa Rica, loosely based on a photo I took while sailing into the sunset. The exotic birds are flamingos. (How often do you see a flamingo fly? Usually they seem to spend their time wading.) The harlequin costume is almost as flamboyant as the sunset and the flamingos.
The last of this series of 16" square oil paintings is Fledgling, featuring Painted Storks. Storks are avatars of good fortune and abundance in mythology and culture. Although a bit clumsy on land, these huge birds glide in flight, soaring effortlessly through the air. It is twilight in Costa Rica, the sky is turning a deep teal, and just a few stars have emerged.