Monday, February 23, 2009

New Painting: Celestial Messenger

My latest painting is inspired by the many Red-Tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) I see hunting around the fields surrounding I-5 on my weekly pilgrimages between Eugene and Portland. Hawks are formidable predators, and I have seen them try to take on stray cats in competition for food. These birds look quite large when they're sitting on a branch or fencepost, but most of that bulk is actually feathers. I know this only because I have stopped to look at road-killed hawks in the past, and I find it remarkable how small their bodies really are.

This painting came to me after doodling on a Post-it note a rather tiny image of a hawk materializing from a stand of hazel trees, merging with the sun. I have read that native cultures associate the hawk with the duties of a great messenger, acting as a link between Heaven and Earth. The patterns on the bird's back are of Celtic origin (specifically, the La Tène period).

"Celestial Messenger" is currently available as a print in my Etsy shop.

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