It was the sparrows in a tangle of vines, in the back pasture, that gave me the idea.
The vines had a roof of snow and inside of them was a cozy world for the birds to flit through. I watched for some time as they hopped from vine to vine flying in and out of the tangle.
The next morning I woke in the dark. I lay in bed thinking about how to create the birds and vines on a potholder. I wanted the birds to have some color and after some time I had the idea to paint the birds and stitch the vines.
But when I got to my studio and began making what I’d seen in my mind, it didn’t work.
So I decided to figure out how to paint the birds first, then see where it went.
All winter I’ve been watching the birds at the feeder from my studio window.
When the bright red cardinals started showing up, their color was shocking. Not that I haven’t seen it before in real life and reproduced in so many ways. But it was this winter when I understood why they make such an impression.
How their bit of color is nourishing.
So when I started practicing the birds, red was my first choice.
After I got the bird shape I wanted, it still wasn’t right. But it fell into place when I stitched around the red paint, taking guidance from the paint but not strictly adhering to it.
Then I used the idea of the twisted vines to create the lines(vines) to connect the birds. I framed the birds with denim to make them into potholders.
I can’t remember ever making such a simple design. But it satisfies my need for expressing my feeling about birds in winter.
When I was done I painted some blackbirds.
Ravens keep coming to me and I wanted to represent them too. I’ll stitch around these in black and have a few more ideas about the lines that will connect them.