Leaf Bird

May 20 – September 15, 2023, Leaf Bird will be on display at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach, FL as part of a juried exhibit entitled Treasure Coast Creates: A Tribute to Local Artists. Juror Ellen E. Roberts, the Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Senior Curator of American Art at the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, FL), was given over 800 artworks to review. From those, she selected 137 works for the show. She was tasked with awarding 3 top awards, but when narrowing down her selection, she asked to add 7 Honorable Mention. Leaf Bird was in that group and given an “Honorable Mention” award! I am honored to be among the outstanding “Treasure Coast Creates” artists who have work on display in this show.

Leaf Bird is one of my “Visual Poems” drawing series. The image was inspired by a dried up Dombeya plant leaf found in a friend’s yard, as well as a piece of driftwood that washed up on the shore of the Indian River by my house. By photographing the image in numerous positions. Finally one was chosen that spoke to me. With the use of several software programs and reference photos, I was able to compose this proud, strutting bird’s personality to my liking.

Folks always ask how long it takes to do the drawing. The creative, fun part is designing the character. After that, the drawing process is tedious, but takes on a life as I get closer to completion. Then, I am able to look at the whole, make any alternations, and pull the image together into something believable. Leaf Bird took 32 hours to complete. Of course, it took a life time of experience to get to this point in my career to discover the fun of creating these imaginary characters, having the skills to imagine them, and then the ability to draw them. As I have always said… “Creating something totally unexpected and having a chance to present it to the public is the real treat for me.”

Leaf Bird, Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencils on Arches 88 Paper, drawing size: 30″H x 22.5″W, framed: 41″H x 33″W x 1.5″D